airline miles http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14463/all en-US 5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toy_plane_map_65033677.jpg" alt="Learning miles secrets only frequent flyers know" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most frequent flyers are experts at collecting and redeeming miles for free travel. They know all the tricks for squeezing a bit more value from each point, where to find more award seats, and secrets to getting miles faster. These are the little known secrets for getting more miles and value so you can be on your way to your next <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=tavel">free vacation</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">How to Get a Free Vacation through Credit Card Rewards in Less Than 9 Months</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Can Earn More Miles on the Ground Than in the Air</h2> <p>Even for frequent travelers, most airline miles are earned on the ground, not in the air. That's because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">airline credit cards</a> award miles based on how much you <em>spend</em>, not how <em>far you fly</em>. That includes nonflying purchases. Use your card to pay for all your expenses and watch your miles add up.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Need an Airline Credit Card</h2> <p>Some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">best travel rewards credit cards</a> aren't airline branded cards, but their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">points can be transferred to the airline miles</a> of your choice. This gives you more flexibility in choosing the card that offers the most points for the category you spend the most in. Choose a card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">bonus points for dining</a> if you frequent restaurants often. Get a card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">high grocery rewards</a>. This will help you earn more points faster.</p> <h2>3. Not All Redemption Opportunities Offer the Same Value</h2> <p>Frequent travelers know how to look for <em>value</em> when redeeming their miles. Planning ahead of time to grab the best award price and comparing different routes will get you a much higher value for your hard earned points.</p> <h2>4. Look for Award Flights on Partner Airlines</h2> <p>If you're searching for award seats on a particular airline, look up the partners that also accept that airline's miles, and search for flights through them. Sometimes award seats show up on a partner site search rather than the specific airline site you're looking to fly on. Sometimes fees are much lower for the same flight through a partner airline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">The Secret to Getting the Cheapest Award Flights</a>)</p> <h2>5. Look for Business and First Class International Flights</h2> <p>You might think that business or first class seats are out of your reach, but when it comes to miles, a seat in business class on an international flight that would normally cost two to three times the cost of a coach seat, might only be 50% more miles. Instead of using your miles for a few domestic flights, saving them for upgraded seats on an international flight would give you much more value for your points.</p> <p><em>Do you play the airline miles game? How do you wring out the most value?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know.jpg&amp;description=5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">9 Ways to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles">10 Fun, Creative Uses for Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles flights frequent flyers international points rewards vacation value Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Jason Steele 1764990 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_dressed_as_pilot_000036134522.jpg" alt="Child learning how to donate or sell his airline miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a bunch of airline miles that you're not going to use? Hoping to get rid of them or help someone less fortunate? You've come to the right place. Here are six different ways that you can part with your hard-earned miles without violating the frequent flyer terms and conditions of airline loyalty programs.</p> <h2>Donating Miles</h2> <p>Good for you! You've decided to use your airline miles for a greater purpose. Note that donating your miles truly is an act of charity &mdash; that's because the IRS considers airline miles a gift to you from the airline, and donated miles are therefore not tax deductible.</p> <h3>1. American Miles for Kids in Need</h3> <p>(1,000 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>Your AAadvantage Miles can be used to give an advantage to children and families in need of help. American Airlines supports a variety of child and family focused charities including Miles of Hope, Miles for Kids in Need, and more.</p> <p>Through these programs AA focuses on food, clothing, shelter, health, education, and employment. Their goal is to benefit organizations that provide a strategic focus on children and/or those afflicted by unexpected adversity.</p> <p>For more information, call 1-800-882-8880 or visit <a href="http://hub.aa.com/en/ju/donate">American's Giving webpage</a>.</p> <h3>2. United Charity Miles</h3> <p>(500 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>United Airlines works with a number of charities that focus on youth, humanitarian, health, community, and military aid. There are nearly 50 charities to choose from including American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Americares, and many more.</p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/CharityMilesSSO.jsp">United donation page</a> for the full list of Charities.</p> <h3>3. Delta Donate Miles</h3> <p>(Minimum Donation Varies by Charity)</p> <p>By donating your Delta Miles you can help children and animals in need, struggling communities, and breast cancer patients. Delta has a wide variety of wonderful charities to choose from, but each one has its own minimum donation requirement.</p> <p>With charities in the U.S., Latin America and around the world, you can put your points where they are needed most. Head to <a href="http://www.delta.com/buygftxfer/displayDonateMilesLatAm.action">Delta's Donate Miles</a> page and check out their comprehensive and well-organized list of charities which include Make A Wish, Habitat For Humanity, UNICEF, and many more.</p> <h3>4. JetBlue True Giving</h3> <p>(500 Point Minimum Donation for most Charities)</p> <p>You can use your TrueBlue points to contribute to great causes all around the world. When you donate your points, they'll go directly to your chosen charity, and in turn, they will be able to use the points for JetBlue flights to help their cause.</p> <p>With many different charities aiming to help youth, education, families, communities, and the environment, you'll be able to donate your points to where they are needed most. Points can be donated locally or globally to more than 2.5 million causes in the True Giving database.</p> <p>Visit <a href="https://trueblue.jetblue.com/web/trueblue/charity">JetBlue's Charity Page</a> for a full list of programs and start making a difference today.</p> <h2>Trading or Transferring Miles</h2> <p>Most programs will allow you to gift miles to other users. Check with your program&rsquo;s options for transferring miles. If that&rsquo;s not available, there are still other ways to move your points.</p> <h3>5. Redeem or Transfer Miles Through Points.com</h3> <p>You can trade miles with other frequent flyers through <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11373616-1368501104000">Points.com.</a> You can also transfer miles between frequent flyer programs, or redeem miles into Paypal credit, merchandise, dining, or gift cards.</p> <p>This may sound a lot like bartering miles, but airlines are okay with customers using Points.com because when you trade on this site, they're collecting fees every step of the way.</p> <p>While it is perfectly acceptable to trade your points in at Points.com, it's definitely not the best way to redeem them. You will not get as much as your miles are worth and you will be charged hefty fees, similar to the ones that airlines charge.</p> <p>If your miles are about to expire, or you're sure that you'll never use them, then this service could be right for you. But if you can use them on travel, you'll get much more bang for your buck.</p> <h3>6. Book Awards Tickets for Your Family &amp; Friends</h3> <p>Technically this is still a grey area when it comes to frequent flyer program regulations, but it is perfectly okay to fly your friends and family using your points, if they just so happen to give you something in return at the same time, that's a complete coincidence... right?</p> <p>Spending your miles on friends and family is a great way to use miles that would otherwise expire.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">Best Credit Cards that Offer Companion Tickets</a></p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>I personally have never (and will never) sell my air miles to a broker and neither should you. There are just too many risks:</p> <ul> <li>Ticket confiscation;</li> <li>Reservation cancellation;</li> <li>Confiscation of all accumulated miles on your accounts;</li> <li>Strongly worded emails and accusations;</li> <li>Ban from rewards program.</li> </ul> <p>You can trade in your miles, use them to help make the world a better place, or fly your family and friends around the planet for a visit. Don't ever let your points go to waste. Use Points.com or credit card donation services to ensure that you're making the most of your unused miles.</p> <p><em>Have you ever donated or transferred airline miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles charity donations rewards Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:00:46 +0000 Nick Wharton 1578552 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000052282084_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been traveling and hacking flights since 2008, spending nearly eight years researching and finding secret methods to save money, earn points, and fly for free. These effective and easy-to-use tricks have saved me thousands of dollars over the years and now they can do the same for you.</p> <h2>1. Use Google Flights</h2> <p>If there ever was a single flight booking engine to rule them all, it would be <a href="https://www.google.com/flights/">Google Flights</a>. This incredible website will revolutionize the way you book flights and it can save you a ton of money along the way. Let's go over some of the main features of this booking site that blows others like it out of the water.</p> <h3>Two Months of Fares</h3> <p>A frequent flyer knows that there are always cheaper days of the week and times of the month to fly. Google Flights simplifies your fare search by showing you a calendar with two full months of fares. There's even a handy bar graph that makes it easy to see which day is the cheapest. I have found flights for nearly half price just by using this tool and flying on the right day of the month!</p> <h3>Destination Region, Not Just Destination City</h3> <p>Sometimes you want to go to Europe, but you want to be spontaneous. You'll fly to any city as long as it's cheap. Well, Google Flights will be your new best friend. Instead of having to input a destination city, you can input a destination region (ie: Europe). You can then open a map view of the entire continent which shows airfares on every major city and airport. With this trick, I found that I could fly to Paris for $150 less than if I flew to London on the same day. Using traditional methods of flight search, you'd have to separately search each city in Europe to find the cheapest flight and this could potentially take hours.</p> <h3>Happiness Factors</h3> <p>A good deal on a flight ticket is only a good deal if you're comfortable while you're in the air. Google has teamed up with Routehappy to include &quot;Happiness Factors&quot; in their search results. Now you can see if there is food, USB power outlets, TVs, video on demand, and Wi-Fi on your flight. The factors are shown using easy to spot icons right next to the fares in search results. You can even see how many inches of legroom you'll have!</p> <h3>Best Flight Recommendation</h3> <p>Google takes the guesswork out of choosing flights. Sometimes, customers are blinded by a cheap deal and they fail to notice that there is a 45-hour layover in Delaware. For an extra $40 you could have flown direct! Google automatically calculates the best flight for you based on a good balance of price and transit time. Brilliant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use?ref=seealso">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a>)</p> <h2>2. Clear Your Cache</h2> <p>This is a big one, everybody! Have you ever noticed that when you return to check the cost of your flight day after day, the price just keeps going up? This is not a coincidence. Flight booking engines and airline websites store cookies in your browser. These cookies can monitor your browsing habits and they'll know when you return to their website to check flight costs again and again. They will then jack the price up to urge you to buy! It sounds criminal, doesn't it? Well it's not illegal and it happens all of the time on pretty much every booking website. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-getting-the-lowest-rate-from-travel-websites?ref=seealso">4 Secrets to Getting the Lowest Rate From Travel Websites</a>)</p> <p>To avoid getting charged extra every time you book a flight, simply clear your browser cache before booking anything online, or if you use Google Chrome as your browser, simply hit control-shift-N to open an &quot;incognito&quot; window which ensures cookie-free browsing.