Finding the Best Airline Miles Credit Cards

Deciding what qualifies a card to be one of the best airline miles credit cards can be difficult. This is because everyone’s needs and lifestyles are different, giving them a different idea of what qualities to look for in airline credit cards. Therefore, it requires taking a close look at yourself, your spending habits, and your traveling habits to decide which card is best for you.

Interest Rate

One of the characteristics of airline miles credit cards you should consider is the interest rate. Airline credit cards tend to have higher interest rates than cards that do not have rewards programs. If you are the kind of person who carries a balance on your credit card from month to month, airline miles credit cards may not be the best choice for you. This is because you might end up spending more every year in finance charges than you receive in benefits. If you do carry a balance on your card but still want to get an airline credit card, be sure to find the one with the lowest interest rate. Many have special introductory periods with lower interest rates, as well. These cards may be the best choice for you.

Travel Habits

If you travel frequently, airline miles credit cards may be a great choice for you. If, however, you travel only once every few years, it might not be worth it for you to have one of these cards. You also need to consider what is important to you when traveling because different airline miles credit cards provide different additional benefits. For example, if you frequently travel with a companion, airline credit cards that offer free companion tickets will be particularly valuable to you. On the other hand, if you generally travel alone, this perk does not benefit you at all.

Some airline miles credit cards also offer free upgrades to cardholders. If you enjoy the added luxury an upgrade provides, then you will love this benefit. If, on the other hand, you are fine riding in lower class seating area, this benefit may not be important to you and to your lifestyle. Instead, you might be better served with a card requiring less points to receive free air travel.

Spending Habits

In addition to your travel habits, you also need to consider your spending habits. Some airline miles credit cards provide points to cardholders for all purchases they make, while others only give the cardholder points for specific purchases. If you only receive points for purchases made through a specific website, and you don’t frequently use that website, then the card is essentially worthless to you. Make sure your usual spending habits coincide with the program offered by the airline credit card.

Similarly, some credit cards place maximum restrictions on the number of points you can earn in a year. If you spend more per year than you can receive in points back, then you are not receiving benefits for every dollar you spend. In this case, you might want to consider other airline miles credit cards. Or, spread your spending out on more than one card and only spend up to the amount you are rewarded for on your airline miles credit cards.

On the other end of the spectrum, you need to analyze your spending habits to ensure you spend enough to gain benefits from your airline miles credit cards. For example, if you need to spend $15,000 in one year in order to receive free airline travel, but you typically spend only $10,000 per year on your credit card, your spending habits are not a good match with the card. Instead, you will find yourself paying annual fees and higher finance charges only to never receive benefits.