How to Get the Most Mileage Out of Mileage Credit Cards

By: Robert Alan

Having a good credit card really comes in handy - especially when it can provide the owner with ways to save while simultaneously offering other great benefits. Making the choice between miles credit cards is not all that hard, but there are a number of things you need to look for. This article will point out some key features.

Two Main Types of Cards

Airline mileage cards come in two basic types. First, there is the card that is issued by the various airline companies. In most cases, the benefits apply only if you fly on their particular airline. Obviously, this can only be a benefit to you if you live near an airport that this airline flies into. A second type of mileage card is the one that is issued by a bank. As far as usability goes, this one may be the better one because the mileage on these miles credit cards can be used on most airlines.

How Miles Are Accumulated

Another feature worth thinking about is the way that miles are earned. Of course, there is usually the initial offer (attraction) to the card that promises to give you so many miles when you make your first purchase.

Here are other ways:

Card Application Miles Bonus: 5,000 - 25,000 miles

Miles per air mile traveled

Miles per dollar spent

These features will vary between each miles card. Be sure to know about each feature and compare. Just because a card sounds good may not mean that it is the best one for you. Another thing to consider is when the miles expire. On some cards, they expire after five years, whereas, on other mileage cards - they never do.

Time Before First Trip

Find out how many points are needed for you to take advantage of your first free flight. You may find that the benefits are such that they really will not do much good in your situation. Mileage cards privileges are often tiered between the different levels silver, gold, and platinum and each of these levels may mean a different length of waiting time, or cost involved. The advertised promises may refer to another level than what you are in.

The Interest Rate

This standard consideration of any credit card should not be overlooked. If you have balances on other cards you will want a card that has a 0% balance transfer, and a low interest rate. This will enable you to receive 0% interest on your current balances, and the benefits of miles credit cards. Remember that the initial features of the card will expire - sometimes as early as 90 days. Interest on the card after that time, or if you have late payments, could land you in the maximum interest category.

Annual Fees

The fees on mileage cards may be high enough to offset the value of the card - for some. Fees range from around $25 to $180 per year. In addition, the interest on miles credit cards is usually just a little higher than a regular credit card. Of course, if you pay off the bill on a monthly basis, then the interest will not affect you.

The benefits of a mileage card is to your advantage if your fly often, pay the full bill monthly, and use it for your many other purchases. Even greater benefits can be received if you put all your travel expenses on one card enabling you to accumulate even more. But, on the other hand, if you do not travel a lot, then you might consider another kind of card - one that you could take fuller advantage of.

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