</p> <p>Note: Clearing the cache is different for every browser, here are instructions for the most common ones: <a href="https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183083?hl=en">Google Chrome</a>, <a href="http://agsci.psu.edu/it/how-to/clear-internet-explorer-8-ie8-browsing-history-cache">Internet Explorer</a>, <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-cookies-remove-info-websites-stored">Firefox</a>, and <a href="https://guides.instructure.com/m/4214/l/334964-how-do-i-clear-my-browser-cache-on-a-mac">Safari</a>.</p> <p>I recently booked a flight from Guatemala to Cuba and I noticed that each day before booking, the price kept going up. Luckily I utilized this simple hack and voila! The price magically went back down and I saved $250 on two tickets! Don't believe me? Check out the split image below. The bottom half is the flight before clearing the browser cache and the top half is the exact same flight, booked 10 minutes later using &quot;incognito&quot; mode.</p> <p><img width="605" height="456" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/flight%20prices.jpg" /></p> <p>If you didn't know about this hack before, then you've probably overpaid for pretty much every flight you've ever taken. Next time you book a flight, make sure you clear your cache or shop &quot;incognito.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Get Bumped</h2> <p>Is saving big money on flights not good enough for you? You want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">fly for free</a>? No problem. You can get free flight vouchers so you don't have to pay for your future airfare at all. It's called &quot;getting bumped.&quot;</p> <p>Here's how it works: These days, there are so many people flying that airlines overbook their flights and bank on the fact that not everyone will show up to the gates come check-in time. Sometimes this works for them and they can overbook flights without a hitch, but other times they have to ask some passengers if they wouldn't mind taking the next scheduled flight instead. These passengers are &quot;getting bumped.&quot;</p> <p>Why is &quot;getting bumped&quot; such an awesome hack? Because if you get bumped, you'll be flown to your destination on the next scheduled flight, plus you'll receive a free flight voucher for your next holiday! That's right, your next flight will be free.</p> <p>But you shouldn't just cross your fingers and hope to get bumped. There are three things that you should do to better your chances.</p> <h3>Choose a Popular Flight</h3> <p>The more popular the flight route, the more likely it will be that the airline needs to bump passengers. Choose a destination city that is popular, and fly on the busiest day possible (usually Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, and around holidays).</p> <h3>Pack Light</h3> <p>Airline staff will try to choose the most convenient candidates for bump passengers. If they have to go fetch your bag from under the plane, they probably won't pick you. If you want to get bumped, try to pack only carry-on luggage.</p> <h3>Show Up Extra Early and Volunteer</h3> <p>Head to the check-in counter right when it opens and have a big smile on your face. Politely mention to the agent that you're in no rush, and you'd have no problem volunteering to take the next flight if they need you to.</p> <p>Now you just sit and wait with your fingers crossed. This hack may not work every time, but you can definitely get a few free flights if you keep trying.</p> <h2>4. Book at the Right Time</h2> <p>The &quot;right time to book&quot; has been a debate amongst frequent flyers since the invention of commercial air travel. How long before your departure date should you start shopping for flights? Are last-minute deals the best or is it better to plan in advance to get early bird discounts?</p> <p>According to a 2013 study conducted by CheapAir.com, the <a href="http://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-should-you-buy-your-airline-ticket-heres-what-our-data-has-to-say/">optimal time to book flights</a> is approximately 48 days (about seven weeks) before departure. The study also claimed that most airlines will charge hefty premiums for late bookings (within 14 days of departure) and for early bookings (more than five months in advance).</p> <h2>5. Become &quot;Cancellation Protected&quot;</h2> <p>Many flight booking engines have pretty strict flight cancellation policies that are often separate from the airline's policies. Sometimes you have to cancel your flight for unforeseen reasons and if you booked with an online booking site, you may be out of luck and out of money.</p> <p>Instead, find the flight using your favorite booking engine, get the flight number and date of the cheapest fare, and then go straight your chosen airline's website to book it. This way, you'll have a better chance of getting at least some kind of refund if you have to cancel down the road.</p> <p>Keep in mind, you can get refunds on many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">&quot;non-refundable&quot; purchases</a> if you know how to ask.</p> <h2>6. Use Your Best Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p>There's no reason why anyone should book travel without reaping the benefits of travel rewards and air miles from their favorite credit cards. Whenever you're paying for a holiday, trip or vacation, make sure that you're using your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">best travel rewards credit card</a>.</p> <p>Find the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">best card for your travel preferences</a>, rack up your points and miles, and then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">redeem them for a free vacatio</a>n!&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">If you're a loyal flyer on a particular airline, a </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">co-branded airline card</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"> will get you extra travel perks like priority boarding and discounts off in-flight purchases.</span></p> <h2>7. Use the Flight+Hotel or Flight+Rental Tab</h2> <p>You've probably seen that little tab at the top of flight booking websites that says Flight+Hotel or Flight+Car Rental. It looks like it's just an aggressive upsell, trying to get you to spend more money than you really want to, but it turns out, there are huge savings hidden beneath that tab.</p> <p>Flight booking engines offer customers big discounts on their flights, hotels, and car rental if they book them all together. Even if you don't want to rent a car for the duration of your holiday, give this little hack a try.</p> <p>In my sample booking, the cheapest flight from Toronto to London in July of 2015 was $1,524. I then searched the same flight using the tab on the British Airways website that says &quot;Flight+Car&quot; and found it for just $1,444 including a rental for the duration of the one week holiday. That's $80 less for the flight, plus a free rental car.</p> <h2>8. Pack Your Stuff to Avoid Extra Baggage Fees</h2> <p>Everyone wants to avoid going over the baggage allowance on flights. It's a good idea to always carry the maximum allowed size for your carry-on luggage, plus a purse, and a laptop bag. Most airlines allow all of these items as carry-ons and having all three is a loophole that will help you to avoid expensive fees at check-in. (You can sometimes sneak on with a plastic grocery bag as well!)</p> <p>If that nasty scale at the check-in counter is calling your luggage fat, take the heaviest things out and put them in your purse or daypack. Toss some things in the laptop bag and distribute the weight into your carry-ons so that you don't have to pay an extra cent for heavy checked luggage.</p> <p>Bonus hack: If you're traveling with golf clubs, stuff the golf bag with as much clothing as you can to lighten your other checked bag and avoid overweight charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>9. Ask to Sit Close to the Emergency Exit</h2> <p>On most airlines, you are charged extra if you request the emergency exit seats because they have twice the leg room, but you can often get them for free. When you check in for your next flight, request that your seat is <em>close to</em> the nearest emergency exit row. This is free.</p> <p>As soon as the plane doors are sealed and you see an empty emergency exit seat, switch over to it. Because passengers are charged extra if they request exit seats before departure, there are usually a couple of empty ones available and once the plane is sealed, you don't have to pay to move into them.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks From Expert Travelers</a></p> <h2>10. Use the Multi-City Tab</h2> <p>Basically, the Multi-City tab can be found on almost all booking sites and it gives customers access to secret discounts for taking multiple flights at the same time. In my case, I needed to fly from Guatemala City to Havana and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica three weeks later. If I were to book these flights separately, they would have cost me $938, but booking the same trip using the Multi-City tab only cost me $710. That's a savings of $218. Use this tab when you're planning multiple flights in a specific time frame and you can save a lot of money.</p> <p><em>Do you know of some money saving flight hacks that I missed? Please share them with the world in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Flight%2520Booking%2520Hacks%2520to%2520Save%2520You%2520Hundreds.jpg&amp;description=10%20Flight%20Booking%20Hacks%20to%20Save%20You%20Hundreds"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Flight%20Booking%20Hacks%20to%20Save%20You%20Hundreds.jpg" width="250" height="374" align="middle" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles airline tickets credit cards flight booking flying travel vacation Mon, 07 Sep 2015 11:00:35 +0000 Nick Wharton 1548205 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/world_travel_000003712634.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you know any fair weather fans that only root for their team when they are winning? How about those who jump on the bandwagon and declare themselves to be loyal fans only after a team becomes great? These can pretty annoying traits among sports fans, but people do this in order to be aligned with a winner.</p> <p>Like sports teams, airline frequent flier programs have their good times and their bad times, and no one wants to earn miles with a carrier that suddenly decides to change their program for the worse. Thankfully, there is a type of credit card that allows cardholders to transfer their rewards to one of several different airlines at their choosing. So cardholders need not commit to transferring miles to a single airline program until right before they need to redeem a particular award ticket. So they can essentially pick their team while it is winning.</p> <p>These flexible point transfer programs have been increasing in popularity as airlines continue to change the rules of their frequent flier programs, sometimes with no notice. To choose the best flexible points transfer card for your needs, you should examine the features and benefits of these cards, and which airline miles you can transfer your points to.</p> <p>Here are the top five credit cards that offer point to mileage transfers:</p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-091814.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The Chase Ultimate Rewards program features six airline transfer partners and four hotel programs. Although this doesn't seem like a generous number of airline partners, the selection is among some of the more valuable programs. For example, Southwest and United are exclusive transfer partners to this program, and others like Korean and British Airways offer partner awards with Delta and American Airlines respectively.</p> <p>Chase also allows points from their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-visa-review-200-cash-back-bonus">Freedom card</a> to be transferred to their <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">Sapphire Preferred&reg; card</a>, which allows points from Freedom to be transferred to travel partners as well. Freedom cardholders cannot do this without a Sapphire card.</p> <p>Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That&rsquo;s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. There is an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Travel-154.jpg" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</a> isn't partnered with a specific airline program. Instead, you get the flexibility of redeeming your points as statement credit to pay for flights on <em>any</em> airline with no blackout dates and restrictions. You can also use your points on hotel stays, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees. This card offers 20,000 online bonus points, worth $200 in statement credit, if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days. Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, with no expiration date on the points. This card has <strong>no annual fee</strong> and no foreign transaction fees. <a href="https://consumer.bankofamerica.com/USCCapp/Ctl/entry?sc=VACOY7&amp;pid=dppf">See terms.</a></p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> allows you to redeem your miles as statement credit toward travel purchases at any airline, any hotel, rental cars, and more. It is currently offering a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles (equal to $400 in travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase, every day &mdash; and miles don't expire. There are no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee of $59 is waived for the first year.