Best Deals from Airline Credit Cards
Airline credit cards, primarily aimed at a travelers’ convenience, are the result of collaboration between credit card companies and different airline companies. These are very popular reward cards and are a step further to frequent flyer cards. Frequent flyer cards can be airline sponsored or bank sponsored. Bank sponsored credit cards allow more flexibility, as the miles earned can be used on many airlines unlike airline-sponsored, which focuses on single airline. Apart from numerous incentives, transactions on airline credit card can add substantial savings for the cardholder.
Generally, for every dollar charged on the card, you earn one “point” which is equivalent to a travel mile. In addition, these cards can be used with a wide range of services like hotels, car rentals, car wash, and shopping malls. Purchases made and hence the accumulated points (once they reach the required level) can be redeemed for free travel miles for the next trip.
Who Should Go For An Airline Credit Card?
Airline credit cards are wise economic decisions only for those who:
* Have a good or excellent credit history
* Do not carry balance , in other words pay your monthly bill without any dues and on time
* Charge a lot to the card and use it for everthing
* Are flexible when it comes to redeeming the accumulated miles
Choosing the Right Airline Credit Card
A good airline credit card with wide compatibility functions helps to consolidate the benefits of 2 to 3 credit cards into one. The system of operation for these cards is no different from the normal credit cards. Some points to ponder in choosing the right card are:
Most of these cards have a high Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Typically, they tend to be 5-6% higher than the normal cards.
The annual fee for these cards is a main concern for the cardholders. In many cases, the annual fee paid is not relative to the rewards received. It is better to compare the fee for a number of cards, narrow the choices to the ones with moderate fees, and compare the rewards given on these cards to make the final decision.
The redemption criterion is a key factor in determining the right card. You should consider the blackout dates that are applicable for redeeming the frequent flyer miles. There could be an upper limit on the number of miles that can be accumulated and their validity. Some cards will let you convert accumulated points to cash. In addition, there can be more restrictions if the balance in not paid in full or if you are late with the payment.
Some airline credit cards will allow balance transfer at a lower interest rate. This shifting of balances could help in increasing the flyer miles on the card. With balance transfer, you can achieve the double benefits of accumulating more flyer miles and debt consolidation.
*Other lucrative services:
There are various other extra travel services offered by these airline credit cards. These include and are not restricted to discount on car rentals, travel insurance on purchases using your card, emergency cash withdrawal from the card while traveling and discounts in certain restaurants and shopping malls.
Airline Miles Credit Card
Another variant to the airline credit card is the airline miles credit card. As the name indicates, these cards accumulate miles per dollar spent. There are varieties of airline miles credit card each offering different terms and conditions on the airline miles per dollar spent. Hence, you need to check for the minimum number of air miles necessary for a free trip and the duration of validity of the accumulated miles.
With increased competition, many airline miles credit cards offer attractive incentives on sign up. These include additional bonus on first purchase, 0% APR for certain introductory period and on balance transfers.
Though these are attractive offers, you need to consider the cost of maintaining these cards after the initial offer period. Airline credit cards, especially airlines miles credit cards are a good buy only for those who are regular flyers, as these cards tend to have high interest rate, annual fees, and other fees.
In conclusion, as with any other card, you can reap good benefits only if you take time to read and research the fine print with the various offers. Careful search should give cards that offer low interest rates, no annual fees, more miles on dollar spent, and freedom to travel on any airline with no blackout dates. The best airline credit card is one that gives good value for money, in terms of accumulated miles and rewards.