For seasoned travelers, airline credit cards are a positive and manageable way to earn discounts, deals, and even free flights. Airline credit cards are for frequent flyers who have a flexible travel schedule and can pay off their credit card bill each month. Since using air miles to travel can also affect your flight selection and availability, it is helpful to do a bit of research into which airlines you are eligible for before you sign up.
Is An Airline Credit Card Right For Me?
If you intend to use your credit card as a borrowing tool or a buffer between work checks, an airline credit card is probably not the best choice. Because these credit cards offer rewards for spending, their interest rates can be higher than normal. If you would like to maximise your airline credit card’s earning potential, avoid incurring interest charges by wiping your credit balance clean each month with a direct debit.
Who Offers Airline Credit Cards?
There are many credit card companies that offer airline deals, but the highest returning cards all seem to be with American Express. Comparing air miles programs can be a demanding task because only some companies include taxes in their miles. Most companies also have differing rules for spending and collecting their air miles. Finding the airline credit card this is right for you will depend heavily on how you spend and where you plan on going.
How it Works
Airline credit cards differ from frequent flyer programs in the way you can earn your miles. As a frequent flyer, you earn miles based on the distance you fly. With an air miles credit card, you earn miles every time you use it; at the grocery store, shopping online, even paying for your son or daughter’s mini golf birthday party can help you earn miles towards your next trip.
Many credit card programs offer a conversion ratio between how much you spend and how many miles you earn, but the more you use your card for everyday expenses, the more deals you can rack up. The main point of concern with any credit card, especially one that is meant to reward you, is that you ought to be able to spend only what you can afford to pay off each month. Over spend and your credit card company will charge you interest, putting all your air miles saving to waste.
Once you have earned a certain amount of miles, some airline credit cards offer companion tickets as an incentive to fly. This essentially lets you fly two passengers for the price of one. If you travel for work under another frequent flyer reward scheme and still purchase your flights using an air miles credit card, you can double your bonuses by earning miles on distance and the price of your flights!
Buying Extra Miles
If it is getting close to your takeoff, but you are still a few miles short of a bargain on the holiday you have been earning towards, you can buy extra air miles. The price you pay per mile depends on your credit card company, and there are restrictions on the number of miles you are allowed to purchase each year, but sometimes a few hundred miles can make a significant difference in the value of your travels.
How To Get The Most From Your Air Miles Program
First and foremost, using any airline credit card effectively starts with spending only what you can afford to pay back. Credit card companies earn the bulk of their profit through interest accrued via late payments and overdue balances; maximise your rewards instead and do not lose out by having to pay interest.
So long as you are spending wisely, you can quickly earn air miles. If your partner is not a dangerous shopaholic and you can trust him or her with your credit card, you can double your air miles earnings by making your partner a cardholder as well. If you would like to take advantage of a companion ticket, you may have to be strategic with your air miles spending. Often, it is wise to wait until you have earned your companion ticket before spending you air miles. In this way, you get to take someone along on your next flight without using any extra miles.
If you have a steady income and traveling is what you do best, using an airline credit card for daily spending is the way to experience the luxury of cheap flights.