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Airlines Credit Cards: Choosing The Best Fit

Mar 2, 2008
An airlines credit card provides significant benefits to anyone that travels regularly, or that would like to earn airline miles. Many of the lenders offering this type of credit card are unique from each other. Therefore, when deciding on and choosing the best fit, be sure to read all terms and agreements before signing up for these lines of credit. One of the most obvious differences between airlines credit cards and standard reward based credit cards is that they offer airline miles, usually through frequent flyer miles.

Compare Them Carefully

When you consider opening a new airlines credit card, take time to compare and contrast at least several card offers to find the best fit. You will need to consider any personal requirements that you have or any loyalties you might have to one airline or the next. Additionally, consider all of the terms of related offers to ensure you receive the best opportunity. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the best choice in an airlines credit card.

Does The Airline Matter?

Those that prefer to fly on one particular airline will need to select a credit card offer from a partner of that airline. Most of the larger airlines pair up with a credit card provider to offer a rewards based program through them. These are often referred to as "co-branded" cards. If you consistently utilize the same airline, logic would dictate that using a co-branded credit card to earn frequent flyer miles on that specific airline would be the best way to go. Airlines credit card offers like this are readily available to those that qualify. But choose carefully...

Analyzing The Terms

When choosing airlines credit cards, look thoroughly through the terms and conditions of each card. Not all rewards cards are the same. Some offer better interest rates than others. Some may allow you to earn frequent flyer miles at a faster pace. One very important thing to look for when considering these cards is the expiration of miles. Some of these rewards programs for airlines cards have miles that will expire if they are not redeemed within a specific timeframe, so you'll end up losing them if you don't use them quickly enough. Some airlines have very strict policies regarding their frequent flyer miles accounting. For example, you may earn twice as much on airline ticket purchases with your line of credit than you would earn on standard purchases.

What Are The Perks

Many believe that frequent flyer miles offered by airline credit card offers are strictly for providing free airline miles, or free airline tickets. While this is the best choice, if you have not earned enough points, you may qualify for other discounts or upgrades. Upgrading to first class may be an option, or discounts at hotels and car rentals may be part of the offer.

Simply put, take the time to analyze and compare at least several offers before selecting one. Determine which will provide you with the best return on your investment based on how you will use it. If you plan to use it strictly for travel, then ensure it provides additional rewards for hotels and other travel related expenses, for example. But at a minimum, take the time to do an in-depth comparison of each offer to determine if it fits the bill best for you.
About the Author
Robert Alan is an editor for www.CreditCardAssist.com and frequently contributing writer on various credit card-related topics. Find more free information, tips and advice from Robert on the airlines credit cards page at CreditCardAssist.com
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