Credit Card Air Miles

Jul 15th, 2003, 11:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 152
Credit Card Air Miles

Alright someone here should be able to help me. I've been thinking about switching my current credit card for one that offers miles. My only requirement is that the annual fee is not much. Does anybody have any advice for picking one or could you tell me what you like and don't like about yours? Thanks!!!
Jibboo is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I have the Delta American Express Gold Card. Fee is $85 a year and the first year is free. It is supposed to be one mile for every dollar you spend, but they give double miles for just about everything. We use it for all vacations, large purchases that will be for paid from savings, gas, groceries, etc. I earn enough miles every year for at least one free ticket. That basically means I'm paying $85 for a ticket to anywhere. Just make sure you pay it off every month because the interest rate is high.
richbutnot is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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We use the platinum Amex, the annual fee is a little higher than the gold, but you get double miles on everything, not just gas, groceries, and home improvement like the gold card (we had that one first. Also after teh first year we get a free companion ticket, we have earned enough for 2 Hawaii tickets!

(I have to agree about paying it off, also note that not everywhere (but most)places accept AmEX)

Carib_Ruby is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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There are web sites that compare all the costs and perks of flyer card. can't remember them but do a search and you'll find sites devoted to this.
Jacko is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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We use a Capital One credit card that gives us frequent flyer miles. It costs $19/year and you can use it on any airline. We also have a Citibank American Airlines card that costs $50-75 per year. The Citibank card has lower mileage requirements than the Capital One card.

We use the cards for business and personal use and accumulate over 100,000 miles per year --- not bad for $75!

Check this website --- for more information on frequent flyer programs. We live in a rural area and only have a few airlines to pick from when we fly, so that limits our choices.

Good luck and happy traveling.
ozres is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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I have a Citbank AAdvantage card which allows me to earn 1 American Airlines mile for every dollar I spend. The annual fee is $50, but at the end of a year when combined with the miles that I have earned from traveling, I have enough for one free coach ticket in the continental U.S. That' not a bad return on investment for a $50 annual fee.

In choosing a card you should consider which airport you are flying out of and which destinations you go to most frequently. Fro example, if you live in Atlanta, probably Delta will be the card for you since that is their hub.
Watson is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 02:50 PM
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In choosing a card, you should first decide if you want to concentrate your mileage accumulation on one airline or if you prefer a program that can be transferred to many airlines. What airlines serve your home airport, where would you like to use your miles (what destination), what ff accounts do you already have with balances?

Also there are two basic kinds of mileage earning cards. One that accrues miles which can be transferred or are automatically transferred into ff programs, and therefore can be combined with miles you already have or expect to earn while flying, etc. Then there are cards which purchase tickets for you on any airline based on x number of miles with a maximum cap on the dollar value of the ticket. I MUCH prefer the first kind because I can combine my credit card miles with my flight miles and get free tickets faster. But many others have said that the second kind works well for them too. It depends on how much non-credit card mileage earning you expect.

I have several mileage earning cards that I carry and like for different reasons. For a card with a very low annual fee and the ability to transfer to multiple airline programs, take a look at the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card. It's fee free the first year and $30 annually thereafter. Points are automatically deposited into the Starwood frequent guest program but can be transferred to a number of airlines on a 1 point to 1 mile basis (with the exception of UA which is 2 points to 1 mile - I wouldn't get this card if you want to transfer mostly to UA). If you transfer points in 20,000 increments, you get a 5,000 point bonus. One downside is the transfer time from the Starwood account into the ff account can take 2-4 weeks. Another possible downside is that Amex credit card products (not to be confused with their charge cards) tend to start you off with stingy credit limits. Here's a list of airlines that you can transfer points to:

