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Credit Card recommendations w/airfare miles

abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,948 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parent Cafe
Can't believe I'm asking for credit card recommendations when we get multiple requests in the mail each week!

I'm looking to replace the LLBean VISA I have - used to be great for me because it allowed me free shipping and reward points to be used towards shopping there but now I don't buy much ther and they offer free shipping for everyone!

We will be flying out west for a wedding next summer so thought I might look into a card what might give airfare credits/points. A Delta card might be best cause that seems to be what we end up flying lately and it's the main hub at Detroit where we fly out of.

Already have a Costco AE card so would rather not get another AE. Any recommendations on a card for me??? Also, out of curiosity, how many Miles must be earned to "pay" for a flight???
Post edited by abasket on

Replies to: Credit Card recommendations w/airfare miles

  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,836 Senior Member
    A few months ago, I decided to go with a Chase Freedom card, which offers 1% cash back on everything, and 5% on categories that rotate each quarter. Here is a site that lists cards and their rewards. I used this link to narrow down my choices:

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,145 Senior Member
    I was told that if you wish to get miles, an airline CC is the best choice. However, I have a Chase Sapphire credit card. I can use my points to buy tickets on any airline...and I don't believe there are black out dates.

    If I were getting a new one, I'd go with Southwest because that's what we fly most.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,972 Senior Member
    Typically, 25,000 miles is used to pay for a flight.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,831 Senior Member
    I recently got a Southwest Visa because they offered 2round trip tickets if I spent 1000 within 3 months. I have done delta credit cards when they offer the equivalent of 2 round trip tickets also. Te card I've used for many ears is associated with American airlines.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,438 Senior Member
    If you get an airline mile card, it should be for an airline that you will actually use, and whose flights are not always blacked out or sold out for award mileage tickets.

    But the payback on airline miles beyond any initial bonuses may not be all that good compared to the % cash back cards, especially if you are using the airline miles on domestic economy class tickets.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,948 Senior Member
    Thanks for the advice so far. Toledo , I'll take a look at that list. And so somewhere around 25,000 miles for a trip??
  • notrichenoughnotrichenough Registered User Posts: 8,143 Senior Member
    I soured on mileage cards when I had Capital One, and every time I turned around they changed the terms to give less miles per dollar, and require more miles to get a ticket.

    I use a card that gives me 1.5% cash back on everything, don't deal with miles any more.
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 7,368 Senior Member
    abasket- do you have membership awards with your AE? I believe Delta is one of the airlines you can move your points to.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,877 Senior Member
    I have found it so dratted difficult to use airline miles that I have given up intentionally collecting them via credit card or flights. If they accumulate, and can be conveniently used, so be it. But I won't go out of my way one inch to acquire more.

    A lot of the airline cards have an annual fee, so watch for that. I now have a Choice Hotels Visa where I get hotel points that can be used at any hotel in the chain. I have had it for several years, and find it fairly painless to cash in the points when I want to use them. It has been a great help when college visiting to get a lot of free hotel rooms!
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    My S is a devotee of miles, and has gotten amazing deals on flights as he follows which card. It is too complicated to follow this minutae for me, but that being said, I usually have FF mile card, and use it every chance I get. The two I've had are United and Delta. Delta is an Amex, which makes it unusable far too often.

    However, it requires fewer dollars spent to get all the miles, and I've really come to appreciate the early boarding, free luggage, and companion certificate. I take maybe 3 trips per year, and the luggage fees alone would be $150, so the card pays for itself, and certainly did during the initial free year. My S says the miles are harder to claim on Delta than some others, but they have good connections out of my city. Supposedly a free domestic ticket is 25,000 miles, but I've ended up using more at times.

    The United card does the same thing, is a Visa, and has added the free luggage as well as perhaps some of the other benefits to their paid card. For years I've had a free United card that gives me a mile per $2 spent. Over the years, I've gathered sufficient miles for a free trip. My S says their miles are easier to use, and you can get one way tickets with miles, unlike other airlines.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,948 Senior Member
    Hmmm. So sounds like there can be limitations on what flights you can use with points? Didn't know that. And I really prefer to not have a card with annual fees. Our flying is very limited. I usually only fly once a year and usually that is for business .

    If I have member award points with my AE card fom Costco, I am unaware of it!!!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,438 Senior Member
    abasket wrote:
    So sounds like there can be limitations on what flights you can use with points? Didn't know that.

    Usually, the number of award seats on any given flight is limited for the "cheaper" award levels (e.g. 25,000 for a domestic economy ticket). You may have to use more miles to buy an award ticket if the "cheaper" award seats are sold out on the flight you want. If your flying is limited, and not very flexible (due to business requirements), you may have a much more difficult time using the miles for award tickets than if you flew frequently with some flights being flexible in scheduling.
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited November 2012
    [/quote]So sounds like there can be limitations on what flights you can use with points? Didn't know that.[/quote] I've read numerous geeky analysis of these programs and they all recommend not going the miles on credit card route. The value of the miles (after considering all fees like annual fees) is typically about the same or less than a straight cash back card ... and the miles have much more limited use and some with restrictions on flights. Bottom line was in perfect conditions the mileage credit cards might be a slightly better deal but life often takes folks away from those perfect conditions.
  • RTRMom2RTRMom2 Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    Question about the Delta Amex - we have that one and use it, but I didn't know there was a free companion ticket with it. Is that yearly and how do we access that? I recently purchased 3 tickets without knowing we had a free companion ticket available to us.
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    RTR, I just looked on the Delta Amex website, and see no mention of the companion ticket. It was not free, rather $99. I did have occasion to travel with my D and use it a year ago. Otherwise, I travel alone, so have not looked for it. The other benefit to the free luggage, is that your companions also get a free checked piece.

    edit: just signed into my account, and yes, the benefit is still there, though something is about "with card renewal". Delta flights only, economy only, and taxes are applied.

    The other benefit I use is the car insurance you sign up for. It is an additional flat fee per rental, and it saved me a bundle on insurance when renting in France a few years back.

    Also, add a card for a family member when signing up, and you get an extra 5000 miles.
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