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Miles Credit Cards - Strategies to Accumulate Miles

Aug 17, 2007
Put simply, miles credit cards allow cardholders to earn points for every dollar charged on the card. The accumulated points can be redeemed for reduced or, in some instances, free airfare. There are many promotional offers and some cards offer more points than others. To entice the customer, certain miles credit cards offer no annual-rate, no APR fees, additional bonus miles with new sign-ups, balance transfers at reduced or no interest rate for a certain period as well as no blackout date for miles redemption.

Credit card companies have also come up with affinity card programs that allow cardholders to collect airline miles with purchases at some of their most preferred retailing outlets and merchants. This lets cardholders add more miles at a faster rate with purchases from their favorite retailers. On the downside, these cards tend to have high annual fees and interest rates.

Frequent flyers tend to be mostly business travelers, who travel often due to work. However, careful planning can help normal travelers to accumulate good miles. Some tips to accumulate miles at a fast rate are:

1) Utilize Partner Services - Miles cards normally have tie-ins with car rental companies and hotels as part of their marketing strategy that also provide mileage points accumulation. Using these car rental companies or hotels and charging them to the miles card will also help to increase the points accumulated by using necessary travel expenditures.

2) Vacation or Tour Packages - Miles credit cards offer vacation or tour packages to encourage customers to travel and thus to increase demand for their airlines. Once again, by utilizing these vacation or tour packages, cardholders can accumulate more mileage points on the card per trip, earning more points while vacationing.

3) Non-frequent Travelers - For less frequent travelers, it is better to charge any travel related expense to the miles card when you travel. The travel related expenses could be anything from buying souvenirs, groceries, fuel while in a different location, etc, which also helps to accumulate additional miles on the card.

4) Affiliate services - Some miles card programs partner with a network of allied airline carriers. Examples of these kinds of network alliance services include the Star Alliance or Flying Blue programs. If your preferred airline does not fly to the location that you desire, try to choose from another airline that is part of the alliance network, giving cardholders yet another opportunity to accumulated miles.

Most miles credit cards have numerous benefits for frequent flyers. However, the benefits could vary, based on the specific program. Some mile cards provide additional or bonus points while making certain purchases. The points can later be traded for airline miles. Some miles credit card programs allow portability or the transfer of points to other frequent flyer accounts, and some even offer consolidation of all accumulated points to one single card. These earned miles give you free or reduced travel tickets. In addition, most of these cards also offer various other travel-related benefits, including free additional tickets, upgrade opportunities, lost baggage insurance, car rental insurance, and greater coverage amount for travel accident insurance.

Apart from points, most mile cards also offer different type of rewards for members. This could be anything from free hotel stays to car rentals, discounted vacation packages or even free airline tickets, in some instances. Certain airline miles card programs entice customers with an attractive offer to take advantage of free bonus miles, as high as fifteen to twenty thousand free points, in some cases. In general, you will receive flight miles per trip taken, but some miles card programs will offer a generous point total per flight, amounting to more points per mile than the actual miles flown. (Be sure to check with each reward miles program for specific details.)

Miles credit cards can be pretty costly for the credit card companies as well as the airlines. As such, miles credit cards tend to have higher interest rates and annual fees than traditional credit cards. One of the most recent promotional trends with certain miles cards programs is to enable cardholders carrying balances to qualify for a free domestic airline ticket on any airline. It is advisable that customers evaluate the pros and cons of such offers as in most cases, the cost of finance charges on the left over balance outweigh the benefits of getting a free ticket.

These cards will also have an expiration period, before which the accumulated miles need to be used. It is important to know this period and use the accumulated miles to get the maximum benefits. Nevertheless, miles credit card offers have become immensely popular as they allow customers to accumulate valuable miles through ordinary purchases, which later can be transferred to free flights and vacations.
About the Author
For more information on the best miles credit cards available, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com.
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