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For many air travelers, not having access to Wi-Fi is like suffocation. While most travelers would prefer not to have to pay for it, many do, utilizing companies like Boingo and Gogo that provide mobile access for wireless-enabled devices.
The most die-hard business travelers love these services because they can expense the fees to their companies. However, for other travelers, the fees can make them a bit queasy. Fortunately, there is a way to access these wireless services for free. All it takes is the right credit card.
What Exactly Are Boingo and Gogo?
Boingo and Gogo are at the leading edge of a growing segment of the wireless communications industry offering universal access to Wi-Fi wherever and whenever it is needed. For $39 a month, Boingo provides 2,000 minutes of access in hundreds of airports and other public locations. For $16 a day or $60 a month, Gogo enables air passengers to connect to Wi-Fi at 30,000 feet.
Credit Cards Offering Free Access to Boingo or Gogo
While the fees for these services aren’t horrendous, they might just be high enough to make many travelers forgo Wi-Fi for the few hours they are on a plane. However, if those travelers use the right credit card, a top card perk can be WiFi access by just paying the annual fee on their card. So, if they are already getting good value from your credit card, it ends up costing them nothing.
Several credit cards now offer free access to Boingo or Gogo, and the list is growing. We found the following credit cards that include free access on a limited or unlimited basis.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card from American Express provides cardholders with a monthly pass for complimentary, unlimited access to the Boingo preferred plan. That translates as access to one million hotspots worldwide on up to four devices.
Platinum cardholders also receive complimentary airport lounge access, up to $200 towards Uber rides each year, $100 reimbursement for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, as well as a $200 airline fee credit. At 5X Membership Rewards points for flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, it is one of the richest rewards programs around. You just need to figure out if these benefits are worth the $550 annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
In addition to unlimited access to the Boingo preferred plan, Business Platinum cardholders receive 10 flight passes each year with a total value of $160. For a $595 annual fee, Business Platinum cardholders also receive complimentary airport lounge access, $200 airline fee credit each year, and 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa
The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa is the latest card to get on the Gogo train. Cardholders are now eligible to receive 12 Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes each year. Each pass is good for up to 12 months. You pay no annual fee for the first year and then just $49 thereafter.
For a no-annual-fee rewards card, the FlexPerks Travel Reward Visa card offers a very attractive rewards structure. You earn one FlexPoint per dollar spent on all eligible purchases and double FlexPoints on gas, grocery stores, cell phone service, and airlines. Points can be redeemed for travel on more than 150 airlines with no blackout dates, or for merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits.