Who Qualifies For Airline Miles Credit Cards?
People who travel frequently understand and enjoy the benefits of airline miles credit cards. The discounted or free flights that they get are well worth the fees that they are required to pay to be a part of the program. More and more people who do not fly frequently are also getting on board with airline credit card programs for the simple fact that they could use their miles to fund an upcoming trip or vacation.
With a reward of 1 point or mile for every dollar spent and a $0.01 -$0.25 cost per mile when being redeemed, should everyone take out an airline miles credit card? Aside from that the annual fees and the interest rates that you will have to pay if you don't pay off your balance on time. Who really qualifies for airline miles credit cards?
Calculate The Cost Of Annual Fees
Airline miles credit cards and most other reward type cards come with high annual fees. Expect to pay in the region of $79 - $200 in annual fees. Even if the fee is waived for the first year you still have to factor the annual fee into your choice of airline rewards cards. In order to benefit from paying that annual fee you will need to spend $7,900 and more throughout the entire year in order to break even. In some cases the bonus points that you will receive after your first purchase with the card could make up for the fee. Opportunities to earn double and triple rewards will also cut the required spending by one half or a third. The point is to calculate the cost of the annual fee and determine if it makes sense to get the card.
Check The Interest Rates
The interest rates on airline miles and other reward cards are higher than those for standard cards. Those miles that you plan to accumulate can be more than they're worth if you do not plan to pay off your balance monthly. Calculate and compare your interest charges versus the rewards that you receive and see if it makes sense for you to get this type of card.
Interest rates vary according to your credit score and if somehow you do qualify for the card with a less than desirable credit score then you will be paying even higher rates of interest. If this is the case then any miles or rewards that you earn on the card will only be eaten up by those finance charges. Maintain a low balance or better yet, pay off your balance to really reap the benefits of those rewards. If you can pay off your balance then go ahead and get the card!
Redeeming Your Miles
Some people let their miles sit for years before they get to an amount where it is possible to redeem. This is good if there are no expiration dates on the program that you joined. This way you can redeem your miles whenever you want to. Some programs do have expiration dates on the miles earned. They can also take back a portion of or all the miles if your default on the payments at any time. Another risk that consumers take with airline miles credit card programs is the possibility of the airline going bankrupt of termination of the program. This is another reason that it is sometimes best suited to people who travel frequently since it would increase the chances of the miles actually being used.
We recommend you check out the best airline miles credit card on the market.