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</strong></a></p> <h2>Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/starwood-preferred-guest-consumer-081115.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" alt="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>Among travel rewards enthusiasts, the <a title="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" alt="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> has a loyal following of raving fans due to its over 30 different airline transfer partners, most which offer 1:1 conversion rate. Cardholders also get an additional 5,000 mile bonus when transferring 20,000 points at one time.</p> <p>The card also earns two points per dollar spent at Starwood properties and one point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases. New cardholders will get 25,000 points after using their card to spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of cardmembership. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Amex EveryDay&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/amex-everyday-credit-card-111115.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=2&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=2&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amex EveryDay&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> offers points in the American Express Membership Rewards program, which features 17 different airline transfer partners. Most of these transfer partners offer a 1:1 transfer ratio. This is one of the few cards that offer a flexible point transfer program without an annual fee.</p> <p>Cardholders earn one point per dollar spent, and double points for spending at U.S. supermarkets. In addition, cardholders will receive a 20% bonus during each statement period that they make at least 20 purchases (less returns and credit). New cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus points when they use their card to spend $1,000 on purchases within their first three months of cardmembership. Terms and conditions apply. Finally, American Express also offers the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amex-everyday-preferred-card-review">Amex EveryDay&reg; Preferred card</a> which features even more bonus points, but has an annual fee.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=2&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the Amex EveryDay&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>The Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/hilton-hhonors-card-from-american-express-102015.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express" alt="Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>HHonors points can be converted to miles with over 40 airline partners, at around a 10:1. ratio. It's not great, but the card offers generous points for purchases. The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express</a> earns 7x points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels, 5x points at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. restaurants, and at U.S. gas stations, and 3x points elsewhere. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points when they use their card to make $750 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Terms and conditions apply. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=55&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Click here to learn more and apply for the Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card</h2> <p>IHG points can be transferred to over 30 airline partners, with a transfer ratio of 10,000 points to 2,000 miles in most cases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-nights-with-ihg-rewards-club-select-credit-card">IHG&reg; Rewards Club Select Credit Card</a> earns 5 points per dollar spent at IHG properties, 2 points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point on other purchases. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Additional benefits include a free night's stay each year of card membership, platinum elite status, and 50% bonus earnings. The $49 annual fee is waived for the first year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-height="28" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-do="buttonPin" href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20that%20Transfer%20Points%20to%20Airline%20Miles_0.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20that%20Transfer%20Points%20to%20Airline%20Miles"><img alt="" src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img width="250" height="374" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20that%20Transfer%20Points%20to%20Airline%20Miles_0.jpg" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases">5 Best Credit Cards for Travel Purchases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-hotels">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles best credit cards points transfer travel Sat, 13 Jun 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Jason Steele 1455616 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun, Creative Uses for Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_000041408032.jpg" alt="Woman happy with using airline miles in cool ways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airline miles. Most of us have a few ways of racking them up, either through credit cards, loyalty clubs, or frequent flyer programs. Depending on which way you earn your miles, they can be worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">several cents per mile</a>, with one cent per mile being the average.</p> <p>The question is, what do you do with all those miles once you've collected a bunch? After all, 100,000 miles is a cool $1000, and can be acquired quickly with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">double miles card</a> and some business and personal trips.</p> <h2>1. Do Something Thrilling</h2> <p>How do you fancy doing a tandem skydive? What about doing three laps in a stock car or Indy race? Maybe a hot air balloon ride, fighter pilot experience, or scuba diving is your thing. Airline miles can now be turned into memories you will never forget. Some of them run as little as 10,000-11,000 miles, and others, they're over 650,000 miles. It all depends on how much of your breath you want taken away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die?ref=seealso">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</a>)</p> <h2>2. Turn Them Into Magazines</h2> <p>If you really want to stretch your airline miles, why not turn a few thousand in for some subscriptions to big magazines and newspapers? The price is so cheap, it's almost free. Many annual magazine subscriptions are under 2,000 miles, or $20. When you consider the average price at the newsstand is $4-$5, that's a steal. Newspapers also take part, and you can use local papers. Simply enter your zip code, and you'll get airline mile quotes for your local papers, usually for 13 weeks and above.</p> <h2>3. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>If you're feeling philanthropic, airline rewards can easily be donated to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good">whole host of charities</a>. It's not limited to the big ones, but some of the smallest charities in your local area. Just enter your zip code, and the area of interest you'd like to help out with. The miles will be turned into cash donations, and of course, they are tax deductible.</p> <h2>4. Get the Latest Music, Movies, and TV Series</h2> <p>Airline miles are now so flexible, you can use them on digital media downloads. Whether it's the latest albums, songs, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, or TV series, you can easily exchange the miles you have accrued for hours and hours of great entertainment. Just check out the offers page of your airline miles website.</p> <h2>5. Bid in Auctions</h2> <p>Most of the airline miles reward sites have an auctions section now. For instance, United is currently accepting mileage bids on VIP experiences with sports stars, and tickets for opening night at Doctor Zhivago on Broadway. Of course, if you don't win, you don't lose the miles, so you can bid again on something else. It's quite an invigorating way to use the miles.</p> <h2>6. Upgrade to Business or First Class</h2> <p>It can cost many thousands of dollars to buy a first class ticket to Europe. But when you use your miles, it's nowhere near as expensive. For instance, <a href="http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/09/19/many-miles-take/">take a quick look at this chart</a>. A typical upgrade to business class, from economy, is coming in at around 50,000 miles. You can take your long haul flight from a sardine can experience, to something much more pleasurable indeed. American Airlines <a href="http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/mileage-upgrade-chart.jsp">charges just 25,000</a> miles to go from a full fare ticket to a business seat.</p> <h2>7. Get a Better Hotel Room</h2> <p>Airline miles aren't just for air travel. Most miles you accrue can be transferred to hotel loyalty programs, be it Starwood Preferred Guest, Hilton HHonors, or Marriott Rewards. So, next time you check in, see if you can use some of your miles to get a much better room. It can cost as little as 6,000 miles to go from a standard room to a very fancy suite.</p> <h2>8. Take a Cruise</h2> <p>Turn your award miles into another vacation, at very little cost to you. These days, you can redeem your airline miles for tickets to cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal, Celebrity, Carnival, and Princess. And the cost? How about four nights in the Bahamas for under 25,000 miles? In fact, the average cost of a night on board a cruise ship is between 9,000 and 10,000 points. That's cheaper than a mediocre hotel room in the mid-west.</p> <h2>9. Pay Off Your Credit Card</h2> <p>Some credit cards have programs that can give you cash credits to your statement or even cold hard cash. With the former, you make travel related purchases with your credit card, and then use your miles to put that money back on the card at a later date. It's basically like using your miles to go shopping without worrying about using points to redeem flights or stays..</p> <h2>10. Get Cool Merchandise</h2> <p>What kind of cool stuff? Well, what do you want? Airline miles can be turned into great purchases, with categories including apparel, accessories, automotive, tools, baby gear, electronics, gadgets, home and garden, sports, outdoors, toys, collectibles, and more. I recently used rewards to get a fantastic hybrid coffee maker that uses both pods and regular filters. It's also great fun to browse. Of course, make sure you're not paying over the MSRP for anything. Some items are marked up considerably. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things?ref=seealso">Are You Wasting Your Credit Card Rewards on One of These Stupid Things?</a>)</p> <p><em>Now, have you done something cool with your airline miles that isn't on this list? Let us know. </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Fun%2C%20Creative%20Uses%20for%20Airline%20Miles.jpg&amp;description=10%20Fun%2C%20Creative%20Uses%20for%20Airline%20Miles" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Fun%2C%20Creative%20Uses%20for%20Airline%20Miles.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles flying frequent flyers loyalty clubs rewards programs Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1386037 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000040747052.jpg" alt="Woman at the airport waiting for her flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you getting the most value from your airline miles?</p> <p>Many travelers are disappointed when the airline they have earned their miles with is unable to offer them an award seat to their destination, or is charging far more miles than they expected.</p> <p>But what most people don't realize is that many airlines belong to a web of alliances and partnerships that allow you to use your miles to book award flights on other carriers. Here is how this system works.</p> <h2>Airline Alliances</h2> <p>There are three major global airline alliances operating today: Star Alliance, SkyTeam Alliance, and oneworld. Those who belong to the frequent flyer program of one carrier may redeem their miles for flights <em>on any alliance partner</em>.</p> <h3>Star Alliance (27 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Adria</li> <li>Aegean</li> <li>Air Canada</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air India</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>ANA</li> <li>Asiana Airlines</li> <li>Austrian</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Brussels Airlines</li> <li>CopaAirlines</li> <li>Croatia Airlines</li> <li>EgyptAir</li> <li>Ethiopian</li> <li>Eva Air</li> <li>Polish Airlines</li> <li>Lufthansa</li> <li>Scandinavian Airlines</li> <li>Shenzhen Airlines</li> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>South African Airways</li> <li>Swiss</li> <li>TAP Portugal</li> <li>Thai</li> <li>Turkish Airlines</li> <li>United</li> </ul> <h3>SkyTeam Alliance (20 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Aeroflot</li> <li>Aerolineas Argentinos</li> <li>AeroMexico</li> <li>AirEuropa</li> <li>AirFrance</li> <li>Alitalia</li> <li>China Airlines</li> <li>China Eastern</li> <li>China Southern</li> <li>Czech Airlines</li> <li>Delta</li> <li>Garuda Indonesia</li> <li>Kenya Airways</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Korean Air</li> <li>Middle East Airlines</li> <li>Saudia</li> <li>TAROM</li> <li>Vietnam Airlines</li> <li>XiamenAir</li> </ul> <h3>oneworld alliance (15 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>airberlin</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>Finnair</li> <li>Iberia</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> <li>LAN</li> <li>TAM Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Royal Jordanian</li> <li>S7 Airlines</li> <li>SriLankan Airlines</li> </ul> <h2>Using Partners to Maximize Miles Value</h2> <p>There are different ways to access award flights for an airline's partners to redeem your miles. Some require additional digging if an airline doesn't offer partner award seats through their website.