When you are choosing a travel credit card with rewards, you can often see promos like ‘earn 100,000 bonus miles’ or ‘get 80,000 bonus points’ for spending a certain amount of money within a given period. Such offers are attractive but the question is how many miles is a 100k? Is it enough to book an award flight?
To make the best choice, first of all, you should understand that there are two types of travel credit cards: airline co-branded credit cards (offered my major airlines) and regular travel rewards credit cards. Both types of cards offer the opportunity to earn miles or point rewards. Promotions often change with the season and may vary between different types of cards. So, let’s see what an average promo of 100k miles will get you.
If you choose airline credit card with a 100k bonus offer, it does not guarantee that you will get a round-trip award ticket. The reason is that the redemption options and required number of miles may vary depending on the airline you’d like to redeem, destination you choose (domestic or international), flight class you prefer (economy or business) and the ticket price. Also, some airlines collect additional fees and taxes when booking award travel and those 100k miles do not cover them.
If you choose a regular travel rewards credit card with 100k bonus offer, you know exactly how much it is in dollars. Usually the redemption ratio is easy to understand: 100 miles = $1. These types of cards are growing in popularity because of their simplicity and flexibility. For example, if you have the Discover it® Miles card and you have earned 100k miles, that means you have $1,000 that you can redeem for any travel expenses (including flights, cruises, car rentals and others). You can easily find any travel purchase in your credit card account and apply your miles to it.
So, when you find a travel credit card with 100k bonus offer, explore the offer details, find out redemption options and other conditions that can influence your future travel. Some issuers may set limits on the minimum number of miles you can redeem, sometimes earned rewards may expire. Knowing such things in advance will help you decide what card is good for you.