When it comes to airline miles, some people will do everything humanly possible to collect more. Others really couldn’t care less. People who don’t seem too interested probably do not fully understand the massive perks that they’ll receive once they begin accumulating points and redeeming rewards.
At the same time, they’re not sure how to get started. The good news is that airline points aren’t all that complicated. They’re not off limits at all. You just need to prepare yourself mentally and go from there. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have little to no trouble getting points and you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.
Read the credit card tips guide below from the Sell Miles ASAP team:
Do You Have A Credit Card?
Do you have and use a credit card? If so, you should already be getting points. You just don’t know it yet. Just remember that you should use your credit card responsibly. You need to use it to buy items and pay off the balance at the end of each month. That will give you the ability to enjoy the finer things in life without getting yourself in financial debt. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious meal with friends or traveling the world, you can earn points and you should most definitely do so. After all, those points are going to pay off dividends in the future.
Are you a beginner who is interested in learning how to get points from the use of your credit card? If so, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Within this comprehensive guide, you’re going to learn everything there is to know about airline points and credit cards.
The Basics of Collecting Credit Card Points
Before you get in too deep, you need to make sure that you’re familiar with the basics. There are a few definitions that you need to know about right away. The most common is the frequent flyer program. Many people mistakenly believe that this is going to be the same as their credit card points. This is not the case. In actuality, they’re much different. Pretty much every single big airline company out there is a member of some type of alliance. There are three. They include SkyTeam, Star Alliance and OneWorld. When you fly on an airline within this family, you will need to provide them with your number.
The frequent flier number is yours and yours alone. When you use it, you’re going to receive points to your number. Why shouldn’t you use your number? You’re going to be flying anyway and you should collect as many programs as possible. If you fly with the same alliance several times, you might just collect enough points to fly on an airline. Just remember that these points are much different than your credit card points.
Comparing Points And Status
Remember that points and status are completely different. A lot of people are eager to climb to elite status. This is definitely a good thing. Nevertheless, points might be more important. With elite status, you’re going to receive a handful of benefits. For instance, you’ll get discounts on tickets and you might even receive access to member lounges. Points are different. As a beginner, you shouldn’t worry too much about status. Instead, you should focus a significant amount of energy and effort on points. This will make a big difference in the long run and it’ll ensure that you’re able to do more with your points.
Differences Between Miles And Points
Many times, people use miles and points like they’re the same. This isn’t actually the case. Still, there are some similarities. Both are a type of currency that you’re going to receive. You’ll need to analyze the term used by the airline. Some airlines are going to say that they’re miles and others will say that they’re points. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to the airline that you’re using. For instance, Southwest refers to theirs as points. Air American Airlines, you’re going to receive miles. There is a good chance that you’re going to be eager to transfer your credit card points into miles at some point in the future.
Before doing so, you should take the time to make sure that you’re going to be able to do so to a 1 to 1 ratio. After all, this isn’t always the case. You may only receive 2 miles for each point or something similar. Therefore, you need to be cautious about making the transfer. Take your time and make sure that you’re going to get one mile for each point that you transfer.
There is a pretty good chance that you’re going to be eager to get started. This is completely normal. Before you do, you need to make sure that you know how to proceed forward. It is always a good idea to create a goal for yourself. What do you have in mind? What do you wish to achieve? Do you want to take a free trip to a foreign country at some point in the future? Would you prefer to get all of the luxuries of a business class trip? You need to find out in advance. This will make a big difference in the long run. It’ll ensure that you have a clear-cut plan to your destination. Just remember to have a goal in mind and getting there will be much easier.
Potential For Devaluation
As with any reward program, there is always a potential for devaluation. What this basically means is airlines are always making changes to their points systems. When this happens, there is a potential for the points that you were awarded for being a frequent credit card user may not be worth as much as they would have been before the changes. This is why it is recommended to sell the points before the airlines decide to make any changes to their points program.