</p> <h3>How it Works</h3> <p>There are many ways to leverage an airline's alliance membership and partners to maximize value from your miles. For example, United is part of the Star Alliance. So if you have United miles, then you can redeem them for flights that include one or more Star Alliance partners. In fact, an award trip booked with United Miles doesn't even have to include any flights on United Airlines itself. In addition, travelers can earn mileage credit on United when they purchase a ticket to fly on any of the Star Alliance partner carriers.</p> <p>In addition to these global airline alliances, many airlines have other partnerships with carriers that are part of a different alliance, or are independent of any alliance. For example, American, Delta, and British Airways are each partnered with Alaska Airlines, which is not a member of any of the three global alliances. Delta also has partnerships with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian Airlines, none of which are members of SkyTeam or another airline alliance. However, some of these partnerships only allow travelers to earn miles, not to redeem them for awards. For example, United is actually partnered with Amtrak, so you can earn miles when you book connecting train service from United between the Newark airport and Philadelphia, Wilmington, Stamford, or New Haven, but you can't redeem United miles for Amtrak tickets.</p> <h2>How to Claim Award Seats</h2> <p>First, you have to learn which airlines are partnered with the frequent flier programs you belong to, including both alliance and non-alliance partners, which will be listed on each airline's website.</p> <p>Then, you need to determine how to search for available award seats among the partners. Some airlines, like United, will display most partner award seats when you search online, but others such as US Airways will not display any. And when a partner flight is not visible online, that means that you must call the airline to book an itinerary that includes it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the staff at airline call centers might not be as motivated to find partner award seats as you will, so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=inarticle">award travel enthusiasts</a> have discovered ways to perform these searches on their own.</p> <p>One way is to use another alliance member that has a better website. For example, American's website will show available awards for several oneworld partners, while the US Airways website shows none. Therefore, you might search American's website to find partner awards, then you can call US Airways to book an award and politely suggest the available award flights that you have already found.</p> <p>In other instances, you can leverage these partnerships to save reward points and miles. For example, if you had points or miles in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards credit card</a> that allowed you to transfer them into a loyalty program, and you wanted to fly from San Francisco to Hawaii, you could transfer them to miles with United Airlines, which would require at least 40,000 miles round-trip. Instead, you could transfer them to British Airways which requires only 25,000 miles. Of course, British Airways doesn't fly between San Francisco and Hawaii, but it is a oneworld alliance partner with American and a non-alliance partner with Alaska, both of which offer service from the Bay Area to Hawaii.</p> <p>You would save 15,000 miles by understanding how to get award seats through a partner carrier.</p> <h2>Spend American Miles to Fly to Italy on a Spanish Carrier</h2> <p>Last spring, I had plenty of American Airlines miles, and I wanted to take a family trip to Italy. Although American serves Italy, it had few award seats available, and none during the summer when we wanted to travel. Nevertheless, I knew that American's website did not display awards for some of their partners, including Iberia Airlines of Spain.</p> <p>So I signed up for a frequent flyer account with Iberia, searched for award seats on its website, and found the flights that I needed to Italy on Iberia flights via Spain. Finally, I called American to book the award seats. In fact, it is very likely that these seats were still available during the peak season precisely because they did not appear on American's website, and were never seen by tens of millions of American frequent flyers. So it really pays to look for these &quot;hidden&quot; partner awards, as they are far more likely to be available.</p> <p>When travelers learn how to leverage airline partnerships, they will find that their frequent flyer miles can take them farther than they may have thought.</p> <p><em>Have you leveraged carrier partnerships to get the most out of your miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel">8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline alliance airline miles airlines frequent flyer rewards Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1329720 at http://www.wisebread.com The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-141733285.jpg" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a quick holiday in Europe. Okay, probably not <em>everyone</em>, but find me a person who would turn down a free flight to Europe, and I'll stand corrected. Many of my friends, family, and colleagues, who know my obsession with travel and miles, will ask what are the best deals for flying to Europe. There are several options available to you, the traveler, that I'm happy to detail below! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>American Airlines</h2> <p>A member of the OneWorld Alliance, American Airlines isn't the most <em>exciting</em> airline to fly to Europe, but there is a reason why I am recommending it first on this list. While normal award flights can cost 60,000 miles on American, during their &quot;off-peak&quot; times, roundtrip flights will only cost you 40,000 miles. This is a <em>great deal</em>. And, on top of that, American allows you to build in a stopover in the North American gateway city, so you could possibly spend a week in New York during a stopover before jetting off to Europe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">Secrets From Frugal Frequent Traveler</a>s)</p> <p>The best way to earn miles in this program (short of actually flying them) is to get one of their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get">AAdvantage credit cards</a>. There are three card products you can choose from -- and get some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">bonus miles for signing up</a> while you're at it!&nbsp;</p> <h2>ANA</h2> <p>It seems a little weird to recommend an Asian carrier for flights to Europe, but when that airline is in the Star Alliance, one of the three major air alliances, it makes it easy to redeem points through partners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-miles-and-points?ref=seealso">Beginner&rsquo;s Guide to Miles and Points</a>)</p> <p>ANA's Mileage Club uses distance-based awards, so this recommendation is for our East Coast readers. Using Mileage Club points, you can fly East Coast to London for 38,000 miles. Taxes vary depending on the airline that you end up flying on, but you can check the ANA website for costs.</p> <h2>Air France/KLM</h2> <p>Flying Blue, the program of Air France and KLM, offers a special award called <a href="http://www.flyingblue.com/promo-awards.html">Promo Awards</a>, which allows you to fly much more cheaply than you would have otherwise. This all comes with the caveat that you must be located close to one of their gateway cities in order to capitalize on this deal. For example, this month, the Promo Awards offered from North America include Boston-Europe on Air France or Houston-Europe on KLM for the low roundtrip price of 37,500 miles. These offers change every month, and are valid for two months out from when you book.</p> <h2>US Airways</h2> <p>US Airways offers off-peak awards as well. Though a smaller window than the American Airlines example mentioned above, for only 35,000 miles, you can fly between North America and Europe between January 15th and February 28th. This is a very, very low rate, and with so many cities that US Airways flies to from the States (Phoenix, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and DC are all hubs), you are sure to find a flight during this off-peak time. With its partnership with American Airlines, you can get US Airways award flights through the AAdvantage credit cards.</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>This all may seem a bit overwhelming for the newbie award flyer, but in time, it will all begin to make sense. There are many types of award miles out there; it's best to familiarize yourself with the major ones so that you make better decisions with your hard earned miles. I know that it took me months of pouring over award charts to discover the &quot;hidden pockets&quot; of travel goodness that I shared with you above. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frequent-flyer-rules-to-go-farther-on-fewer-miles?ref=seealso">Frequent Flyer Rules to Go Farther on Fewer Miles</a>)</p> <p>And, as I mentioned a few times above, credit cards are a fast, quick and easy way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">earn travel miles</a> for whichever program you are looking to utilize. With so many credit cards now offering free foreign transaction fees, essentially eliminating one major annoyance from travel in the past, it makes monetary sense to carry at least one card in your wallet. Always know your spending habits, though. For some people, it may be dangerous to carry a credit card with a high limit!</p> <p><em>There are many options between Europe and North America, in terms of award flights. Which ones above interested you? Did I miss any that you have found in your research? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles europe travel frequent flyers rewards travel Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:24:34 +0000 Mark Jackson 1137292 at http://www.wisebread.com This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly) http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-168759740.jpg" alt="family on plane" title="family on plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many different types of reward programs that offer miles and points that it can be very difficult for those newer to the world of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">rewards credit cards</a> and (almost) free travel to know where to start. If you're interested in diving in, a very good place to consider starting is with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. These points are flexible, valuable, and easy to earn.</p> <p>However, a &quot;secret&quot; that many people don't know is that cards within the program can work together to help you earn even more for your purchases. Here are some details about how the program works and how to get the maximum value when earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <h2>What Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Point?</h2> <p>A Chase Ultimate Rewards point is a credit card rewards point earned via a Chase credit card that falls under the Ultimate Rewards umbrella. Right now that includes cards such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-visa-review-200-cash-back-bonus?ref=internal">Chase Freedom</a>, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review-500-signup-bonus?ref=internal">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a>, Ink Cash, and Ink Plus.</p> <h2>How Do You Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?</h2> <p>You earn at least one point per dollar charged on a card that earns Ultimate Rewards. But the real trick is to take advantage of the bonus categories of these various cards in order to rack up the points much faster.</p> <h3>Chase Freedom</h3> <p>Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 month like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee.</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred</h3> <p>Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Also, get 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate Rewards. Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. </p> <h3>Chase Ink Cash</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, Internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants. (No annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Ink Plus</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotel accommodations (when purchased directly with the hotel). Also, pay 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate rewards. ($95 annual fee.)