If you’ve ever watched the movie Up In The Air, you may have been intrigued by the witty personality of businessman Ryan Bingham. Played by George Clooney, this man spends more time in the air than he does on the ground.
In the movie, Clooney’s character has one dream – reaching 10,000,000 miles of flight. When training a whiny new work associate, he casually brags about the benefits: reaching lifetime executive status, meeting the chief pilot, getting your name etched on the side of a plane. He is eventually successful in acquiring his target mileage, but loses out on some other important milestones.
At an earlier point in the movie, Clooney’s character looks at the numbers. He proudly states that he travels 270 days a year. Most of us don’t fly this much. And those of us that do, already have a plethora of frequent flier cards safely tucked away in our wallets. But what about those of us that do find ourselves ‘up in the air’ a few times a year? Should we be using frequent flier credit cards?
It’s definitely worth while looking into this. What are the advantages? From the very beginning, it appears that signing up for a frequent flier card will leave you feeling happy and rewarded. To start off, find the airline that you fly with the most and speak with a representative about frequent flyer programs.
The rule of thumb is to concentrate on a single program, as you often get the most points by flying on a particular airline, staying at a particular hotel, or renting from a partner car rental company. After acquiring a certain number of points, airlines will allow you to take a free flight – a great money-saver for those of you who fly regularly.
Still, there are some downsides. Rewards credit card, specifically airline miles cards with frequent flyers points that offer extravagant rewards tend to have exorbitant fees. The United Mileage Plus® Signature® Visa Card is one of these cards with $60 annual fee, but 30,000 miles for new accounts and $50 money back on first purchase. It is also very important to remember that if an airline goes out of business, your points may go down the drain. When Pan Am and Braniff went out of business, for instance, thousands of frequent travellers lost hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles.
Still, it can be rewarding to engage in suc
h a program. And, since it can be time consuming and overwhelming to decide the best card to choose from, here is a tip credit card as identified by creditcardflyers.com, an industry research firm that just completed a study spanning 20 states.
Capital One® VentureOne(SM) Rewards Credit Card – It’s easy to get, and you don’t need to have an extensive credit history or employment verification to get this traditional card. According to Capital One website, you can “earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day” and “fly free on any airline, any time, with no blackout dates.” While a new account gives you a whooping 10,000 bonus miles. The marketing of this product by Capital One extended as far as offering “low intro APR on purchases no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees” – a saver for many.
Finding the right card is tough. Remember that no free lunch really exists, unless you’re George Clooney. So when you are choosing between many tempting options, make an effort to do extensive research. Look at resources and tools available at these airlines or at various credit card education initiatives.
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