Author Topic: Airline miles and credit cards  (Read 3891 times)

Mickijune

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Airline miles and credit cards
« on: December 06, 2012, 11:41:04 AM »
Hi All, I know nothing about using credit cards to get airline miles. We have been on a cash system lately and I was thinking, since we are planning a trip to Spain in 2014 to visit my husband's family, why not try to get as much in airfare for free as possible!?!

We are in Seattle, so would probably have to fly to the East Coast then to Europe/Spain, but I have no idea which airline is best for that...how many stops we will have to make, etc...

Is there a specific card that racks up airline miles that can be used for any airline, since we donít know which airline we will be flying? Can you use points to fund a partial ticket, since Iím guessing the tickets will be awfully expensive?

We would use the card for all regular expenses and pay it off each month, of course. So expecting to charge between $16k-$19k over the next year (depending) and plan on buying the tickets (for 3 people) the end of next year for August 2014 travel.

Freedom2016

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Re: Airline miles and credit cards
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 11:46:37 AM »
I think Capital One carries airline miles cards. 

But why not a cash back card? We have a Chase card and we've gotten $1625 back in the last 2.5 years.

lhamo

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Re: Airline miles and credit cards
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 03:59:57 AM »
BECU has a rewards program for their visa credit card that can be used to get credit toward travel.  It costs $25/year for the points option, but you can use points to pay for part of a ticket.  You earn 1% back on all spending, so it pays for itself quickly if you use it as your main way of paying for things.

You should also have a look at the travel hacking info on the website The Art Of Non-Conformity.  He had a miles accumulation campaign going on a few weeks back that had a lot of good tips in the comments about which cards were offering signup bonuses, etc.  the signup bonuses are where you really get the mondo points -- United has one now for up to 50,000 bonus miles, for example. 

16-19k in annual spending isn't going to get you anywhere near the cost of an international ticket, so you either need to go for major bonus points or an option that allows you to get discounts on tickets.

I have been pretty happy with our BECU visa and a Capital One cashback mastercard, plus an Amex Blue for shopping at Costco, but I'm thinking seriously about signing up for the United card to get the bonus miles + free club access on two trips a year.  First year is free on that offer, after which I would cancel ($95/year after the first year if you don't)

Mickijune

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Re: Airline miles and credit cards
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 08:15:41 AM »
I guess we just don't spend enough to get enough. But having a card would most definitely help manage expenses if all we had to do was pay it once a month!

My husband already has a BECU card, but that is one credit card we are trying to pay off before we start on the student loans. Plan on having that one paid off by June next year!

unitsinc

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Re: Airline miles and credit cards
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 08:31:24 AM »
You might be able to glean some good info from here.

http://spartantraveler.com/how-i-flew-around-the-world-for-less-than-220/

kudy

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Re: Airline miles and credit cards
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 08:39:59 AM »
I have "Escape by Discover" as my main credit card - it gives "double miles" (which aren't really miles at all, but points you can redeem towards travel)... it's been a nice way to get a bit of extra traveling or amazon.com money.  I wrote a blog post about the cards I currently use for rewards here, if you're interested.