Which Credit Cards Offer In-Flight Wifi for Free?
I am quite sad about the announcement that American Express is cutting perks for GoGo and Boingo Wifi passes (not just from the American Express Business Platinum but from all of its cards). My immediate reaction was a question many others probably have: which credit cards offer in-flight wifi for free? There are still credit cards offering these perks, so let’s take a look at the remaining options.
Boingo vs Gogo
The 2 dominant players in this arena are Boingo Wireless and Gogo Inflight Internet. While they have differences, they’re quite similar for what we care about here. Boingo boasts a network of over 1 million wifi hotspots, which may include the plane you’re flying on plus numerous airport wifi networks. As its name implies, Gogo only does airplane wifi. Both sell passes by the hour, day, month, or subscription plans. Until recently, American Express offered access to both of these. Then we saw this the other day:
Effective January 1, 2020, the Boingo Preferred Plan will no longer be a benefit on the Consumer Centurion®, Goldman Sachs Centurion®, Business Platinum, Business Centurion®, Corporate Centurion®, Corporate Platinum, Corporate Gold Cards, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
Credit Cards Offering In-Flight Wifi
There are still cards that offer free internet during flights, but that number has been cut in half. These are also in the “less common” column for cards in this hobby, but they might get new looks for anyone looking to reclaim the in-flight wifi benefit.
Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
While the most limited of the cards, only offering free wifi on Southwest flights, the Southwest Performance Business credit card is the most generous of the bunch by far. You get 365 pass per year and you can use it on other people in your travel party too. Free wifi for all!
City National Bank Crystal Visa Infinite: 12 per year ($400 annual fee)
The CNB Crystal Visa Infinite comes with a $400 annual fee. Among the many perks, it has 12 passes per year for use on Gogo Inflight. This card is no longer worth getting or keeping though with their recent changes. Be sure to use your available passes before closing your account.
Expedia + Voyager Card from Citi
HSBC Premier World Mastercard
The HSBC Premier World Mastercard comes with unlimited Boingo access as an annual perk. The annual fee can be $0 or $95, depending on your other accounts with HSBC. There’s currently a welcome offer of 35,000 points on this card.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard also offers unlimited Boingo each year. The card comes with a much heftier annual fee ($395). There’s a 50,000 points welcome offer on the card right now.
UBS Visa Infinite
The UBS Visa Infinite card comes with 12 passes annually for use on Gogo Inflight. The card comes with a $495 annual fee.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card comes with a $400 annual fee, and one of its perks is in-flight wifi. You get 12 passes per year to use GoGo Inflight. The current welcome bonus on the card is 50,000 points.
Other Ways to Get In-Flight Wifi
There’s another way to get wifi for free: the airline offers it. The policies on this couldn’t be more different, just as a heads up. Who gets it, and how much they get, vary by airline, booking method, and class of travel. You may also need to reserve it or get a code in advance, depending on the airline. These airlines offer some type of free wifi:
- Aer Lingus
- China Eastern
- Philippine Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
If all else fails, and you really need to get online, there’s one remaining way to get wifi on the flight: buy the pass.
I’ve used my Gogo Inflight and Boingo passes a ton. I get close to running out on both accounts each year. They enable me to submit work during flights, so I see this as a big loss. My immediate reaction was to look up which credit cards offer in-flight wifi. What do you think? Is this a valuable perk for many, or am I alone on this? Are you considering a new card to retain this benefit? I am.
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