Making the Most of Your Air Miles Credit Card Points by:Jeremy Biberdorf
If you're like millions of others out there, you have at least heard about what a lifesaver an airline miles credit card can be when you make it a regular part of your life. Just for using your credit the way you normally do - to cover everyday expenses, manage your budget, and help finance larger purchases - you're rewarded with free airline miles that can then be credited toward your next trip.
Air miles credit card users who use their cards regularly and wisely are enjoying incredible discounts and even complimentary airline tickets as a result, allowing them to make travel a regular part of their lives again despite the fact that we're living in tough times that would otherwise require us to cut back on such luxuries. However, as with anything else, there's definitely a strategy to making the most of your air miles credit program.
The best place to start is in making sure the program you sign up for in the first place is the one that best fits your lifestyle. When it comes to frequent flyer cards, there are a wide variety of different options out there, so do your homework thoroughly before signing on the dotted line once and for all. If you are the type of traveler who prefers to fly with a specific airline, stick with cards sponsored by that airline.
Looking for the ultimate in flexibility? Opt for a bank-sponsored card instead and that's exactly what you get. Also make sure you pay attention to things like interest rate, annual fees (or lack thereof), and accumulation limits attached to miles.
Once you've chosen an airline miles credit card, make sure you know how many points you accumulate on individual types of purchases, because some types are likely to give you the opportunity to maximize your earnings. Do you get double or even triple points for shopping with specific retailers? Consider those retailers for more of your basic needs to accumulate miles at record speeds.
Check to see if your program gives you miles bonuses for making gas, grocery, or card maintenance purchases on your card every month - because many do. Rearrange your budget so that you always use your card for these types of items instead of cash, checks, or any other credit accounts you might have. Looking for little ways to increase your earning rate on miles maximizes your card's potential and earns you free flights that much sooner.
If expiration dates apply to your miles, be sure to keep an eye on when those dates will be coming up. You don't want to let all those valuable free miles wither on the vine! Plan vacations around these things. Consider cashing in spare miles on perks like seating upgrades or alternatively on gift cards, gift checks, or other benefits your credit program may offer as well. Not planning on traveling at all anytime soon? Check and see if your unused airline miles can be transferred to someone else. Maybe you can fly a loved one out for a visit or surprise them with a much-deserved vacation!
The key to making the most of your airline miles credit card is in knowing your terms of service inside out and making them work for you. When you use your air miles card wisely in this way, you'll be on the road to unbeatable savings, affordable travel, and first-class benefits before you know it!
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