AeroMexico Visa Secured Card: Rebuild Your Credit While You Travel

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 29 August 2017. 0 comments

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One of the disadvantages of using secured credit cards for rebuilding or building credit is that they often carry high fees and APRs, and rarely provide any extra benefits or rewards. It is especially rare for a secured card to offer a rewards program.

U.S. Bank, however, offers the AeroMexico Visa® Secured Card, which allows you to rebuild your credit and earn rewards for purchases made with the card that can be redeemed for award flights with AeroMexico and its partners. This is one of the few secured cards that offer travel rewards. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit)

Some Card Highlights

  • Companion Certificate upon approval
  • 5,000 bonus miles when you use your card the first time
  • Double miles on gas and groceries
  • $99 companion certificate with renewal each year

How This Card Works

You are required to make a security deposit of at least $300, which is held in an interest bearing account with U.S. Bank. When you are approved, you receive a credit card with a limit in the amount of the security deposit, and are able to use your card as you would any credit card. Your account activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus, which helps to establish a positive credit rating. If you manage your account responsibly for 12 months, you may qualify for an unsecured card.

You can earn two Club Premier miles for each dollar spent on gasoline and groceries and one mile for each dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn an unlimited number of miles, but they will expire if you don't fly AeroMexico every 24 months. New cardholders qualify for a 5,000 mile bonus after you pay your annual fee or use your card.

Upon approval, you will receive a complimentary Companion Certificate valid for round-trip travel from the United States to Mexico on Aeromexico. Additionally, you get a $99 Companion Certificate every year upon renewal.

You can redeem your miles for AeroMexico and AeroMexico Connect flights, or with SkyTeam member airlines such as Delta, Air France, and Korea Air. A round-trip flight within Mexico starts at 32,000 KmPs or 20,000 miles, with 1.6 KmPs equaling one mile. Round-trip flights from Mexico to the U.S. start at 35,000 miles (56,000 KmPs) or 17,500 miles one-way. Miles can also be redeemed for merchandise through the online store, donations toward causes, and premier experiences such as tickets to Disney on Ice.

Costs

  • $0 intro fee for the first 12 months, after that $25.
  • 23.99% Variable APR
  • 2%-3% Foreign Transaction Fee 

Pros

First time bonus. Secured credit cards rarely offer bonuses. Plus, when you are approved for the card, you receive a companion certificate which can be used for a companion traveling on the same itinerary. 

Earn rewards on everyday purchases. You can earn double miles on gasoline and grocery purchases, without any caps or limitations. These are two commonly used spending categories, often with limits to the amount of miles or points you can earn within the calendar year or per quarter. Because secured cards generally only provide the basics, there are very few (if any) outside of the U.S. Bank line which allow you to earn unlimited miles on gasoline and grocery store purchases.

Interest bearing deposit. The security deposit is held in an interest bearing savings account so that when you close your account, you can receive a refund that has learned a little extra. Not all secured credit cards allow you to earn interest on your deposit; in fact, U.S. Bank secured cards are among the few. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards that Pay Interest on Deposit)

Graduation to unsecured. Your account is reviewed periodically and after managing your account responsibly for 12 months, you may qualify for an unsecured card. This is also not always an option with secured cards, which places you in a position of either keeping the secured card indefinitely, even after you have repaired your credit, or cancelling the card at some point and losing any aging benefits the card may have added to your credit score.

Companion certificates. You receive a companion certificate when you are approved for the card and then each year after you pay your annual fee. You are responsible for taxes, fees, and surcharges on the companion ticket. Even with the fees, the companion certificate can more than cover the annual fee of $25.

Cons

High APR. Like many other rewards cards, the APR is higher. This is less of a concern if you are diligent in paying your balance in full each month, which is recommended with all rewards cards, but if you carry a balance, you should use a card with a lower APR. (See also: Best Secured Cards with Low APRs)

Expiration. The miles expire if you don’t travel with AeroMexico every 24 months, and the companion certificates expire 12 months after the date they are issued. If you don't travel frequently with AeroMexico, you aren't going to be able to use the most valuable perks of the card.

Only redeem for airfare. Although you can redeem your miles for merchandise and charitable donations, the best value is when you redeem for airfare. If you don't fly often, you won't have many opportunities to redeem your miles for useable rewards.

Foreign transaction fee. If you use your card for foreign purchases, you are going to pay a fee of at least 2%, depending on whether the purchase is made in foreign or U.S. currency. This is going to decrease the value of any rewards earned with the credit card. If you travel frequently outside of the U.S., it is best to use cards without foreign transaction fees. (See also: Secured Credit Cards with no Foreign Fees)

Who This Card Is Best For

The AeroMexico Visa Secured Card is best for those who are in the process of building or rebuilding credit, use their card primarily for gasoline and grocery store purchases, and want to earn rewards on those purchases. It is also best if you travel AeroMexico frequently, yet are diligent in paying your balances in full each month in order to avoid paying the high interest rate.

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