Once you have it narrowed down to a few possibilities, you can go to to search/read specific comments about a particular mileage earning card.
Patty is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Thanks for all the input to this thread. I'm completely frustrated with my AA Citibank credit card. I get most of my miles on the credit card but I also have an AA frequent flyer account. AA won't let me combine the accounts for mileage and, recently, although I have sufficient miles, I haven't been able to buy coach tickets or an upgrade with my miles even four months in advance. I'm going to Italy in August and I was forced to buy coach tickets in March and am still waiting to see if I'll be eligible for an upgrade. I'll investigate other kinds of cards and see if I can do better. I'm not sure if the problem is just AA or if other airlines are similarly difficult.
JeannetteC is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Upgrade seats to Europe are generally difficult to come by and especially so during high season. I'm a little confused though, if it's an AA Citibank card, why your credit card spending miles aren't deposited into your AAdvantage account?
Patty is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 04:55 PM
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Patty is right. As long as you have an American Airlines Citibank AAdvantage credit card, the miles earned on the card are automatically applied to your AAdvantage account and combined with the miles you earn by traveling to be used for award tickets. The only difference with the miles from the card is that they cannot be applied to achieve tier status levels such as Gold, Platinum, or Executive Platinum.
Watson_ is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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I've used a Delta/American Express Card for several years, recently upgraded to gold level. With it, I've redeemed two tickets to Paris and multiple short-notice trips within the US (last-minute tickets for family emergencies). Today I was able to book two tickets to Montreal in September, which would've cost me $400 each, and I'm planning to use miles for a trip to Italy next year. And just this month, although I had higher-than-normal expenses, with the double-miles on everything promotion, I've earned nearly nearly another ticket -- not bad for stuff I would've bought anyway.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get miles on tickets I earn with award miles!
Pittsburgher is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 06:16 PM
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I also use the citibank AAdvantage card.Its true that you have to book way in advance. I just had to book now for next April to LAX, and already the most desirable non-stop flights were taken.
jd is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 08:09 PM
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I too am confused why AA credita card will not let you "combine" - my dollars spent/points are automatically deposited in airline account and show up every month on my airline account - only way this would make sense if it is a daul name credit card, such as spouse, and they are going into account of other name on card - then you could not combine since it is 2 different account.
gail is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 04:33 AM
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You might also use the Idine program to get miles. You can use any credit card. I am signed up through American Airlines, but several others offer it as well.

You sign up the credit card(s) you use when you eat out, go to a restaurant and use the card when you pay. At most restaurants in the program, you get 10 miles for every dollar spent, the first time you use the card each month. Up to $600. The waiter doesn't even know you did it.

Some restaurants have days of the week (fx: Friday & Saturday) when it doesn't apply. Some give a different number of miles (from 5-20). Some are good as many times as you go, up to the $600 dollar limit.

It includes everything you put on the card, tax, tip, gift certificate, etc.

In the KC metro area there are about 150 restaurants and many are ones I already used.

This program is free. Idine also has an option where you get a cash refund, but you pay to be in that one.

Keith is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 06:56 AM
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AA says that my husband and I each have separate AA accounts for the air miles we actually fly. Then, we have the credit card account that's in both names. They gave us a separate account for that and they won't let us combine the miles in the three accounts. Last year, my credit card was short 10,000 miles for a roundtrip and, rather than let us use 10,000 miles in another account, they made us buy the extra miles. I have the most miles in my AA non-credit card account so I even tried to get them to change the credit card to just my name but they wouldn't. It's just a headache to deal with this.
JeannetteC is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 07:01 AM
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We have a citibank AA card and a Marriotts Reward Visa. Our daughter's college accepted credit card payment for tuition, room & board so we "made out with points" enabling us to travel first class to Europe and Hawaii. Marriott points are good toward staying free in any marriott or airline awards. We each have our own AA card, amassing our own airmiles, we share a joing account for the marriott rewards (that way we can each build up the individual airmiles w/ AA, but of course, use the marriott miles together since we stay in the same room). The marriott points will let you get two separate airline tickets.
dolciani is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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If I were you I would only have the crediot card in one name, so that any miles earned with it will go into oneof your accounts. My parents each have an AAdbvantage account however, the Citibank credit card is only in my Mom's name. The credit card miles are combined with the miles she earns from travel into her AAdvantage account.
Tobson is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 07:34 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 152
So now I have even more questions.

Is there normally a time limit you have to use your miles in?

What cards offer miles for a variety of airlines?

Do miles count towards int'l fares?

I won't be accuring miles from any where else but my credit card. But the reason I'm starting to think about it, is to save up for my honeymoon.
Jibboo is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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1. Most airline miles do not expire as long as you have regular activity on your card, traveling, car rental, hotel, etc. In the case of American Airlines you need to have activity at least once every three years so that the miles do not expire.

2. This site has some information on different travel reward cards. The main disadvantage with them is that you cannot combine miles earned with the card with miles earned from travel, car rental, or hotel stays for a free ticket. Therefore, it's better to find an airline which suits your needs best and get a card with them.

3. Yes, miles count toward international fares.
Tobson is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 70
We use American Express membership rewards. We have the regular green card so we pay about $100 per year for both cards. I like it because you can transfer your points to alot of airlines frequent flier programs. 1 point = 1 mile. Then you just cash them in with the airline for tickets or upgrades. They have alot of parter airlines like US Air, Continental, Delta, Air France, British Airways, & many more.
The downside is the cost per year. However, if you use the card alot, the downside disappears. We got TWO First Class tickets from New York to Hawaii on Continental for 120,000 points/miles. We spend at least $40,000 on the card per year so it basically cost us $300 for those 2 tickets, which was a STEAL!
If you won't use the card that much, the cost would probably cancel the benefits.
The other plus is there's no interest because you pay the balance in full every month, which also means you can't get yourself into debt.
Alexis823 is offline  

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