Which CC for Frequent Flier miles?

Aug 7th, 2006, 01:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 47
Which CC for Frequent Flier miles?

A bit off topic, but I found this board so helpful with planning our safari that I thought I would ask here.

Which credit card do you use to accrue your frequent filer miles? I would like to get one, but I have no idea where to start!

Any advice would be appreciated.

ruby_sage is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 323
I use Amex gold rewards. You can transfer your points to miles on different airlines. We do mostly Continental so it works for us.
dssxxxx is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Starwood Platinum Amex - great card - I've used the points for stays at Sheratons and you can transfer points to many, many airlines - more than you can with just standard Amex. Plus, you get a 5000 point bonus during transfers if you move 20000 points.

I also have a United Mileage Plus card for those places that don't take Amex.

In an attempt to keep this on topic: make sure whatever you pick, you can use the miles with airlines that fly to Africa. I've got a lot of miles with United, and up until recently, those miles didn't do me a lot of good in getting to Africa. South Africa Airways recently joined the Star Alliance, so now I've got some options.

Northwest (KLM) and British Airways are also very good in terms of flights to Africa.
lifelist is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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You may want to start by looking at the credit card options of whichever airline/alliance you fly most often. That way you can combine your credit card spending miles with flight miles for faster earning.

If you have a specific award destination in mind, you can research which carrier/alliance offers the best options of getting there and how many miles are required through different programs. But keep in mind by the time you earn enough miles to redeem an award, some of this may change - partner carriers may enter/leave programs, mileage requirements may go up, etc. You can visit the websites of various carriers to find out their award options and mileage requirements.

You can also decide whether you want an airline specific card or one where miles can be transferred to the frequent flyer programs of a number of airlines.

I have several mileage earning cards of both types, but primarily I use my Delta Skymiles Platinum Amex and my Gold Rewards Plus Amex charge card with Membership Rewards.

Miles from my Delta Amex get deposited directly into my Delta Skymiles account each month. I received a substantial sign up bonus for the card and there are frequent double and triple mile bonuses.

For my Gold charge card with Membership Rewards, the points are accrued in my Membership Rewards account until I decide where to transfer them so it offers the flexibility of not having "all your eggs in one basket". There are several airline transfer partners (including Delta) and occasionally transfer bonuses (anywhere from 15-25%) are offered. One additional benefit of the Gold Rewards Plus Amex is that I can borrow up to 10K miles per year. As far as I know, this benefit doesn't come with any other Amex charge card product, not even the Platinum card.

Keep in mind that most mileage earning cards have moderately high annual fees so you have to decide if you'll be earning enough miles through spending to make them worthwhile. I charge everything I can and use my miles for business class tickets, so I don't mind paying the annual fees on multiple cards.

The Starwood Amex is another good option that allows transfers to multiple airline programs and offers a 5K transfer bonus with every 20K miles transferred. It offers even more of a selection of programs than Membership Rewards. The only caveat is the transfer ratio to United is poor, so I wouldn't consider this card if you're primarily looking for UA miles. The annual fee for this card is only $30.

In addition to the above types of cards, there's an entirely different category of "mileage" earning cards that I call bank reward cards which aren't affiliated with any frequent flyer programs. I don't have any of these cards because a) their "miles" can't be combined with miles earned from flying and other activities and b) a business class option is not usually offered. An example would be the Capital One No Hassle Rewards card.

The advantage of a bank reward card is that your ticket is actually a revenue ticket not an award ticket, so you're not limited by the availability of award seats. The downside (aside from the factors I mentioned above) is that the number of miles required is normally a factor of the cost of your ticket. For example, if your program uses a multiplier of 100, then a $1500 ticket would cost 150K miles. With an airline frequent flyer program, you can usually get far better value for your miles, but you're limited by the availability of award seats.

Hope this helps.
Patty is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Patty, that's great information. You win the Fodorites airline guru award in my eyes!
CarlaM is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Sorry, try this Flyertalk thread instead...
Gardyloo is online now  
Oct 17th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Anyone have the advantages of the Black Amex Card?We had plat. and I am wondering about any major benefits?
lonestarcars is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Go to the American Express forum at Flyertalk.com and search "Centurion". You'll find lots of info on the black card.
Patty is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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lonestarcars is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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I missed this thread first time around, but Patty, thank you for the great info. I use Delta SkyMiles and like the fact of their double and triple miles. I also charge everything I can on the card.

I've been getting bombarded with offers from Capital One but never realized the disadvantages that you pointed out. I'm glad I didn't open an account.
panecott is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Another good website:

MisterAviator is offline  
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