Credit Cards with Airline Miles

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UpstateNYPH
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Credit Cards with Airline Miles

Post by UpstateNYPH »

I apologize if a thread on this has been started before, I didnt find one while searching.

Does anyone here have any suggestions for credit cards with airline miles features?

I was thinking about the Continental World Mastercard because I fly Continental a lot (NYC area is one of their hubs).

The up side:
They are offering 21,000 bonus miles after your first purchase, two miles per dollar on continental flight purchases (and their skyteam partners), and one dollar for regular purchases.

The down side:
- I already have a world mastercard through USAA
- There is an annual fee of $85

So, I guess what I am looking for is a card with a boatload of bonus miles right off the bat, no annual fee, and easily accepted everywhere.

I know there are a lot of cards out there where you can redeem your miles on any airline, and I am open to those options as well. I am canceling two credit cards (where I get no perks and dont use them, so why keep them), and would like to get one where I can earn miles.

If I cant find anything else, I may just go with the Continental World Mastercard. 21,000 bonus miles after your first purchase is a pretty good deal. By mid-next year I would have enough for a free ticket.

What cards do you have, and why?
~Mike


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ScarletB
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Post by ScarletB »

I have a JetBlue AMEX card because they fly out of Burlington VT and it's easy. I earned my first 2 freebies pretty quickly because they gave me half of them just for getting the card. I use it for everything (and then pay it off of course) I'm halfway to another round trip ticket.
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UpstateNYPH
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Post by UpstateNYPH »

ScarletB wrote:I have a JetBlue AMEX card because they fly out of Burlington VT and it's easy. I earned my first 2 freebies pretty quickly because they gave me half of them just for getting the card. I use it for everything (and then pay it off of course) I'm halfway to another round trip ticket.
I used to fly jetblue quite often, but now their prices have shot up and their points expire after a year...I am a member though.
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Karin
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Post by Karin »

I have USAir Visa and MC, Marriott Visa and Amex. . but I travel enough to offset the cost of the cards (i.e. the points outweigh the annual fees).

The airline cards only make sense if you charge enough to get enough points for a free trip in two years. 3 years of annual fees is about what a flight would cost. (plus higher interest rates and late charges, so you don't want to carry a balance with these cards).

Also, you want to check with the airline to see if credit card points count towards activity on your miles. American's points will expire if you don't fly within 2 or 3 years. . regardless if you have a credit card.

I think hotel cards are a better deal. With all the cutbacks airlines are making, it is very difficult to use points to book a flight and most are charging $50 to $75 to book a flight using points. And those 'free' flights are usually the 6:00 a.m. 3 hour layover trips. . .the direct flights at good times are double the points.

I flew my parents to FL last year. . .100,000K miles. :roll: But it was free. . for them!

ScarletB
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Post by ScarletB »

UpstateNYPH wrote:
ScarletB wrote:I have a JetBlue AMEX card because they fly out of Burlington VT and it's easy. I earned my first 2 freebies pretty quickly because they gave me half of them just for getting the card. I use it for everything (and then pay it off of course) I'm halfway to another round trip ticket.
I used to fly jetblue quite often, but now their prices have shot up and their points expire after a year...I am a member though.
Continental and JetBlue are about the same here, AirTran wasn't even that much of a deal for MOTM - I guess because when you're a "middle of nowhere" airport you don't get much in the way of deals :D
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Post by flipflopgirl »

I have a Chase Mastercard DEBIT card...i got 25,000 miles for signing up, plus i get a mile for every dollar i spend with SIGNATURE purchases. Also when i order anything online i try to go thru Contintental's website. When i shop with then and order on Target's website i get 5 MILES for every dollar i spend PLUS one mile for every dollar if i use my debit card, not a bad deal! 8)
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Post by Skibo »

It seems every airline I have been on recently are offering a flight if you sign up for their card while on a flight. I'm happy with my two free flights a year on My AA mastercard. I won't split up my spending for another card.
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Post by spartan1979 »

We have a Southwest credit card. We end up getting 2-3 free tickets a year off it.

ScarletB
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Post by ScarletB »

Skibo wrote:It seems every airline I have been on recently are offering a flight if you sign up for their card while on a flight. I'm happy with my two free flights a year on My AA mastercard. I won't split up my spending for another card.
I get email offers from them all the time, unfortunately they don't fly out of here. :-?
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Post by phjrsaunt »

I don't fly much myself, but hope this may help:

my brother and his wife go to New Zealand twice a year. I'm not sure who issues the card, but it gets them miles on Delta. They buy EVERYTHING on the card, then pay it off each month. My dad got the same card, and assigns his miles to their air miles account.
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Post by pirate@43 »

I have US air & American cc witch get paid off every month I use the to pay bills on line then just pay the CC. They were offering the first year free. when the bill came for membership I called to cancel the card, they either waved the fee or cut it in half

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Post by TropicalTroubador »

I've done relatively well with my Delta AmEx up until now. I got two free airfares to MOTM in five years that way.

The downsides include:

- They'll screw with your flight schedule at least once after you book, usually to move you to a less convenient set of flights. The one year I was flying with another person, they moved us to different flights.

- Delta no longer has semi-convenient flights from Oakland to Ft. Lauderdale.

- Delta has just made it a whole lot harder to book frequent flyer seats, i.e. reducing the number of seats available at 25K miles (US internal), created a new, slightly more available class of seats at 60K miles, and raised the bar for any US seat on any flight to 90K miles (from 50K). Unrestricted seats to Europe are now 350K miles.

I just applied for a Southwest VISA card. And I'm flying them to MOTM this year. I may cancel the SkyMiles portion of my AmEx card and use the money saved to pay the Southwest VISA fees.
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Post by The Lost Manatee »

Karin wrote:
The airline cards only make sense if you charge enough to get enough points for a free trip in two years. 3 years of annual fees is about what a flight would cost. (plus higher interest rates and late charges, so you don't want to carry a balance with these cards).

Also, you want to check with the airline to see if credit card points count towards activity on your miles. American's points will expire if you don't fly within 2 or 3 years. . regardless if you have a credit card.


I flew my parents to FL last year. . .100,000K miles. :roll: But it was free. . for them!
Karin makes some great points however there is one mistake here, American Airlines miles don't expire if you don't fly in two or three years, they expire after 18 months of inactivity. This means that you have to be undertaking some action that keeps your account active. In my daughter's case, she buys songs from ITunes and gets two miles for every dollar spent. This is considered activity by American so each time she buys a song, the clock is reset.

If you don't pay on time and in full every month, then you don't want mileage cards as the interest and fees will more than offset the miles you got from the card.

Also, unless you travel extensively, it rarely makes good sense to chase miles since you frequently pay more to earn the miles than they are worth. This is becoming even more of the case as more airlines tack on fees to utilize the miles. For example, I called Delta to book some flights for a friend of mine who was traveling at the last moment due to an emergency and I got to pay $50.00 for the call and $100.00 for last minute booking fee, plus the airport security surcharges. Total for the free ticket was $160.00, hardly what you would call free but it got her home to see her father before he passed away for a lot less than the $1476.50 that the flight would have cost.

So be careful and be sure to read the fine print as that is where they get you.
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