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While many travelers are okay with disconnecting while flying — whether its because the Wi-Fi costs too much or they welcome the serenity — some need to stay connected due to work or personal reasons. You can often do this for free using passes you can get through credit cards or by buying discounted passes before your flight.
If you travel enough, however, you can pretty quickly justify paying for a monthly Gogo subscription rather than buying individual passes each time. I live on the road and am certainly one of these travelers. I started my Gogo monthly subscription in May 2018 and have written countless articles on Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft.
Recently, I wondered if I was getting the maximum return when paying my monthly Gogo bill. So, over the past few months, I’ve tested out various credit cards to see how the purchase codes on each. Here’s what I found:
Cards Earning a Bonus
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card: 5% cash back — or 5x Ultimate Rewards points if you have an Ultimate Rewards-earning card
One of my first credit cards when joining the points and miles community was Chase’s Ink Plus business credit card — which I ended up downgrading to the no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash Credit Card. Ever since, this card has earned its place in my wallet with 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at “office supply stores and on internet, cable, cellular phone and landline services” each account anniversary year.
That’s a pretty broad definition for a bonus category, but I wasn’t sure if Gogo would count as an internet or cable provider for the sake of this bonus. So, I switched my Gogo subscription payment card to the Ink Business Cash in April. Sure enough, I earned 5x — or 249.75 points for the $49.95 purchase:
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: 3x Ultimate Rewards points
For May, I switched to Katie’s Ink Business Preferred. We recently got this card as it earns 3x on a number of categories: travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year). As it earned 3x on Points.com purchases, we previously recommended this card to use when buying points; unfortunately, these purchases no longer code as 3x.
However, we were especially optimistic that Gogo would code as 3x after getting a positive result on the Ink Cash. And we were right to be optimistic. The purchase coded as 3x:
Cards Not Earning a Bonus
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard: 25% discount + 1x American Airlines mile
One of the perks of the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select is “25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi purchases.” I have gotten this discount on numerous Panasonic-equipped American Airlines flights, where my Gogo subscription can’t be used.
However, I wasn’t sure if this discount would apply toward a Gogo monthly subscription. So, I switched my payment card to this for my June payment. While it took almost a month to post, the 25% rebate successfully came through:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1x Ultimate Rewards points
While it was a long shot, I figured I might as well try the Chase Sapphire Reserve on the off chance that the Gogo subscription would code as travel. It did not. Sadly, I only earned 1x Ultimate Rewards points on the purchase.
- Iberia Visa Signature Card: 1x Iberia Avios
I signed up for this card right when it came out in March 2018, and I still needed a bit more spending toward the 25,000-Avios bonus for spending a total of $10,000 in the first year. So, I charged my February and March payments to this card. I only expected to earn 1x Avios per dollar spent on the purchases, and that’s just what I got.
Which Card to Use
Combining our test results with TPG valuations, let’s show the definitive winners:
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard: 26.4% (25% statement credit + 1x American Airlines miles valued at 1.4 cents per mile)
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card: 10% when combined an Ultimate Rewards-earning card (5% cash back converted to Ultimate Rewards points valued at 2.0 cents per point)
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: 6% (3x Ultimate Rewards points valued at 2.0 cents per point)
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card: 5% cash back without an Ultimate Rewards-earning card
- The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express: 4% (2x Membership Rewards points on all purchases on the first $50,000 per year (then 1x), valued at 2.0 cents per point)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: 3% when combined an Ultimate Rewards-earning card (1.5% cash back converted to Ultimate Rewards points valued at 2.0 cents per point)
The definitive winner here is the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select. While 5x points earning on the Ink Cash is great, getting a statement credit of 25% of the subscription cost can’t be beat by the Ink Cash’s 10% return. Interestingly, the top five cards are all business cards. So, you might be happy to read that the bar for getting a business card isn’t as high as you might think.
Those are all of the cards that I’ve thought of testing. Are there any other cards that you think might earn a bonus or a discount that I should try?
Know before you go.
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CURRENT WELCOME BONUS: 60,000 Miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $840*
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2x miles on AA purchases plus 2x miles at gas stations and at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers and car rental merchants. Get your first checked bag free.
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Designed for businesses
- Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases in first 3 months of account opening
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line*
- 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card*
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations*
- Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees*