Air Miles and Points
Monday, 21st January 2013 (By Joe Taylor Jr.)
Credit card companies rely on air miles and points to build loyalty among business travelers and affluent consumers. Road warriors love to pick up bonus miles, especially when charging reimbursable business expenses to their favorite affinity cards. Meanwhile, everyday Americans have discovered how to convert their everyday purchases into vacation travel vouchers for flights, hotels and car rentals.
Many air miles credit cards offer signup bonuses that can put many new cardholders within easy reach of free or deeply discounted travel. However, every frequent flier program values its miles a little differently, while offering varied bonuses. Use our interactive credit card comparison tool to find air miles and points cards with the best value for your spending and traveling patterns.
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
- 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn Fast: 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- You can transfer points to over 20 frequent traveler programs or use points for gift cards at popular stores.
- Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip!
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
- Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases
- Welcome Bonus: Earn 7,500 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Unlimited Travel Options: Every 7,500 points that you earn can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit toward any airline ticket, any hotel stay, car rental or cruise.
- Flexible Ways to Earn: earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Earn 30K bonus miles after you make $1K in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
- Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
- Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
- Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $1,500 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $200 in gift cards or other great rewards!
- 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.*
- Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
- That's enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel.
- Earn up to 5 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG hotels and resorts - that's 2 Starpoints for using the Card in addition to the Starpoints you earn as an SPG member. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- Save an Additional 25 cents a gallon for the first three months when you redeem 100 fuel points at participating Kroger family of stores fuel centers;
- Earn free groceries faster at Kroger, King Soopers, Dillons Smith's, Fry's and QFC; 3 points per $1 spent on Kroger family of brand products;
- 2 points per $1 spent in the Kroger® family of stores (excluding fuel centers);
- Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
- Your first eligible checked bag is free*
- Group 1 boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
- No annual fee
- Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
- Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
- Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within 4 months of account opening*
- Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.*
- Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
Disclaimer:*These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.
Find the Best Points or Air Miles Credit Card - Best Travel Rewards
"Frequent flier" credit cards
For decades, traditional airlines have partnered with credit card issuers on frequent flier programs that drive loyalty, especially among business travelers. Bonus miles and points on expensive business class fares quickly add up. Meanwhile, special perks like airport lounge access and concierge-level hotel rooms lure customers back to the same carriers, even when discount airlines offer cheaper fares.
That's why many of the most popular discount airlines have started to fight back, updating their own loyalty programs with credit card partnerships that result in fast rewards. In return, traditional carriers have upped the ante with signup bonuses that include tens of thousands of reward miles. Some limited promotions for zero percent interest credit cards have even included enough bonus miles to cover one or two round trip flights, after holding a new card for just a few months.
Credit cards that earn points toward travel
With travel companies in a skirmish over pricing and service, some banks have launched credit cards that use their own versions of points and miles as a reward currency. Instead of banking miles toward a reward flight on a single airline, these rewards credit cards let you fly on any carrier you like and stay at any hotel you wish. You'll earn credits toward upcoming travel purchases, making you feel like a frequent flier even if you don't take to the skies very often. Some cards even let you apply points against earlier eligible travel purchases.
Affinity credit cards with travel perks
Airlines and hotel chains have new company in the crowded rewards credit card market: discount online travel booking sites. Affinity cards offered in conjunction with web travel agencies reward travelers for consolidating their purchases to a single provider. Some of today's best credit card offers include accounts that let you waive third-party booking fees while building rebate credit good towards future trips. A handful of travel credit cards make special sales and new properties available to cardholders before the general public.You can check your rewards through free credit report to check if you have gained any and if not how you can.
Airline credit cards vs. cash back rewards cards
Which is better, miles or cash back? Airline credit cards that align with an "on the road" lifestyle can save you significant amounts of money, especially when you save up your rewards for exotic trips or packaged vacations. If you're a casual traveler or a hardcore bargain hunter, you may prefer the nuts and bolts convenience of a cash back rewards card. Travel websites have made cheap flights and discounted hotels easier than ever to find. Some credit card issuers now promote seasonal bonuses on travel purchases, offering up to 5 percent cash back on flights, hotels, and car rentals at certain times of years.
Using our credit card tables to find the right offer means matching up your travel history and your personal goals against the many current rewards programs. If you're planning on making just one or two big trips over the next few years, a cash back card can maximize rewards that you can use for other important areas of your life. Otherwise, a traditional airline credit card can help you convert your itineraries into free flights and resort stays that you'll cherish much more than your typical business trip.