Advantages to Using Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Reward credit cards are becoming very popular these days. If you have to use a credit card for particular purchases you may as well get something out of it, right? The most effective way to use reward credit cards is to pay it off every month. This way any reward you get is not offset by the interest you have to pay, sometimes making it actually more expensive than purchasing the reward itself. There are many different reward cards that are available but one of the most popular is frequent flyer credit cards. Frequent flyer credit cards allow you to earn points toward travel and are especially designed for businesses and individuals who fly regularly.

How do Frequent Flyer Credit Cards Work? 

When you make purchases you get a certain number of points added to your frequent flyer credit cards. You can purchase just about anything and the points will accumulate until you redeem them for air travel. Many frequent flyer credit cards are good not only toward flights but other travel expenses as well such as hotel stays and rental cars. The miles you accumulate represent the type of ticket you can receive. If you accumulate a lot of miles, you can take a more expensive trip. Frequent flyer cards are often tied to a particular airline or a group of airlines you can choose from. However, there are also some credit cards good toward flights with any airline you choose.


Some frequent flyer credit cards come with introductory specials and bonuses. These are a great way to take advantage of the maximum potential for earning miles. However, you need to be careful you do not become overextended in the process. For example, some credit cards will offer a lump sum of miles just for signing up. This is a great way to accumulate credit toward a vacation or trip you want to take. Other credit cards may have bonuses if certain levels are met. For example, if within the first few months of receiving your frequent flyer credit cards you make a certain amount of purchases, you may get miles added to your account that would be higher than you would typically accumulate them. For large purchases where you already have the cash to pay for it, this is a great way to maximize the potential for these cards.


Before you sign up for frequent flyer credit cards make sure you read the fine print to determine if there are any restrictions that apply to your travel or purchases. There are some common issues that occur with frequent flyer credit cards you may want to avoid. Or, you may simply need to be aware of them in order to maximize the use of your card. For example, you may accumulate miles differently depending on the purchase and some purchases may even be ineligible toward points. For example, travel related expenses may count toward double points so when booking your air fare, hotel or rental car you may accumulate more than when you go to the grocery store. Or particular purchases may not count toward points at all. So, be aware of how your purchases count toward your overall miles so you can use your frequent flyer credit cards for the purchases that count the most.

Another consideration for frequent flyer credit cards is travel restrictions. Some cards will not allow you to use your points during specific dates or times. This is called a blackout date. Often blackout dates occur during peak travel times. The reason for this is that the airlines already know they can get premium air fares for these times and will have no problem booking flights. However, during off peak seasons, their flights may not be full so are more willing to give away free flights to non cash paying customers. Frequent flyer credit cards with no blackout dates or travel restrictions are the best ones to get.

Make sure your credit cards have miles that do not expire. In some cases you may have to use them or lose them. In other words, once you accumulate your miles, you have a certain time period in which you must use them or you forfeit your miles. The frequent flyer credit cards with no such restrictions will allow you to accumulate as many miles as possible for travel so you can save up for your dream vacation.

Other issues you may want to consider are caps on the number of miles that may be accumulated and restrictions on travel destinations. Some credit cards only allow travel domestically while others have no restrictions. Some are also tied to a particular airline or group of airlines so you can only choose the destinations those airlines travel to.

Maximizing the Use 

Frequent flyer cards can be a great benefit to those who travel often or who want to save for a special vacation. However, you need to weigh the benefits versus the cost. If you pay off your credit card balance every month, frequent flyer credit cards are truly rewards. However, if you carry a balance and pay interest, you may want to rethink the benefit. If you are paying more in interest charges each year than you would need to purchase the air fare, you are not using the frequent flyer cards to your advantage and would be better off finding a no reward, lower interest rate card. Also, do not get trapped into using your credit card more often than you normally would just to accumulate points or you may find you are inadvertently overextended.

If you use a particular airline frequently and belong to their frequent flyer program, use your earned miles from your credit card in conjunction with the airlines miles and you can maximize the potential benefit. Frequent flyer credit cards, if used properly, can be quite advantageous and allow you the opportunity to take a vacation or go on a trip at no cost to you.