Im still a bit new to this game, and I wanted to verify something.... From my understanding, to receive the benefits from the Airline Branded credit cards, you have to book your ticket with that card. If you do not, having the card does not give you the benefits (free checked bag, priority boarding, etc....) However, to receive the benefits from the Hotel Branded credit cards, you do not have to pay for the room with that card, as the benefits are built into the status itself. However, in most cases, you can earn bonus points by charging the hotel room to that branded credit card. Here is the reason I am asking.... I fly every other month or so from HSV. Due to the varying costs, I split my travel between American and Delta. I also use a corporate credit card. I just applied for and was approved for Hilton Citi Reserve card, mainly due to the gold status. I dont really churn, or at least I have not yet, but from my understanding, since I am not loyal to one airline, I should steer away from Airline Branded credit cards for more universal ones. Or am I missing something... Thanks.