If you enjoy traveling, then you have most likely noticed that the cost of airline flights has continued to rise. There are many factors that have contributed to the cost of air travel such as revamping older aircraft, the increased cost of fuel and new regulations.
But the bottom line is that travelers are forced to pay more if they want to fly. In an effort to help keep the cost of flights more reasonable, many consumers are turning their attention to airline credit cards and how to best use them to reduce the cost of flights.
If you are shopping for an airline credit card then you will want to be sure that you are learning about the best credit card to get miles and seeing which airlines will best meet your needs for affordable flights.
The Southwest Advantages
Most consumer’s biggest complaint about airline miles is that they are hard to use. In many cases you can only purchase certain seats or book certain flights with your miles. But the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card uses a system which makes the miles worth actual dollars towards flights. So you don’t need to worry about all of the seats allocated to be sold for miles being sold out. You can use your miles on any flight and for any seat that you select. This means that you will never get an extremely cheap seat as a promotion with miles but it also promises that you will always be able to use your miles on any flight that is not sold out. You get 2 points per dollar on each dollar spent with Southwest and 1 point per dollar spent anywhere else. You will also get an anniversary bonus of 3000 each year.
Alaska Air Offers Great Partner Bonuses
The Alaska Air Visa Signature credit card is a favorite of many travelers simply because they partner with some other great airlines. Since their merger, the points can be used on Virgin flights and a first class seat costs only 25,000 miles. In addition, if you fly on Alaska Airlines you get a free checked bag and can add up to six companions on your reservation which allows you to use the $99 companion fare. This can make travelling as a family much more affordable.
A Blue Ribbon for JetBlue
JetBlue’s TrueBlue frequent flyer program features fixed-value points that can be redeemed for any seat on any flight. But along with that you can use their credit card and get 10% of your points refunded back to you. There is no cap on the amount of points that you can use or that will be refunded to you each year. With their credit card you will also get 2x the points for all purchases at restaurants and grocery stores as well as 6x the points when you purchase flights with JetBlue. These multipliers on everyday purchases plus the huge multiplier on the flight purchases make it easy for you to rack up a great point total that you can use for free seats.
United Offers International Perks
United is a member of the Star Alliance so their miles can be used on rewards for many great international partner airlines. Another benefit which is rather unique is that cardholders get access to additional award space on United flights. These seats are a special bonus to only cardholders so you can only learn about them if you log into your frequent flier account and are a cardholder. This gives you access to more awards than people who do not have the credit card. You will also get a free checked bag when you purchase a seat on a United flight with your credit card and priority boarding. The free checked bag alone can be a savings of $50 or more for each flight that you book. And as a thank you bonus, each year at your cardmember anniversary you will receive two United Club passes to use during the year at any club that you choose.
Items to Look For
When you are researching the best credit cards to get miles, you will want to evaluate several criteria. First, you want to learn about how you earn points. Some cards only offer significant points on flight purchases but the best cards offer you bonus points on items that you will purchase every day. Bonuses on grocery store purchases, restaurants and fuel will add up much more quickly for the average consumer than just points earned on airfare.
Second, you want to learn how you can spend your points. Some airlines only allot a few seats on each flight which can be sold at a discounted rate to travelers who wish to pay with miles. You want to find a card which offers points that can be used on any flight and on any seat that you select. Other airlines only offer points purchases on their flights but the best cards offer you the ability to purchase seats on their flights or on a partner airline.
These two items are important because they ensure that you will be able to purchase the flight you want and the seat you want as well as going to a destination that you want. Points are not very useful if they are hard to use or only can be used in a certain season or to a limited number of destinations.
You will also want to see if the cards offer any additional bonuses such as free passes to a lounge or free checked bags. These features can greatly add to the value of the card and to your level of enjoyment as you travel. Getting to relax in a private lounge or having priority boarding can help to reduce the stress of traveling, kind of like getting a title loan with no job.
Be sure that you completely understand all of the rewards and how to use the rewards before you determine the best credit card to get miles. Remember that the points or miles or other rewards are only useful if they meet your needs and fit into your travel plans.