</p> <h3>Ultimate Rewards Mall</h3> <p>Another great way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is via the Ultimate Rewards Mall. This is an online shopping portal that is open only to those with an Ultimate Rewards earning card. In this &quot;online mall&quot; you can earn bonus points for online purchases at retailers such as Home Depot, Sears, Kohl's, Pottery Barn, REI, Apple, and J.Crew. You click via provided links from the Ultimate Rewards Mall to your favorite retailer's site and then make your purchase like normal. For doing so, you earn a bonus number of Ultimate Rewards points that range anywhere from one extra point per dollar to 25 extra points per dollar.</p> <p>At 10 extra points per dollar this means that your $100 online purchase at Kohl's goes from earning 100 points to earning the 100 points it normally would on your card plus 1,000 bonus points for making the purchase at 10x via the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall. This is a great way to earn a ton more Ultimate Rewards points in a hurry!</p> <h2>Redeeming Ultimate Rewards</h2> <p>You can redeem the points at a one point equals one cent value for merchandise such as a digital camera, retailer gift cards to places like Gap, as a direct deposit into a Chase account, at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon.com</a>, or as a statement credit.</p> <p>But that's as much as you can do with a Freedom or Ink Cash cards as far as redemption.</p> <p>The other cards (the ones with an annual fee, of course) offer you more travel value.</p> <p>First, you get an additional 20% off travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>But the best redemption value comes when you transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to a hotel or airline partner such as United MileagePlus, Hyatt Gold Passport, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Virgin Atlantic.</p> <p>Many people, myself included, get far more than the one cent per point value when you can transfer to some of those programs listed above. For example, via Hyatt Gold Passport you can book a room on the ski slopes at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Canyons Mountain Resort for just 15,000 points per night. During peak ski season nights, rooms at this hotel can go for $400 - $500 per night, so clearly you get more than one cent per point value when you use your Ultimate Rewards points in this manner.</p> <p>Even better, you can combine points with spouses or domestic partners!</p> <h2>The Chase Duo</h2> <p>As I mentioned earlier, you can use Ultimate Rewards to its fullest power by having several cards and accounts under Chase. Specifically, if you have two of the following:</p> <ol> <li>A Chase Freedom Card or Chase Ink Cash Card;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus Card.</li> </ol> <p>As I mentioned above, the Freedom and Ink Cash cards allow you to redeem your points for gift cards, travel (spent via the Ultimate Rewards portal), or cash at one point equals one cent. However, if you also have one of Chase's top tier cards (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus), you can transfer your points to these cards, which you can then use to transfer 1:1 directly to hotel and airline partners!</p> <p>This means you can take advantage of Freedom's 5x quarterly bonus points <em>and</em> be able to transfer them at a 1:1 rate to travel partners. You can't do this if you have the Freedom card alone. You must have either a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card in order to do the 1:1 transfer.</p> <p>Ultimate Rewards points, when used to their maximum potential, can bring otherwise unattainable luxury travel expenses like ocean-front resorts, first or business class flights, and more into the realm of very possible. Now get out there and start turning your everyday purchases into a pile of valuable Ultimate Rewards points!</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of the Chase Duo to wrack up the reward miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-hull">Summer Hull</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles credit card rewards travel travel rewards Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:00:37 +0000 Summer Hull 1137336 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane-5270783-small.jpg" alt="airline" title="airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From choice of program, to accumulation strategies, ongoing management, and eventual redemption, there are many tricks to effectively using frequent flyer miles. Here is everything you need to know to become a frequent flyer superstar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Choosing Your Rewards Program</h2> <p>Before you even choose your weapon (aka mileage programs and strategies), you need to establish the game at hand. Instead of randomly collecting miles for the sake of collecting them, find a reason to earn miles. Is it a business class flight to Europe? A family vacation to Disney? The more focused you are in your intent, the more targeted and effective your accumulation strategies will be. (See also: <u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points">Maximize the Value of Your Airline Miles and Points</a></u>)</p> <p><strong>Programs Galore</strong></p> <p>Although generally referred to as &quot;frequent flyer miles,&quot; a more accurate term would be &quot;reward miles&quot; or &quot;reward points,&quot; since not only airlines, but hotels, transportation providers, and even grocery stores provide opportunities for accumulating points that can translate into free or discounted travel.</p> <p><strong>Understand the Alliances</strong></p> <p>Most major airlines belong to an alliance, which allows for accumulation and redemption of miles with different airlines. Thus, you can accumulate miles with US Airways, and redeem them for flights on Swiss Air. Or you can fly with West Jet, but attribute your miles to American Airlines.</p> <p>The three major alliances are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.staralliance.com/en/">Star Alliance</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.oneworld.com/member-airlines/">One World</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/Our-members/">Sky Team</a>.</p> <p><strong>Diversify Among Alliances</strong></p> <p>To maximize your opportunities (without scattering your efforts too much), choose one airline from each alliance as a focal point for accumulation.</p> <p><strong>Collect Universal Points</strong></p> <p>There are a few reward miles programs (like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan.aspx">Alaska Airlines</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/index.html">SPG</a>) that provide excellent flexibility in allowing you to transfer your points to airlines and hotel programs spread across all the alliances. Look for ways to accumulate miles into one of these types of programs (such as with a credit card &mdash; see below).</p> <h2>Managing Miles</h2> <p>This is where we separate the aces from the also-rans, because managing miles is nor for the faint of heart. But all the effort will pay off, especially if you're enjoying a long-haul business class flight for a fraction of the price of an economy ticket.</p> <p><strong>Organize Yourself</strong></p> <p>Despite choosing focal points for major accumulation within each of the alliances, you're going to end up having lots of accounts. Signing up for a hotel program and liking them on Facebook for 1,000 points could come in handy down the road when you find a bonus transfer deal.</p> <p>But this means you'll also have to organize multiple user names, passwords, membership numbers, and track your earnings. Dust off your spreadsheet skills and don't be wary of joining too many programs; you never know when they'll be useful.</p> <p><strong>Use a Rewards Management Site</strong></p> <p>Though not a full substitute for the trusty spreadsheet, using a rewards management site can help you get an overview your memberships, find deals, and transfer miles between programs. The three main sites are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.awardwallet.com/">Award Wallet</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here">Points</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.usingmiles.com/">Using Miles</a>.</p> <p><strong>Watch for Expiration</strong></p> <p>Many programs revoke your miles if your account is inactive for too long. But you can keep them going with as little as a periodic $1 online purchase earning miles to that program. Rewards management sites like those above help you to track your expiration dates so you can earn accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Beware of Transfers and Trades</strong></p> <p>Although a couple of the programs above allow you to trade miles between users and transfer miles between rewards programs, beware! Most of the time you'll lose too much value per mile for it to be worthwhile. The exception to this rule is with the universal points programs referenced earlier.</p> <p><strong>Track Your Strategies</strong></p> <p>When you complete a transaction that earns you miles (be it online shopping, booking a flight, or participating in a promotion), record your activity in your trusty spreadsheet &mdash; and double-check that the miles are deposited to your account. Sometimes you need to contact the rewards program to ensure the correct amount of miles are attributed. They're usually quite nice when you call, but don't trust all transactions to process correctly; be ready to enforce your rights.</p> <h2>Earning Miles</h2> <p>Here are some ways and means to earn miles. Combine as many strategies as you can to maximize value!</p> <p><strong>Don't Reinvent the Wheel</strong></p> <p>I don't have time to extensively research all programs and opportunities, nor to troll the frequent <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php">flyer talk forums</a> for deals. As an answer to this, you can enroll in various membership programs such as the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-83-frequent-flyer-mile-accumulation-for-canadians/">Canadian Freeflyers</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.firstclassflyer.com/">First Class Flyer</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-85-the-ultimate-guide-to-frequent-flyer-miles/">The Ultimate Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles</a> to provide a knowledge base, and deliver new deals to your inbox.</p> <p><strong>Get a Credit Card (or Two)</strong></p> <p>I've (cautiously) extolled the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">virtues of credit cards</a> for years now; the main reason being that they are excellent tools for accumulating miles on every dollar you spend.</p> <p>Choose a credit card with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">a plush bonus for signing up</a>, and a program that is one of your chosen focal points for accumulation.</p> <p>Some people apply ruthlessly for credit cards offering sign-up bonuses, then cancel the cards accordingly. Use this strategy with caution (don't overextend your credit, don't get yourself into unnecessary debt, and keep an eye on your credit score); but when done successfully you can earn mega-miles.</p> <p><strong>Go Shopping</strong></p> <p>This isn't a carte blanche order. But if you need to buy something (right down to gas and groceries), make sure you're earning for it. Some airline programs have online shopping malls (allowing you to earn various amounts per dollar spent across a huge variety of stores), and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-travel-but-hate-airline-miles-try-amexs-blue-sky-preferred">some credit cards provide bonus miles for purchases</a> in certain retail categories.</p> <p>Look for retailers offering mileage bonus deals, and pay for the item with your reward miles credit card to maximize your earnings.</p> <p><strong>Go Flying</strong></p> <p>Although the end-game is usually to fly for free (or almost free) &mdash; and ideally <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">in business class or higher</a>, sometimes you have to fly somewhere and you don't have the miles to do it.</p> <p>Or, if you're an eager accumulator, maybe you're interested in doing a &quot;mileage run&quot; and flying a route offering a special mileage deal.</p> <p>Choose airlines that help you earn miles in one of your focal programs (remember, sometimes you can fly with one airline and earn with another), and sometimes a marginally more expensive flight with an accumulating airline beats out a slightly cheaper flight with a budget airline that earns you no miles.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels</strong></p> <p>Hotel rewards programs not only offer valuable points and bonuses for staying, but regular promotions that earn you miles without needing to book anything. Some hotel points are also transferrable to airline miles at good value.</p> <h2>Redeeming Miles</h2> <p>This is what it's ultimately about. You've earned the miles, and you want to use them for travel.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels (Again)</strong></p> <p>Using points towards stays can be quite lucrative. Remember to engineer your accumulation strategy towards your desired travel goals. You can earn miles for redemption towards flights and hotels (and even car rentals) to further cut your travel costs.</p> <p><strong>Don't Get Sidetracked</strong></p> <p>Some rewards programs offer goods, certificates, and services in exchange for your points. Most of the time, the value per mile is atrocious for these items; just buy the blender for cash &mdash; you'll pay exponentially more for it if you use miles.</p> <p><strong>Flying for Miles and Cash</strong></p> <p>If you don't have enough miles for a flight, some airlines allow you to redeem your miles and pay cash to cover the difference. Pay attention to their valuation per mile; sometimes it's worthwhile to pay all cash for this flight and earn miles, using your beefed-up mileage balance for your next flight.