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When searching for a travel credit card, we often see credit cards with promo offers like ‘earn 30,000 bonus miles’ or ‘get 40,000 bonus points’. To get these promos you should meet spending requirements within a given number of months. But how many miles is 30k or 40k? Is it enough to book an award ticket?
Firstly, it is worth noting that there are two types of travel credit cards: airline co-branded credit cards and regular travel rewards credit cards. You can earn miles and points using both types of cards, though the promo offers may vary between two types of cards. Also, these promotions often change seasonally. Let’s take some average promo of 30k miles and see what it gets you.
An airline credit card with a 30k bonus miles offer does not mean that you will have enough miles to redeem for a round-trip reward ticket. You should take into consideration the redemption options and the number of miles required for destination you have chosen, flight class and the ticket price. On the other hand, traveling off-peak may be beneficial, as you may need less miles than during peak travel season.
When you have 30k miles on a regular travel rewards card, you can evaluate how much it is in dollar value. Such cards usually provide an easy to understand redemption rate: 100 miles = $1. If you have, for example, the Discover it® Miles credit card and you’ve earned 30k miles, that means that you’ve earned $300 and you can redeem them for your travel expenses. To do this, you should find any travel purchase in your credit card account and redeem miles in any amount toward your travel purchase.
So, when you see a travel credit card with 30k bonus offer, do not apply right away. There are number of details you should explore, like offer terms, redemption opportunities, limits, the minimum number of miles you can redeem, miles expiration and other things. Knowing such details can help you to choose the card that will work for you.