Airline gift cards are steadily growing in popularity, which has caused big names such as American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Air Canada and others to invest in custom plastic gift cards and eCards. In this post, we compare the gift card offerings of American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest.
American Airlines: If you are looking to buy an American Airline gift card, you have two options to choose from, virtual gift card and the plastic gift card.
Like its name suggests, the virtual cards are sent via Email and they can be redeemed online. AA also allows you to customize the E-card by selecting the background image and typing in the message. Now, because it’s all virtual, there is no shipping cost. Once you order the e-card, the confirmation Email arrives immediately and the gift card is ready to be used within the next 72 hours. The virtual card serves as the only option for people who are in a hurry to buy and redeem an airline gift card.
If you want a plastic gift card, you would have to pay a shipping fee. While you can type in a message you don’t get the option select the background. You have to settle for a blue plastic gift card with a picture an American Airline aircraft. Now, because these are physical cards, these are much more appropriate for surprise gifting.
The Fine Print:
- AA Gift Cards Have No Expiry Dates.
- Gift Cards Are for One Time Use Only and Thus Cannot Be Reloaded.
- Buyers Can Pick Any Denominations Between $50 to $1,500.
- AA Gift Cards Cannot Be Redeemed at Airport Counters.
- Additional Fees Such as Baggage Fees Cannot Be Paid Using AA Gift Cards.
- The Unused Amount in the Gift Card After Buying a Ticket Will Be Available for Redemption for Future Purchases till the Amount Reaches Zero.
- Lost or Stolen Cards May Be Replaced, in Which Case, a $25 Replacement Fees Is Charged.
Delta Air Lines: Much like AA, Delta offers both egift cards and plastic gift cards. While the ecard is emailed immediately and is ready to be redeemed within 72 hours, the plastic card is shipped via UPS. Standard shipping, which delivers the card within 3 to 4 days cost $5.95, irrespective of the card value. Rush shipping costs $14.95, which promises delivery within 3 days. Apart from adding a 200-character personal message, there is no customization options available for Delta gift cards.
The Fine Print:
- Delta Gift Cards Do Not Have an Expiry Date.
- Delta Gift Cards Can Be Redeemed at Airport Counters, Delta.Com, and by Phone Reservation.
- Gift Cards Cannot Be Used for In-Flight Purchases or for Paying Baggage Fees.
- The Gift Card Value Must Be a Multiple of 5 and Be Between $50 to $1000.
- There Is No Option for Getting Replacements for Lost or Stolen Cards.
- Gift Cards Can Be Used to Pay the Airfare Portion of the Delta Vacation Packages.
- Card Remains Valid as Long as There Is Balance with No Option for Reloading.
Southwest Airlines: Much like the other two on our list, buyers can order an ecard or get a plastic card via mail. The ecard is sent to the recipient’s email address within 12 hours, faster than both AA and Delta. When ordering a plastic gift card, buyers can select between two options. Standard delivery fulfilled by USPS costs $2.95, which promises a doorstep delivery within 4 to 7 days. If you are in a hurry, you can also opt for the overnight delivery option by Federal Express, which costs $9.95. Incentivising you for spending more, Southwest Airlines waives the shipping fees if the total card value is $500 or more.
The Fine Print:
- Southwest Airline Gift Cards Have No Expiry Date.
- Buyers Can Pick Any Value from $10 to $1000.
- For Purchases More Than $1000, Buyers Need to Fill the Gift Card Order Form.
- Cards Can Be Redeemed Online, at Ticket Counters, or During Phone Reservations.
- Cards Can Be Reused and They Remain Active till the Balance Reaches Zero.
- Gift Cards Cannot Be Redeemed to Pay for Southwest Airline Vacation Packages.
- Baggage Fees and Other Additional Charges Cannot Be Paid Using Gift Cards.
Looking for the best way to earn miles and points quickly? Visit the "Credit Cards" drop down on the main menu bar above for the hottest deals! Want to learn more and stay up to date on the latest tips, tricks and deals? Join My Travel Tips Facebook Page! This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.