</p> <p><strong>Free Flights Aren't Exactly Free</strong></p> <p>Even if miles pay for your &quot;full flight&quot;, you're always on the hook for taxes, fees, and various surcharges. These vary by airline, airport, and route. You can minimize these fees with a little comparative digging.</p> <p><strong>Fly in Style</strong></p> <p>You get much better valuation on your miles when you fly in business class, and on long-haul flights. (And I must say, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">business class is addictive</a>.)</p> <h2>Not in the USA?</h2> <p>There is much griping amongst non-U.S. residents that the best frequent flyer mile deals are exclusive to the United States. And to a point, it's true.</p> <p>But all is not lost for those of us in Canada, Europe, and beyond. Canadians can shorten the learning curve with programs like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.canadianfreeflyers.com/">Canadian Free Flyers</a>, and regardless of where you live, there are deals you can participate in. <a target="_blank" href="http://travelhacking.org/">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> founder Chris Guillebeau surmises that at least 50% of the deals he publishes are applicable internationally, and he extends his free flight guarantee to all his readers &mdash; U.S. residents or not.</p> <p><em>How do navigate the confusing world of airline frequent flyer programs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Deals and Coupons Travel airline miles frequent flyer frequent flyer miles travel travel rewards Mon, 15 Jul 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Nora Dunn 980279 at http://www.wisebread.com Advanced Airline Miles Collection Tricks for High Flyers http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-airline-miles-collection-tricks-for-high-flyers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/advanced-airline-miles-collection-tricks-for-high-flyers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4553247-small.jpg" alt="airline tickets" title="airline tickets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On one of my first award flights in international business class, I was settling into my lie flat seat for the 13-hour flight, just as economy class passengers were boarding. One of them gasped at my accommodations and asked, &quot;How did you get that seat?&quot; The only response I could offer was &quot;Collect frequent flier miles.&quot; I doubt she was satisfied by that answer, but if you are serious about earning the most points and miles, I'll share some of my more advanced techniques. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Focus on Sign Up Bonuses</h2> <p>I earn hundreds of thousands of points a year, but I don't buy airline tickets with dollars and I certainly don&rsquo;t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on my credit cards. Thankfully, we are fortunate to live in a time when banks are willing to offer hundreds, or even thousands of dollars worth of rewards, just to give new customers a chance to earn their business. Currently, there are some fantastic sign-up bonuses available that are worth 50,000 points or miles, or two free nights in the most luxurious hotels. Each of those can be worth about two thousand dollars to those who use their points and miles wisely.</p> <p>Nevertheless, cardholders need to be careful. Only sign up for new credit cards if doing so will not be an incentive for you to spend more than necessary. And if you have credit card debt, focus on paying it off, not earning rewards.</p> <h2>2. Watch for Bonus Spending Categories</h2> <p>You can earn tens of thousands of points or miles without spending tens of thousands of dollars. The trick is to use credit cards that offer double, triple, or even more rewards on certain categories of spending.</p> <p>For example, the Chase Freedom, Discover It, and Citi Dividend Platinum Select each offer 5x rewards for spending on categories that change each quarter. I get 5x points for charging office supplies, telephone, and Internet service to my Chase Ink Bold card, and I earn double points for dining and travel charges on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Find the cards that will give you the biggest bonuses for the purchases you make the most, and use them strategically.</p> <h2>3. Spend Shifting</h2> <p>What if your card is offering 5x miles at grocery stores, but you need to make a major purchase from a hardware store? Simply go to your grocery store and buy a gift card for the hardware store. In many cases, you can even buy generic Visa, MasterCard, or American Express gift cards at grocery, drug, and office supply stores. These cards can be used anywhere within their respective payment networks, but just make sure that the miles you receive are worth any extra fees you must pay.</p> <h2>4. Manufactured Spending</h2> <p>The holy grail of advance mileage earning is to buy something with a mileage earning credit card, and somehow use that purchase to pay off the card. This was once just the territory of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-mileage-hacking-creative-ways-to-earn-flier-miles">extreme mileage hackers</a>, but it is now being used by hobbyists to varying degrees.</p> <p>What changed?</p> <p>Banks are now racing to offer pre-paid debit cards to the &quot;underbanked&quot; population, and it is sometimes possible to use a credit card to purchase reloads for these cards. The money can then be withdrawn from an ATM or even used to pay off the credit card bill electronically. Other times, people purchase gift cards, and use those cards to purchase money orders that are then deposited in their bank accounts just like checks. In addition, people use electronic payment services such as Amazon.com to pay each other via their credit card.</p> <h2>Getting Started</h2> <p>So how do you get started? First, do lots of research. New opportunities constantly arise and loopholes constantly close as this hobby has become a cat and mouse game between reward travel enthusiasts and financial service providers. Be aware that people are happy to disclose their failures online, but less enthusiastic share their success and risk having a loophole become popularized. Be sure to focus on credit cards with spending bonuses, as these products will be more likely to offer rewards in excess of any fees you are charged.</p> <p>Next, just dip your toe in. Make a small purchase of a reload pack or a gift card, and try to cash it out. You will want to test any technique before scaling it up, as there are lots of ways this can go wrong. In fact, some transactions can be approved or denied depending on the region you live in, the store you visit, or even the cashier on duty that day. Finally, don&rsquo;t bother with this unless you have your finances in order and are good at keeping things organized.</p> <p>Earning a few thousand points for a reward trip to Disney World is easy enough, but the real challenge is earning hundreds of thousands of miles for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight">a premium class international trip</a>. By learning about advanced mileage earning techniques, you too can eventually invite jealous stares from your business class seat.</p> <p><em>Have you tried any of these &mdash; or other &mdash; airline point gathering techniques? Share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advanced-airline-miles-collection-tricks-for-high-flyers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles frequent flyer miles Wed, 10 Jul 2013 10:24:42 +0000 Jason Steele 980495 at http://www.wisebread.com Maximize the Value of Your Airline Miles and Points http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airport-4550371-small.jpg" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When people learn how much I travel, and how little I pay, they typically want to get in on the deal. And while everyone recognizes that <em>earning</em> points and miles is a challenge, few realize that learning the best way to <em>spend</em> them is at least as important. So when I redeem any of my airline, hotel, or credit card rewards, the first thing I want to know is how many cents per point or mile am I getting. I need to know this in order to ensure that I am getting the most value from my points and miles, as well as my reward credit cards.</p> <p>How do you know how much value you are getting when you redeem an award? Ask yourself a few questions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. What Does the Product or Service Cost?</h2> <p>This is the easiest question to answer, and most people stop there. But there is a lot more to determining the value miles and points than getting a quote for the cash price.</p> <h2>2. What Do I Have to Give Up to Redeem the Points?</h2> <p>With most airlines, points or miles can only be redeemed at the lowest mileage levels for a small fraction of the seats. So, if you have to cut your vacation short by a few days or accept an extra change of planes in order to reach your destination, you are getting less actual value from your reward ticket than the value of a restriction-free, full cash ticket.</p> <h2>3. What Is the Cheapest Alternative?</h2> <p>When you find an available award flight or hotel stay, you can't just look up the price from the company that offers it. You should also consider if there is a comparable flight or hotel room being offered by a competitor at a lower cost. Since the lower priced option is what you would have paid, that is the <em>maximum</em> your award is worth.</p> <h2>4. What Is the Reward Worth to You?</h2> <p>The best value for airline and hotel rewards is typically for luxury travel. When redeemed for flights in business class, or reward nights in luxury hotels, it is easy to receive rewards that normally sell for five cents per point/mile or more.</p> <p>But unfortunately, you can't really conclude that you are receiving $8,000 in value for a business class flight, unless you normally pay cash for those tickets. Instead, I like to perform a thought experiment.</p> <p>I ask myself what is the most I would have paid in cash for the business class seat, compared to the standard economy seat. What I usually decide is that it is worth about 50% more than a coach seat, not the two to five times it usually sells for. And coincidentally, that is often about how many more miles a business class reward requires, so I gladly pay it when available.</p> <h2>5. How Many Points or Miles Can I Earn by Paying Cash?</h2> <p>Finally, the last thing to consider is the rewards you would earn if you paid for the travel with dollars. For example, if you purchased a ticket for a three thousand mile round trip flight for $500, you would have earned 3,000 miles plus perhaps another 1,000 miles from an airline credit card. If you valued your miles at 1.5 cents each (which is the standard estimated value), you would have a missed out on $60 worth of miles by redeeming a reward instead of paying cash. So essentially, you are losing a little more than 10% of the value of your miles because you don't <em>earn</em> miles on reward tickets.</p> <h2>The Two Cent Rule</h2> <p>Despite my five part methodology, I try not to overthink this. My goal is to get <em>at least</em> two cents in value for every dollar I spend on a credit card that returns points or miles.</p> <p>Why two cents?</p> <p>Because that is essentially what you always get when you use a card with a fixed value rewards program. For example, each mile earned on a a travel rewards card that offers double miles on all purchases is worth one cent each as a statement credit towards any travel reservation.</p> <h2>Getting More Than Your Two Cents' Worth</h2> <p>The two cent rule is a pretty good goal, but we can do better using a couple of strategies. First, use a card that offers bonus miles or points on certain categories of spending. Next, I zero in on the highest value reward options. For airline miles, this includes last minute flights and trips in international business class. For hotels, sometimes it means a luxury property, but I have also gotten amazing deals on nice hotels in the suburbs and near major airports that can still be expensive.</p> <p>When you take the time to calculate how much your reward <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">points and miles are worth</a>, only then will you be able to earn the most valuable travel rewards.</p> <p><em>How do you make the most of your airline miles or points?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:36:32 +0000 Jason Steele 978158 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000091889481_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal shoppers often spend a lot of effort looking for discounts worth a few dollars off of the goods they normally purchase. But what I have learned is that far greater bargains are available to those who get serious about earning travel rewards. And while some might consider the world of frequent flier miles and hotel points to be for those who purchase the most travel, I earn and spend hundreds of thousands of points and miles each year, and I hardly pay anything for my vacations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>It took me years to learn everything I know about reward travel with points and miles, but my goal is to help you get started today with four simple steps.