How to Use Airline Credit Cards

Airline credit cards are some of the most popular options for consumers, today.  These enable you to earn free points that can be put towards airline tickets to a destination of your choice.  Simply purchasing qualifying items or spending specific amounts on your credit card automatically generates these points in your account.  There are many different types of credit cards available that will allow you to earn airline miles with your spending; however, choosing the right card can be somewhat confusing.

Not all airline credit cards are created equal.  For instance, not all cards pay the same amount of miles for the same purchase amounts.  In addition, not all cards have the same list of purchased items that qualify for airline miles. What should you look for when choosing amongst airline credit cards?  What makes one card better than another?  The card that you choose should ideally offer the following:

  • An introductory rate of 0% APR
  • A low interest rate following the introductory rate
  • A large list of qualifying items (to qualify for airline miles)
  • No expiration date for airline miles
  • No blackout dates or exception fees
  • No annual fee for card membership
  • Low priced qualifying purchase amounts
  • Points for purchasing airline tickets (without using existing points to do so)
  • Fraud protection in case your credit card is lost or stolen

The list of optimum inclusions goes on and on, but these are the most important items to consider when choosing among airline credit cards.  One of the most important areas (if you are getting the card specifically because of airline miles) is to ensure that the airline miles do not expire if you do not use them within a specific amount of time.  Some airline cards feature a 36-month mile expiration date, but this can be problematic if you do not travel often, or if you use your card so infrequently that miles buildup slowly.

Airline credit cards can be a tremendous asset to anyone who travels substantially.  This is particularly important for those traveling on business purposes, though it can also apply to those who enjoy lengthy family vacations or even those who simply love to fly when they travel.  Airline credit cards can be the key to flying frequently and flying free of charge, as well.  However, remember to exercise care when choosing your credit card.

March 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm


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