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Which credit card offers the best frequent flyer miles?

Which credit card offers the best frequent flyer miles?

May 26th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Which credit card offers the best frequent flyer miles?

If one was to apply for a credit card that offers frequent flyer miles, which one performs the best or has the least amount of blackout day hassle?
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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I think the blackout date, etc are more a function of the airline not the credit card. From my experience Continental miles are impossible to use, but Delta and American are much better.
MFNYC is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I got an offer in the mail recently from Capital One that claims the miles are not airline specific and there are no blackout dates. Didn't look too closely at it, but found it interesting enough to shove to the bottom of the pile on my desk rather than the circular file.

I'm skeptical about Capital One, though . . . . strikes me as one of the companies where you make one payment 1 days late and you're hit with 26% interest. God forbid you ever need to carry a balance!
cantstayhome is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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We use Delta Skymiles (which is American Express). It have used it for years and it has served us well.
tcapp is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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American Express. We've used it for years -- Continental, Delta -- and the people at American Express couldn't be more helpful. They actually remember customer service. Also, we have had great luck with Continental. I like being able to book free tickets online rather than going through an agent.

Tried American Airlines card and just too many restrictions and annual fees attached.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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I just found this website to compare:

If anyone has a CC without blackout date restrictions I'd like to hear about it!

MFNYC is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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I just found this article that explains some of those good sounding deals (it mentieond the capital one card): http://www.cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/ADVIS...rds/index.html

MFNYC is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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With a new card for USAir, you get 1.5 miles for each $1 spent.

Have friend at gym who raves about capital one card, but recently read an article that the flights cannot exceed a certain $$ cost? Not sure if this is true, but would put me off it.

I will cancel my USAir card the moment they start charging me an annual fee (the first year is free). Most annual fees on airline credit cards are outrageously high.

karens is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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I have used my Amcn Express miles in conjunction with Cont'l and then converting them/combining them with Northwest. I just flew 3 people to CA from DTW with no problems. Over the last 10 years I have redeemed over 150,000 miles to hotels, air, and rental cars - no problems!
cfntmpn is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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MFNY - My Southwest Airlines Visa doesn't have blackout dates....
Austin is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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We use a credit card from our local bank--M&I--you can use the miles on any airline, and there are no blackout dates.

In September, I was able to book two tickets home for my son & DIL getting here the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and returning the Sunday after.

It's a regional bank, the largest in Wisconsin, with branches in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida and Arizona. it's one of the 50 largest banks in the US.
abram is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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We really like our Citibank AAdvantage platinum card.
mah1980 is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Our family of six are flying from the east coast to Hawaii for the forth time, (that includes two first class tickets for my husband and I) on our Delta Sky Miles. What can beat that? Double miles on gas, groceries and several bonus miles promotions per year in addition to idine Sky Rewards.
DawnCt is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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I have a Southwest Visa card, have used it many times. "Tickets" expire one year from accrual.

Also have a Capital One. Its true, any airline, no blackout dates. We flew to Dominican Republic at Easter, no problem. Only trouble, they won't raise my credit limit (even though I have excellent credit hx)
rncheryl is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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What city would you normally be flying out of?
joesorce is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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This is a frequently debated question and the answer is that it depends on the individual and how they want to use their FF miles.

For people looking for "free" tickets only, Capital One is probably the best deal. There are no black out dates and you can use their miles on any airline if there is a seat available for purchase.

However, the two major downsides to using a Capital One card are you cannot combine their miles with the miles you earn flying on an airline and they can't be used for upgrades. If a business class ticket to Europe cost $2,500, you would have to have 250,000 miles to buy it.

American Express Membership Rewards is a pretty good program. It allows you to transfer the miles you earn to several different airlines, but not all of them. You probably wouldn't want to use it if they don't include the airline you normally use.

If you fly a particular airline all the time from your home city, it is usually best to get one of their branded credit cards. The miles you earn with the card can be combined with the miles you earn flying. The miles earned can be used for either "free" tickets or for upgrades of purchased tickets.

Dollar for dollar, the most valuable use for FF miles is upgrading on long or international flights. The downside with airline FF miles is that there are blackout dates when they can't be used for "free" tickets and they are capacity controlled.

Recently, United Airlines Visa (offered by Chase Bank) has added a "Choices" program. Basically, you still can earn miles the old fashioned way, or you can use the miles in a similar fashion to that offered by Capitol One, although I do not believe the miles per purchase rate is as good as Capitol One's rate. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

One final note of caution, all of these cards carry very high interest rates and substantial penalties for late payments and exceeding credit lines. The best bet is to use them only if you timely pay off the balance in full every month.

If you are a person who carries a large balance, you would probably be better off to save your money with a lower interest rate card not affiliated with airline miles.
Travelermebe is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Amex gives you one point per dollar, but when you want to transfer it to an airline such as Delta, the Skymiles you get is only half the Membership Rewards points. http://linktrim.com/5td

The best card I found is the USAir Mastercard, which gives 1.5 FF points per dollar.

One drawback with the Capitol card (I believe) is that you can't get BC seats.
Jed is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Capital One card is great if you pay it off every month. As far as credit limit, we asked for an increase and were denied, but a few months later they increased it out of the blue. I have used miles for a trip to California and for a trip to England with no problems whatsoever. Their interest rates are high, though, so don't do this if you can't commit to paying it off each month!
gillybrit is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Citibank has a card where you accrue points, $1 per point; and the points may be used to purchase airline tickets. 25,000 points buys a ticket for up to $500 to/from anywhere. I have never had a problem booking tickets this way, just call them with my flights & within a couple of hours, print the e-tickets.
May 31st, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for the websites - very informative.

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