</p> <h2>Step 1: Organize Your Points and Miles</h2> <p>If you use a reward credit card, or have ever traveled anywhere, you probably have more than a few accounts with points and miles. But do you know how many accounts do you have, what their balances are, and when or if they expire? If this sounds overwhelming to you, don't worry! There are several websites designed to make this task easy. I use <a href="http://www.awardwallet.com/">Award Wallet</a> (free with an optional subscription), but others include <a href="https://www.points.com/">Points.com</a> and <a href="https://www.usingmiles.com/">usingmiles.com</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review">Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review</a>)</p> <h2>Step 2: Learn More About Your Favorite Program</h2> <p>If you are interested in reward travel, you probably already have a favorite airline, hotel, or credit card program. Rather than trying to learn about the programs of all of their competitors, start by discovering something new about the one program you use the most. Simply visit their website, explore of the program's features, and find out if they are currently offering any promotions. Focus on all of the ways to earn points or miles, as well as the different options for redeeming them. Also, check out what it takes to become an &quot;elite&quot; member in their program and how far away you are from the next level. Finally, if you Google the name of program, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge published in blogs and on message boards.</p> <h2>Step 3: Set Some Reachable Goals</h2> <p>Hold off planning an around-the-world trip in first class and start by focusing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight">on a more modest vacation</a>. If you already have some points and miles, you might look at planning a trip later this year, but if you are starting from scratch, think about looking forward to next year.</p> <p>Why should you plan so far ahead? First, you will need to accumulate enough points and miles for the trip, and that can take time. But also, it can be very challenging to find available reward seats on most airlines, and the more time you have to plan your trip, the better. On the other hand, less time is necessary when you can be very flexible with the dates you want to travel and you choice of destination.</p> <h2>Step 4: Start Earning Miles Today</h2> <p>There is no need to pack your bags, as there are plenty of ways to earn points and miles at home. The easiest way to do so is with a credit card, but this may not be the right choice for everyone. Those who are carrying a balance on their credit card should always be focused on finding the card with the lowest possible interest rate, and unfortunately that is not going to be a rewards card. And the last thing you need when you are trying to get out of debt is a product that <em>rewards</em> you for spending <em>more</em>.</p> <p>But those without credit card debt should be earning as many miles as possible from their cards!</p> <h2>Choosing the Right Credit Card</h2> <p>For beginners, the best credit card is going to have a great sign up bonus while earning points or miles that are easy to redeem. Here are my two favorite cards for beginners and seasoned experts alike:</p> <p><strong>The Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card From American Express</strong></p> <p>Can't decide whether to get an airline or a hotel rewards card? Get both! Although this card earns points in Starwood's hotel program, they can be transferred to frequent flier miles with over 30 different airlines. New applicants earn 25,000 after spending $3,000 in their first three months of card membership. If you want to learn more about why I think this card is great, read <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">my review of it</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card From Chase</strong></p> <p>Again, this card offers reward points that can be used for award flights as well as free nights at hotels. For each dollar spent, cardholders earn one point in Chase's Ultimate Rewards program, and two points for spending on travel and dining. New cardholders earn 50,000 points when they spend $4,000 on their card within three months of opening their account. Once earned, points can be transferred to nine different airline and hotel programs, as well as Amtrak Guest Rewards. Alternatively, get 20% off travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Read <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">my complete review of this card here</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles frequent flier miles travel rewards Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Jason Steele 977968 at http://www.wisebread.com Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first_class_flight.jpg" alt="Woman in first class" title="Woman in first class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Picture this &mdash; two travel reward credit card holders are saving up for an airline award ticket. Over a year or two, one of them charges $40,000 to his reward card affiliated with a major domestic airline, yet has trouble finding a round trip domestic award in Economy class for the 40,000 miles he earned. The other cardholder charges the same $40,000, but she ends up with a Business class award from New York to Milan, spending several nights visiting in London, Paris, and Barcelona along the way.</p> <p>How is this possible? The first cardholder used a typical credit card associated with an airline, which offers one mile per dollar spent, and domestic economy class awards for as little as 25,000 miles. In contrast, the second cardholder used a credi card that offers <em>two </em>miles per dollar spent, and for the 80,000 miles she earned, she sat&nbsp;in Business class, visiting as many as four different cities along the way. This is a dramatic illustration of how choosing the right credit card, and redeeming the ideal award can make a dramatic difference in the value a credit card holder receives in return for their continued loyalty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Top 5 Travel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Why You Should Use Your Reward Credit Cards for Premium Awards</h3> <p>Using a reward credit card is all about maximizing your return on each dollar spent. I hold credit cards that return up to 6% cash back on certain categories of spending and at least double miles on all other purchases.</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s look at how most airlines price their tickets in miles and in dollars. A domestic round trip award ticket in economy class can require as little as 25,000 miles, but those tickets are very hard to find. Most likely, any award available at the lowest mileage rate will sell for about $250-$500, with rare exceptions. Therefore, I am only receiving only about 1&ndash;2 cents in value for my domestic economy awards. A typical economy class ticket to Europe sells for between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the destination and the time of year I am traveling, yet the award will only require 50,000 miles at the lowest levels. Now I am receiving a more substantial 2-4 cents in value per mile spent. The same ticket in Business class will cost between $4,000 and $8,000, yet most domestic carriers will charge only 100,000 miles for the award. All of the sudden, I am earning a remarkable 4-8 cents in value for each mile redeemed, and by extension, each dollar charged to the typical <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards" title="Credit Cards">rewards credit card</a>.</p> <h3>How to Maximize the Miles You Earn</h3> <p>Cardholders can further increase their returns by using a card that earns extra miles. Many cards offer mileage bonuses on broad categories of transactions, like double points on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries" title="The Best Credit Cards for Groceries">gas and groceries</a>. In addition, nearly all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards" title="The Best Sign Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards">airline cards</a> offer double miles for purchases with their affiliated carrier. When I use my credit card to earn double miles, and those miles are redeemed for premium class international awards, I end up with an astonishing 8-16 cents in value returned per dollar spent.</p> <h3>Earning the Right Miles</h3> <p>Why bother earning miles with one airline when some credit cards earn flexible points in a system that will allow you to transfer your points to miles in any one of several different airlines? American Express&rsquo;s Membership Rewards and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly/ref=inarticle">Chase&rsquo;s Ultimate Rewards</a>&nbsp;can be redeemed for miles with many different airlines or points in various hotel chains. I&rsquo;ve transferred points to miles with a dozen different airlines, each time earning the right award for my particular travel needs.</p> <h3>Finding the Best Awards</h3> <p>I could write a book on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-maximize-the-value-of-your-frequent-flier-miles" title="How to Maximize the Value of Your Frequent Flier Miles">how best to redeem your airline miles</a>, but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would &ldquo;Partners.&rdquo; Remember the example above? That traveler never had to set foot on a flight to earn her award. Instead, she simply redeemed her miles for an award on flights operated by its partners. Consider the possibilities of earning flexible reward points, and transferring them to the mileage programs of one of many airlines for travel on any of those airline&rsquo;s many partners. Only then will you begin to realize the endless permutations of travel awards that are offered.</p> <p>The confusing part is that each airline has its own partner award chart and its own rules. While some airlines allow travelers to visit three cities on an award ticket, others only allows one stopover (a stopover is usually defined as a change of planes with more than 24 hours in the same city).</p> <p>Ultimately, finding the most valuable awards means studying each airline&rsquo;s award chart the way you might look for great deals in your Sunday paper. It takes some effort, but I will get you started &mdash; I recently booked a Business Class partner award on Delta to Africa. It required 120,000 miles, which is merely 20,000 miles more than their Business class partner award to Europe. I will only be visiting Kenya and Uganda, but with the same award, I could have had a free stopover in Europe, continuing on as far as Madagascar or Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with their partner Air France.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite customer&rsquo;s frustration <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-frequent-flier-program-has-the-best-awards-availability" title="Frequent Flier Program With the Best Awards Availability">redeeming frequent flier miles</a>, there are still many great values out there. By using your credit card to earn the right miles, and by finding the best value in rewards, you can still find premium travel awards that are far more valuable than mere cash back.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles credit card benefits travel rewards Wed, 04 Jan 2012 11:36:15 +0000 Jason Steele 852968 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Maximize the Value of Your Frequent Flier Miles http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-maximize-the-value-of-your-frequent-flier-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-maximize-the-value-of-your-frequent-flier-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hawaii_beach.jpg" alt="Waikiki Beach" title="Waikiki Beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The only thing that puts a bigger smile on my face than traveling to an exotic destination is doing so for nearly nothing. Frequent flier miles can give us that opportunity, but only if we use them carefully. Just like when paying with dollars, travelers should always be on the lookout for the best deals to ensure they are getting their money&rsquo;s worth when it comes time to redeem an award.</p> <p>Here are five critical steps to ensuring that you are getting the most from your points and miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">How I Score&nbsp;Free Travel With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set a Value for Your Miles</h3> <p>The first step to ensuring you are getting a good deal is to understand how much your points and miles are worth. For example, airline miles were once valued at two cents each, but thanks to increasing restrictions and capacity controls on awards, most experts now consider them to be worth closer to one cent each. Why is this important? On my last trip from Denver to Chicago, I paid $180 in cash because I concluded it was not worth it for me to redeem 25,000 miles for an award for the same flight. By only realizing .72 cents per mile, I would have received far less in value for my miles than they their value to me. In contrast, on my recent trip to Israel and Italy, I redeemed 120,000 miles per business class ticket, worth about $7,000 each. This returned an excellent value of 5.8 cents per mile and was certainly a worthy use of my miles.</p> <h3>2. Aggressively Search for Seats at the Lowest Mileage Levels</h3> <p>It used to be that an airline either had an award seat available or they didn&rsquo;t. Today, most airlines offer their awards in a number of tiers, with much more mileage being required for flights where only the highest tiers remain. It is tempting to give up in frustration after failing to find the seats you want at the lowest redemption levels, but don&rsquo;t give up. Search for awards as far in advance as possible, but keep looking throughout the year. And stay flexible, both in the dates of travel and in the possible routings you are willing to accept. For example, I am willing to make additional stopover on an international award in business class rather than pay for the most direct routing in coach.