Other Credit Card Point Collecting Options
Thousands, if not millions of people are accruing points in an effort to save money when traveling on airlines and staying in motels. While most of these people will hang onto their points until they have enough to cover a trip to a desirable location, others will cash them more frequently. Whatever the case may be, it is not recommended to hang onto the points for more than necessary. If you do decide to do this you will need to protect yourself from potential devaluation. How can you protect your best interests in this situation? By applying for a credit card that allows the points to be transferred to airline miles or hotel points.
Credit cards, such as Citi, American Express and Chase, allow their members to transfer their accumulated points to partner airlines and hotels. This gives the members the freedom to book their accommodations directly through their credit cards’ travel portal.
Knowing Your Options
Credit card companies that offer such reward programs do so in an effort to encourage more spending. While this works in favor of the credit card company, it also benefits consumers greatly. Credit cards give consumers access to high-ticket items without cash-on-hand. And as a reward, consumers earn points for purchases made with their credit cards. These points can be applied to different programs, including flights and hotel accommodations.
There are several ways to cash in on your points. You can transfer them directly to an airline of your choice or utilize your credit card’s travel portal. Depending on your credit card’s policy, it may be that you could get more or less out of your points by utilizing their travel portal. It really depends on the credit card’s reward program policy. Fortunately, you can do a conversion rate comparison by putting both options to the test. This will help you determine which option will give you the most for your accrued points.
Know The Points Value
There are several ways to determine how many miles you can get with the points you have accrued. You can access this information directly through the airlines’ website or performing a Google search. Most airlines have an awards chart listed on their websites to help determine how many points are needed for specific destinations. Only Delta is lacking an awards chart. So, if you are planning on flying with Delta, you can still find out how many points you will need by performing a quick Google search.
Choosing A Credit Card
With so many credit card companies offering points reward opportunities, extensive research is recommended. All credit card companies are always trying to find ways to encourage their customers to spend more. These reward programs are just one way they can do this. The more the customer spends, the more opportunity they have to earn points that can be cashed in at a later date. With that said, some credit cards offer more points for specific purchases than their competitors. The best way to find out which companies have the best rewards programs is to visit review websites. You can also complete surveys to determine which credit cards will work better for your financial needs.
Only consider applying for credit cards that offer multiple cash-in options. This level of flexibility will allow you to decide which is the best way to transfer the accrued points. Getting the most out of your points will depend on the credit card you obtain. For example, one credit card may offer a $300 travel credit per year, while another only offers $200.
Some credit cards limit how their customers can cash-in on their points. For example, one credit card may allow their customers to transfer their accrued points to airlines, while another may offer the option of putting the points toward Uber, airfare and hotel accommodations. The only way to not limit your options is to obtain a credit card that has a very flexible rewards program.
Also keep in mind, the fees charged by credit companies vary greatly. Depending on your budget, it may be best to choose a credit card with the lowest annual fee. However, there are some downsides to utilizing such credit cards. One of the biggest downsides is a lower-tier rewards program, which means you will only earn fewer points for your purchases.
Earning Credit Card Points
Earning points for your purchases is truly not that difficult. Every time you make a purchase with your credit card, you will earn a specific amount of points. Credit cards encourage spending by offering their customers opportunities to earn points that can be applied to airfare, public transportation, motel accommodations and other services.
Some companies go so far as to offer points to customers that refer their family and friends to apply for a credit card. The customer will earn so many points when the family member applies and even more when the individual’s credit card application is approved. There is no end to the possibilities when you have a credit card with a rewards program.
As mentioned above, credit card companies work diligently to entice their customers to spend. The only downside to this level of enticement is overspending. Know your limits so you do not fall prey to these companies. It is also a good idea to set a points goal early on. Decide how many points you want to earn and what you are going to do with those points. By setting a realistic goal, you will be able to avoid unwanted enticements.
If you want to earn more points without making purchases, you can always encourage your friends, family members, co-workers and other acquaintances to sign up for the same credit card you are utilizing.
Collecting credit cards points is a great way to earn free flights and hotel stays. However, it is important to obtain the right credit cards to maximize your points. By knowing your options in advance, you will be able to capitalize on your spending without compromising your credit. It is crucial to note that each credit card company with a reward program puts a value on the points that customers accrue for spending. Do your research to find which companies offer the highest values on those points.