Earn Airline Miles
Credit Cards that Earn Airline Miles

When used wisely, credit cards that earn airline
miles can be a great way to save money. Savvy
consumers use them to get free airline tickets
for vacations or business trips.

How Airline Mile Programs Work

There are countless credit cards that offer airline
miles as rewards. Some are offered directly by an
airline. The miles for these cards are generally only
redeemable through that particular airline. Cards
offered through a bank usually offer more flexibility
as far as which airline you can use, though other
restrictions may apply.

Basically, for every dollar you charge on your card
you receive a certain amount of airline mile points.
The number of miles per dollar charged can vary from
one credit card to another, as does the number of
miles needed to earn a free ticket.

Potential Pitfalls

While airline credit card reward programs may sound
like a deal you can't lose, there are some downsides
you need to be aware of:

Some programs set an expiration date on the miles you
earn. If you don't use them in the allotted time you
forfeit them. This can make it tough for you to earn
enough miles for a free ticket if you use your credit
card sparingly.

Many airlines only reserve a handful of seats for
rewards earners, which can make it tough for you to
get a seat on board a crowded flight. Additionally,
there are usually blackout dates in which you can not
redeem your points for a free ticket. These blackout
dates are usually around the busiest times for travel,
meaning you may not be able to use your miles when
you need them the most.

Somebody has to pay g\for the flight!

Airline mile credit cards do not necessarily give you
the best deal. The interest rate is often higher than
regular credit cards so you'll end up paying more in
finance charges. Also, almost all airline credit cards
have annual fees. You must add that in when deciding
whether you can get the best deal with an airline miles
card or a regular credit card.

For example, let's say that it takes you 2 years to
build up enough miles to earn a free ticket valued at
$500. Also assume you maintain a balance of $2,000 in
that time.

If you use an airline miles card that charges 14.99%
interest and has a $75 annual fee it would have cost
you about $750 to earn a ticket that only cost $500.

On the other hand, if you had stuck with a regular
credit card with a lower interest rate of only 9.99%
and no annual fee, it would have cost you $400 in
finance charges.

In other words - Be careful

So you can see that while potentially valuable, an
credit card that offers an airline mile reward program
is not necessarily the best option. You must compare
all terms and fees related to different cards in order
to choose the best deal.

Ed Lathrop is a successful real estate investor and a series 3 commodities futures broker.
He has extensive knowledge of the credit/mortgage markets.  He has built the financial
calculator Website, ezcalculator which is free to use and includes the calculator, "Pay Your
Credit Card Debt Quick."  Ezcalculator can be found at Mortgage Calculator or by going to