Credit cards and airlines are battling for your business, luring you in with attractive ways to earn airline miles to make your next flight free. But, are airline miles programs they worth the annual fees?
Rewards from Credit Cards
Many credit cards now offer more flexibility to cardholders and allow them to use their points toward travel, cash back, or credits on their accounts. They’ve even sweetened the deal by providing for double or triple points on specific purchases. Be careful when booking travel with the bank’s online travel agency, you may be subject to extra fees and prohibited travel dates. Some cards allow you to purchase travel with your credit card on your own and apply a credit using your points to your statement. Look for cards that allow you to only use the number of points needed to cover the exact dollar charged for the airline ticket rather than one that gives you a predetermined range of dollars spent, you could lose up to 20,000 points!
Rewards from Airlines or Airline Credit Cards
Most airlines have their own frequent flier clubs and have also introduced their own branded credit cards in conjunction with their rewards program, giving you the opportunity to earn even more airline miles. The downside of airline miles awarded from an airline is that you can only use them with that specific airline and often there are restrictions on when and how they can be used and sometimes they expires. They will draw you in with large promotions, such as 40,000 points for enrolling plus cheap companion tickets, some as low as $99, like from US Airways. This is a good deal ONLY if you are flexible with your travel and the airline is a convenient choice with many travel destination options.
Using airline miles to pay for your next trip can be worth the hassle if you plan in advance and have some flexibility in your schedule. So, where are you going next for ‘free’?