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Airline Credit Cards: The True Cost Of Using Them

Feb 25, 2008
Airline credit cards provide you with perks. The simplest way of defining these perks is in what they offer. By using an airline credit card, you are able to earn frequent flyer miles, or points, which are then redeemed for travel discounts. The actual terms will differ from one airline to the next. Most often, frequent flyer miles are added up over time. Once you have accumulated the correct number of them, you may redeem them for airline tickets. Today, other uses for these airline credit cards are also available. Each service offered comes at a cost, however.

How Frequent Flyer Programs Work

When you have an airline credit card, you will have the ability to earn points or frequent flyer miles (sometimes airlines call them other terms.) The accumulation of these miles will allow you to later redeem them for services, discounts or free items. In order to earn them, you must meet the necessary reward criteria. There are usually several ways to earn these miles. With airline credit cards, you most often will earn the largest amount in miles by using your line of credit to purchase airline tickets. You earn less when you use your card for everyday purchases. Yet, some airlines will provide you with a better percentage of earnings if you use the card for travel-related expenses.

Costs Applied

Obtaining an airline credit card means knowing what the costs are to you. One of the most important costs for a reward card like is the interest rate that corresponds to this typ of offer. Interest rates can fluctuate depending on your credit score and from one company to the next, but the ongoing APR on this type of offer tends to be higher than your standard credit card that does not employ a rewards program. Additionally, consider costs such as membership fees, annual fees or transaction fees that may apply to the card before you actually apply for the offer. Make sure to know these items ahead of time.

Read The Fine Print

It is also important when you have airline credit cards to know if the miles expire, or if you will have them for an unlimited time. A few card issuers offer unlimited rewards or miles on purchases. You should know if there are any "black out dates" or dates when the free miles can not be redeemed, typically ased on peak travel periods. All of this information should be presented to you by the card issuer at the time of application.

Know When To Redeem

Although the benefits of airline credit cards are outstanding, it is important to consider the overall method of redeeming them. Some airlines do not present you with information about the frequent flyer miles you have earned on your regular statement. Rather, you must go to a separately maintained rewards program website to find out.

When you apply for this type of airline credit card, know how to check your frequent flyer miles balance. Most importantly, do not forget to do so periodically. If you do a lot of traveling, or want to earn great free rewards through frequent flyer miles, airline credit cards are an outstanding way to do so. With the right airline credit card, you can obtain free flights and numerous discounts to use as you see fit.
About the Author
For more detailed information on variable, fixed and low interest credit cards , Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com.
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