</p> <h3>3. Leverage Stopovers and Open Jaws</h3> <p>One of the most beautiful aspects of award travel is that most airlines allow one or more additional stop-overs, an open-jaw itinerary, or both. For example, one could fly from New York to Rome with a stop-over in London. In this case, Rome is the <em>destination,</em> while London is merely the en-route stopover. Most airlines define a stopover on an international itinerary as a stay of more than 24 hours, so it is even possible to overnight in several different cities along your route.</p> <p>An open-jaw itinerary is one that proceeds from a city other than the last destination. For example, you could fly into Melbourne, Australia, and return via Sydney without having to book a flight between those two cities. Adding permitted stopovers and open jaws allows you to visit additional cities and make creative use of alternate transportation within your award travel plans.</p> <h3>4. Explore All Partners</h3> <p>The key to unlocking real value in airline awards is to discover all of the partners an airline is allied with. For example, many people do not realize that Delta SkyMiles can be redeemed for carriers serving exotic destinations such as Air Tahiti Nui, China Southern, and Kingfisher airlines of India. I don&rsquo;t blame these people for their ignorance, as Delta&rsquo;s website won&rsquo;t offer even these partner flights when searching for award seats. Customers are asked to call a reservations center where shockingly, their own agents may even be unfamiliar with all of their airline&rsquo;s published partnerships. In many cases, it is necessary to politely hang up and call back in order to speak with a properly trained representative who can book your award travel on an obscure partner.</p> <h3>5. Use Several Methods to Find Partner Awards</h3> <p>Most airlines do not show all partner award seats on their website, and their agents may not be motivated to exhaustively search for the awards you need. Nevertheless, there are ways to put in your own legwork in order to find award seats on partner airlines. The easiest way is to find another airline that is also partners with the carrier whose seats you are looking for (as long as it does have an functional partner-award search tool). For example, Al Nippon Airways of Japan has a web site that will allow you to search for partner awards across all 30 carriers of the Star Alliance, the same coalition that United, Continental, and US Airways is a part of. Since the Australian carrier Qantas is part of the Oneworld Alliance which includes American Airlines, travelers can search for American&rsquo;s partner awards by creating a free account at Qantas.com. Finally, many of Delta&rsquo;s partners list their award space at Air France&rsquo;s web site.</p> <p>In each of these instances, you will have to spend some time methodically searching for the award seats you are looking for and telephoning the airline to book them after you have discovered available award seats. Fortunately, when partner awards seats are available, they are always offered at the lowest mileage levels. If you don&rsquo;t have the time or patience for this kind search, there are third-party tools, such as <a href="http://www.expertflyer.com/">Expert Flyer</a> and the <a href="http://www.kvstool.com/">KVS search tool</a>, that can automate some of this work. For the ultimate service, you can simply hire an award travel specialist to do the work for you, such as <a href="http://bookyouraward.com/">BookYourAward.com</a> and <a href="http://pointspros.com/">PointsPros</a>.</p> <p>In response to traveler&rsquo;s frustration with unredeemable frequent flier miles, banks have been promoting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-earn-cashback-rewards-without-extra-spending">cash-back credit cards</a> as an alternative to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">airline cards</a>. At the same time, some airlines like Southwest and JetBlue have eschewed mileage systems in favor of programs that offer points worth a fixed value towards the price of any flight. While some travelers will appreciate the simplicity and predictability of such systems, people like myself will continue to hunt for the highest value award seats. In my experience, enjoying a sleeper seat in business class during a 12 hour flight is always worth effort I spent to find the award.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-maximize-the-value-of-your-frequent-flier-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles cheap air travel travel hack Wed, 14 Dec 2011 11:36:27 +0000 Jason Steele 824534 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_fly_000039453818.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say that if an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Therefore, one could be forgiven for dismissing some generous credit card sign-up bonuses on that basis, as many do. Nevertheless, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards credit cards</a> really do offer some amazing bonuses that allow my family to travel extensively. When handled responsibly, these offers are legitimate ways to earn points and miles while giving banks the chance to compete for your business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel with Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>How to Find Outstanding Credit Card Offers</h2> <p>At first, finding a great credit card sign-up bonus may seem like luck, but there is actually a good deal of skill involved. The first order of the day is research. You have to spend some time looking for the best deal and applying online from the link that is promoting it. Once you have learned what the most competitive offers are, the next strategy is patience. Banks love to promote their best deals over and over again as limited time offers, so if the right deal isn't currently on the market, just wait a month or two and check again. The final key is to strike while the deal is hot; any of the offers below can disappear tomorrow. While many of them will come back, there is no guarantee. If you think that you are seeing a great deal now, don't tell yourself that it will probably be available next month when you get around to filling out an application.</p> <h2>The Current Top Five Sign-Up Bonuses</h2> <p>In my research, these are the top bonuses available at the moment.</p> <div style="background:lightgoldenrodyellow;padding:15px;margin-bottom:10px;"> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-091814.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" title="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card" alt="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton&amp;fot=1012"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1012">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> has an attractive bonus for new cardmembers. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That&rsquo;s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. You can also earn an extra 5,000 points after adding an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. This card allows you to transfer points on a 1:1 value to participating frequent travel programs, which means 1,000 Chase points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fee:</strong> $95, waived the first year.</p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1012">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> </div> <h2>BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Travel-154.jpg" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</a> offers 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days. These bonus points can be redeemed as a $200 statement credit that you can put towards travel purchases. Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, with no limit to the points you can earn and no expiration date on the points. Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more with no blackout dates and restrictions. This card has <strong>no annual fee</strong> and no foreign transaction fees. <a href="https://consumer.bankofamerica.com/USCCapp/Ctl/entry?sc=VACJCM&amp;pid=dppf">See terms.</a></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h3>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> is offering a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (equal to $400 in travel). You also earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase, every day &mdash; and miles don't expire. There are no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fee:</strong> $59, waived for the first year</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</strong></a></p> <h3>Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h3> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/gold-delta-skymiles-credit-card-from-american-express-022415.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton&amp;fot=1012" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" title="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1012" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> is offering 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus, you can also earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months. Get 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Get 1 mile on ever dollar spent on other eligible purchases. Get travel benefits like first checked bag free and priority boarding. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fee: </strong>$95, waived the first year of Card Membership with an introductory offer</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1012" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h3>British Airways Visa Signature Card</h3> <p>With the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-together-for-less-with-british-airways-visa-signature-credit-card">British Airways Visa Signature&reg; Card</a>, new cardmembers earn 50,000 bonus Avios after they spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. In addition, if you make $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year on your British Airways Visa card, you will receive a Travel Together Ticket that&rsquo;ll allow you to bring a companion with you in the same cabin on your next rewards flight that you redeem with your Avios. The Travel Together Ticket is good for two years. Cardholders can earn 3 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every dollar spent on all other purchases. This card offers Smart Chip Technology and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $95</p> <h3>United MileagePlus Explorer Card</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card">United MileagePlus&reg; Explorer Card</a> offers its new cardmembers 30,000 bonus miles after they spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn double miles on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open. This card also offers some great travel perks, including your first checked bag free, priority boarding privileges, and two one-time-use passes to the United Club airport lounge every year. There are no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fee</strong>: $95, waived the first year.</p> <h2>Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiAAdvantagePlatinumSelectMasterCard-0601.jpg" alt="" /><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=7&amp;uv=xcardbutton" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a></p> <p>New cardholders of the <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=7&amp;uv=xname">Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</a> earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening. The card offers 2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1 mile on other purchases. Other benefits include free first checked bag, priority boarding, and 10% redeemed miles rebate up to 10,000 per year. The annual fee is $95, waived for the first year.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=22&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=7&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg; today!</strong></a></p> <p>Responsible consumers are right to question whether or not they can truly fly for free by taking advantage of sign-up bonuses offered by travel credit cards. The truth is that the travel is never free. Customers will still be responsible for taxes and possibly annual fees and fuel surcharges. These costs are relatively minor costs compared to the expense of purchasing international tickets in Business and First Class. My experiences and those of others prove without a doubt that you really can enjoy a world of highly discounted award travel merely by earning credit card sign-up bonuses while giving the banks and the airlines an opportunity to earn your business.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards"><strong>To the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Best%2520Sign-up%2520Bonuses%2520for%2520Airline%2520Miles%2520Credit%2520Cards.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Sign-up%20Bonuses%20for%20Airline%20Miles%20Credit%20Cards" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-do="buttonPin"><img alt="" src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" /></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img width="250" height="374" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Sign-up%20Bonuses%20for%20Airline%20Miles%20Credit%20Cards.jpg" /></h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles best credit cards credit card rewards sign up bonus Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:36:38 +0000 Jason Steele 817911 at http://www.wisebread.com