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pros and cons: comparison of various airline frequent flyer programs

pros and cons: comparison of various airline frequent flyer programs

Oct 29th, 2007, 03:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 303
pros and cons: comparison of various airline frequent flyer programs

it seems more commonplace in todays realm that many are obtaining their airline tickets via frequent flyer programs offered by various airline and/or credit card companies & banks.

i am with two programs currently: chase/southwest rapid rewards, and also discover card's "miles" program.

i was attracted to the miles program as it indicated that the miles never expire, and guarantees no blackout dates. however, it seems it can take some time in order to earn a round trip ticket.

the southwest program entails an annual fee of $59.00, but you earn 1 point for every one-way ticket that you buy on southwest. a round trip ticket is 2 points. if you earn 16 points in a 24 month period, you earn a free round trip ticket.

you can also 1 point for every $1,200 you spend., and while that initially seems like a staggering amount,.i have found it comes rather quickly if i channel all my purchases thru my credit card,.gasoline, food, even utilities and phone bills too.

one of my friends that is also on the program, bought a $1,500 diamond ring, and wasnt happy with it, so she returned it to the store for a refund, and they gave her a cash refund,..so as you guessed it,.she got a free airline point with southwest.

i think that with todays ever soaring fuel costs, its a no brainer to go with a frequent flyer program..especially if you know you will be traveling. i also believe that it wise to recieve some sort of benefit or compensation from a credit card company and/or bank for making your basic day-to-day purchases.
mireaux7 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,586
I think you need to watch out those airline cards with the high fees - unless you spend a lot of $$. You have to add the annual fee to the price of the "free" ticket.

I kept hearing about benefits of a card (and OMG it's name escapes me right now) where there is no blackouts and you can fly any airline. But -- the amount of points is determined by the price of the ticket. And you need a lot more "points" than you do "mileage points" in a traditional plan (i.e. one through an airline credit card).

We have ours through USAir b/c they are the predominant carrier out of our airport. But my grocery store awards United miles, and very slowly, those 125 miles add up over many years.

I have a USAir credit card, but I'm going to cancel it as soon as the annual charge starts (it was free for the first two years).
karens is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,751
Capitol One (is that the card you're thinking of)?
suze is online now  
Oct 29th, 2007, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,523
I think self-education is the starting point.

Gardyloo is online now  
Oct 29th, 2007, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
We have the AMEX Delta Skymiles and the Southwest Visa. We also use the Priority Card Visa for hotel rooms. I'm pretty much through with AMEX. Delta's DFF program is not good, IMO. However, we've earned a slew of tickets on SW. I paid both kids' braces and then got a free companion pass for my husband. Plus you can use the companion pass with a free ticket! AND they send you free drink coupons as well. I have used the priority club (ICH)points to stay for free in New York, Chicago,Lugano, San Francisco and several other locations.
LLindaC is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,813
The real question is, when spending your hard-earned money for your regular purchases, what is the best rate of return? If you can save more money with another kind of card or program, then you can still apply your savings to your future travel costs.

We have a Discover Gas Card that we use for all gas purchases, 5 percent back. Currently the regular Discover card is offering 5 percent off all dining.

We go to a Catholic school and participate in the "scrip" program. This gives us money off our tuition.

Thanks for the websites; I will look through them. I should crank through the numbers to see if I really am missing the boat -- or the plane -- by not having a FF card.
5alive is offline  
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