Flying High with Free Air Miles

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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Travel with Credit Cards » Flying High with Free Air Miles

Flying High with Free Air Miles


Updated: December 26, 2012

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Credit card rewards are attractive incentives provided by the credit unions and banks, to promote the usage of their credit cards and to help you earn rewards for every dollar you spend. With a fierce competition everywhere, the incentives that these cards offer are multitude. Reward points, cash backs, free travel, Airline miles, hotel stay, the list is inexhaustible. Out of them, most popular is the airline miles reward program. Airline miles reward program offer you points in form of miles, every time you spend money using your credit card. You can redeem your earned miles every time you plan to travel. For example, if your ticket price is around $200 and you have accumulated more than 5000 miles in your reward plan, then you get to fly for free. If you are a frequent flier and you are looking to sign up for a credit card with this plan, you have two choices. This reward plan is offered both by bank owned credit cards and the air-miles credit cards which are owned by the airlines. Air-miles credit cards are usually owned by a single airline, so before signing up for them, consider the most prominent airline carrier in your region. Flights to and from your region are mostly controlled by that dominant airline, so redeeming your points will be a lesser hassle. However, the terms and conditions for an air-miles card must carefully be read and understood. Find out how the reward points are redeemable with other airlines, for instance, the partner carriers for these airlines and connecting flights for your destination. If you are planning for a destination that your airline does not operate to, then redeeming the reward miles may not be possible. Also, annual fee to sign up for airline owned cards are high. Some cards also require you to accumulate minimum reward points before you can redeem them. Analyze your travel pattern and find out how much you spend annually on travel. If the annual fee for the card is too high and you fly two to three times a year, then this might not be a good option for you. Bank owned credit cards are a more flexible option for frequent fliers. These cards have lesser restrictions on the airlines you choose and the reward points you redeem. Generally, banks have tie-ups with more than one airline carrier, so redeeming reward points even if you fly two different airlines should not be a problem. Bank owned cards also have a low limit on minimum points required to fly free. The unused miles in your account have expiration so be sure that you do not let the miles expire. Do not wait to use all the miles in your account at the same time. Instead try and see if you can divide them and use them up whenever you are flying. Some airlines offer merchandize on their frequent flier program in exchange of the unused miles. Using up your miles for merchandize is not a good idea as they are a lot more expensive when bought on your frequent flier program. Air miles reward program can reap benefits for you only when used correctly. Plan your travel and choose your card carefully to make the most of it.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products’ Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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