Airline Miles Credit Cards Frequently Asked Questions

What is an airline miles credit card?

An Airline Miles Credit card gives card holders the opportunity to earn frequent flyer miles or rewards points whenever they travel or use the card to make every day purchases. The miles can then be redeemed to secure airline discounts, free or discounted accommodation at participating hotels or discounts at car rental agencies. Consumers have been using airline miles credit cards to save a lot of money on airline tickets and other travel related purchases.

How do I earn miles?

With your airline miles credit card you can earn miles whenever you use the card to make eligible purchases. From grocery shopping to paying your household bills you have the opportunity to earn 1 point for every dollar spent. Select lenders reward double or triple miles on travel related purchases up to a specified dollar amount. For instance you can double or triple your miles earnings by purchasing airline tickets, dining out, booking hotels or renting a car.

How do I redeem my miles?

How your miles can be redeemed depends largely on your provider. Typical modes of redemption include cashing in for free or discounted airline tickets, hotel stays or car rentals. Miles can also be used to pay for dining out, gift cards or in some cases to receive cash. Think carefully before you redeem since the value of your miles will be higher in some cases than for others.

Are there limits to the number of miles I can earn?

Again this all depends on the provider that you choose but most programs today do not have limits on the number of miles that their members can earn. This means that the more you use the card the more opportunities that you will be afforded to increase your points or miles.

What about expiration, do you have to worry that my miles will expire?

Some programs do have expiration dates while others don't. If you do not travel frequently or are accumulating miles in order to go on a special trip that is not in your immediate future you should look for a program that has no expiration period on the miles earned. Take note that inactive accounts or accounts where you default on payments usually result in loss of miles earned.

How do I know how much miles I have accumulated?

Most airline credit card statements will have a specific area allocated to the mile balance. Check your statement to see your miles balance. You should also be able to see what you have earned in your account online.

Are there blackout dates?

A lot of providers have eliminated blackout dates on airline miles programs and so you should look for programs that do not have them. Some programs might require advanced bookings but even if yours don't it is a good idea to book in advance so that you get the most of your miles.

Do I have to redeem my Miles on specific airlines?

Airline specific credit card programs can only be redeemed with that specific airline. Cards that are not specific to an airline such as those offered by Discover or American Express provide more flexibility in that you can book your flight with any airline and use your rewards. In these cases you must use the card to purchase the ticket and the miles are applied as a credit when the transaction is posted to your account.

What do I do if the cost of the ticket is not covered by the miles I have earned?

If your miles cannot cover the cost of your ticket you will need to pay for the balance and the ticket will be considered a discounted ticket rather than a free ticket.

How do I apply for an airline miles credit card?

You can compare the various cards online and once you find a card that suits your lifestyle and goals you can submit an application securely online. You can also apply by mail or over the phone but online applications make the process a lot faster since you might even qualify for instant approval in some cases.

Do I have to pay an annual fee for an airline miles credit card?

There are a number of cards that have no annual fees but there are some that do have them. Some cards that have annual fees or even fees that are waived for the first year may have great benefits that would make up for the fees so do not dismiss those with annual fees outright.

How long does it take to get word on the status of my application?

Applications are usually processed within 7-10 business days with most providers but the speed of processing the application depends on the information that is provided with the application. For instance if you fail to fill in the application completely the lender will have to contact you to get further details before they complete the application. This is why it is important to complete the application in full before you send it in. If you fail to hear from the lender within a reasonable amount of time you can call them up to check on the status.

Will I get an introductory annual percentage rate (APR)?

As competition continues to increase in the credit card industry lenders are always looking for ways to attract more consumers. This is one reason why so many providers offer low introductory rates. Search for one that does because you can save a lot of money by making the most of these low introductory periods. Keep in mind that low interest rates are automatically cancelled if you default on the terms of agreement and balance transfer transactions may not qualify for rewards.

How do I earn miles quickly with my airline miles credit card?

The fastest way to earn miles with your card is to use the card as much as possible to make all your purchases. Remember to pay off your balance to avoid costly interest rates. Another way to get the ball rolling on your rewards points is to sign on to programs that offer huge sign on bonus points so you get started with your miles right from the start. Using the card to make purchases that qualify for double and triple reward points is yet another way that you can begin accumulating airline miles credit as quickly as possible.


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