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-   -   airline miles credit cards (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/airline-miles-credit-cards-816699/)

montereybob Dec 5th, 2009 06:11 AM

airline miles credit cards
 
Can anyone give a recommendation on a credit card that gives air miles that can be used on all airlines?

spirobulldog Dec 5th, 2009 06:20 AM

i don't have that, but I have several. Southwest accumulates much faster than the rest of them.

spirobulldog Dec 5th, 2009 06:21 AM

You might pose this question in the air travel forum as well

J62 Dec 5th, 2009 06:53 AM

There are two types of airline mile credit cards.

1. Those affiliated directly with an airline. These pay usually 1 mile per $. For AA it takes 25,000 miles for one domestic round trip.

2. Those that can be used on any airline, such as Capital One. I'm not sure of the specifics, but generally this is the way these work. You get one point for every $ spent. Then when you buy a ticket the credit card co will reimburse you, costing you one point for every $ of the ticket cost. A $250 round trip ticket will cost you the same 25,000 points. A $500 round trip will cost you 50,000 points.

I had one of these cards briefly long ago until I figured out that I couldn't get very far for 25,000 points - most flights I wanted to take would cost me 30,000 to 40,000 points, whereas with my AA miles I can fly anywhere in the 48 states for 25,000 miles.

The best current offer is actually the British Airways - Chase visa offer.

You get 50,000 BA miles with your first purchase, another 50,000 when you spend $3000 in 2mo, then if you spend $30,000 in one calendar year you get a 2fer coupon. You also get 1.25miles/$. So, depending on your spending rate in a little more than a year you can get 4 round trip tickets to much of Western Europe for the $75 annual fee.

1JAR Dec 5th, 2009 07:20 AM

American Express has best consistent "points" system over the years. They don't cover every airlne; enough tho and with airlines having code share partners etc, can make it work. No matter what I buy get points; recently had double point "Gold" card promotion for gas & groceries.
Since Vons/Safeway takes Am Ex, I linked my Vons bonus points to my AM EX card and get more points for United.
COSTCO has own AMEx card: I got one of first green corporate Costco business cards and have realy racked up the points.
Look to the right of the screen: AMEx is having a no annual fee Premier Rewards Gold Card offer right now.

I also have to say, AmEx far out beats any other Master Card, Visa for card disputes and fraud. No hassle. No kidding.

Depending on the card & the rental car (thru Intermediate SUV), you get automatic rental car insurence.

My corporate card allows my family in another state to have cards, good for long distance care giving for my DAd & brother: I get monthly itemized statements by card so I can monitor spending, tax statemetns by category at the end of the year, can review online, pay online. You can tell I am a very long term happy customer. BTW Customer service is excellent in an age of nonexistant CS.

Lastly, I do want to say, not all merchants take AmEx, but I have found that to be very, very few. you can nominate the business directly to Am Ex.

montereybob Dec 5th, 2009 07:42 AM

Thanks for the responses. That's a good point that awards in dollars will get you less than awards in roundtrip tix.

NeoPatrick Dec 5th, 2009 08:19 AM

So true. I accumulate AA miles like crazy -- more from credit card purchases, dining, etc, than I do from flights. When I get a $7000 round trip Business class to Europe for 100,000 miles (90,000 until recently) I realize it would take 700,000 miles on most of those other credit cards to get the same ticket -- if even possible to do so!

gail Dec 5th, 2009 09:58 AM

Agree with above posts. Get one affiliated with an airline that flies out of your airport to places you are likely to go - and then charge everything, as long as you are disciplined enough to keep track and pay it off each month. See if you have any really big expenses you can charge - we charge our kids college tuition and get a zillion miles that way.

rncheryl Dec 5th, 2009 10:39 AM

We have a Chase Southwest Visa that I use for everything: groceries, dry cleaning, etc. Southwest flies out of our home airport and goest pretty much everywhere we want to go to. I love Southwest! No charge for checked bags.

abram Dec 5th, 2009 02:37 PM

We use our bank's (M&I) credit card rewards program. I like that the points can be used on any airline and there are no blackout days or capacity controls. The downside is that 25,000 points is only good for a ticket costing up to $425--but I can pay the difference, which has worked for us.

spirobulldog Dec 6th, 2009 04:52 AM

18,000= roundtrip on southwest.

I find that to be a good reward card and GM reward card @ 5% is a good reward card. Most of the rest pay 1-3%. I have an expedia card that covers every airline with no blackout date, but it isn't that great. My dad has AA and he seems to like it. He took my wife, daughter, mom, and himself to Europe last year on it.

The thing with AA and Soutwest is that you should use it for a more expensive type trip. There is typically good prices to Vegas and Denver from where we fly out of, so I would never use it for those purchases. Instead somewhere that the price is high. The thing I don't like about Southwest is that you have to use it within a year.

TC Dec 7th, 2009 08:48 AM

I have had a AM EX gold card for years and years and year. So many years that I currently have a million miles in my account. Recently I was lured into getting the new Delta AM EX card. They offered lots of great perks for those of us who live in a Delta hub and only fly NW/Delta. Pretty quickly I learned that the new AM EX card was NOT the same as my old AM EX card. One is a "credit card" the other is not. The new one had a very low credit limit which AM EX would not raise even though I have a sterling record with them. My origianl has NO credit limit because technically its not a CREDIT card. I can charge as much as I like as long as its paid off in full at the end of each month. This low limit on the new "credit card" made it virtually useless in accumulating miles. We use our AM EX for everything -- and at this particular time we were buying lots of new applicances. My husband also uses it for all his business travel. With a low credit limit, we couldn't use it and pay it off each month fast enough to accumulate the promised bonus miles. I felt the whole thing was a bit of a scam. Luckily I hadn't cancelled my original AM EX gold card, so just went back to it and canceled the new one. My point is this....not all cards are alike - not even all AM EX cards - and some of the grand offers being made have little hooks in them that make mileage accumulation tricky.

spirobulldog Dec 7th, 2009 11:27 AM

I have 2 GM Cards. They don't even offer the same program on the older card that I have. They tried to talk me into converting it, but I kept it. It always amazes me when I tell people about credit card rewards(provided you pay your card off each month) and they always look at me like I am crazy. My sister n law still just doesn't get it. I actually feel like I make more using a credit card than I do with a savings account at the rates they are at right now.

mouseRD Dec 7th, 2009 12:01 PM

We, on the other hand, have had good success with the Delta AMEX Gold/Platinum, because it does meet our needs. We recently went to Hawaii first class using our points which took us a relatively short time to accumulate since we use our AMEX for most purchases. My husband also has a separate card just for his business & we were able to transfer points when we've needed a few for a small fee from his business card to our joint card. We pay off our balance when we get the bill or online, one can make a payment each day if so desired.

november_moon Dec 7th, 2009 12:09 PM

We have a Chase Visa for points with United. I fly a reasonable amount for work, so I accrue points from flying as well as for my purchases. I chose United initially because I worked for a company that always flew us United, but I have stuck with them because it works well for me - they fly out of my local airports and they or their partners fly where I want to go.

bigtyke Dec 9th, 2009 04:00 AM

I have an Alaska air visa, American mastercard, and southwest visa. I have used them all for flights and have had no trouble. The best thing is the opening offer which can quickly get you a free trip. The only problem with the Southwest card is that southwest has such good fares that i usually buy a ticket to my normal destination at their sale price and then hope that I want to go to somewhere with a more expensive fare later. I just read about the British AIr deal yesterday and am thinking of adding that card as well. iF they are going to practially give you a free trip, why not take it?


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