With airline miles credit cards you can change the way that you fly. Most people dread flying but when you can lay down flat for 8 hours and wake up to a glass of champagne and a delectable entree attitudes start to change. This is the life of a business class passenger yet most of us will never get to experience this because of the outrageous cost.
International business flights can cost as much as 3-5x as much as a regular economy seat. So unless someone else is paying for that seat, your average passenger will never get to enjoy the amenities of business or first class. I think that’s a shame because there are some airlines out there who go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking care of their business class passengers. Then again, if you have airline miles credit cards, you could be one of these special flyers. If you wonder, “How do credit card flyer miles work?” then read on.
My most recent European vacation ended in Istanbul since I was able to book two business class seats on Turkish Airlines for me and my wife. Everything from the lounge before the flight to the in-flight entertainment and dining options made this one of the most enjoyable flights of my life. I was actually dreading when the 9 hour flight would come to an end since I didn’t want to get off the plane!
Other passengers had paid thousands of dollars for this flight but all it cost me was a hundred thousand points for two seats. That might seem like a ton of points but I didn’t have to spend $100,000. Instead all it took was two credit card sign-up bonuses.
Normally in life, when things sound too good to be true they probably are. That isn’t always the case with airline miles credit cards though. Most airlines use sign-up bonus offers as a way to entice customers to join their loyalty programs and fly their airlines. They figure that if you fly with them once or twice for free, you’ll be more inclined to fly with them in the future.
Credit card companies actually have to buy the miles from the airlines in order to offer these large sign-up bonuses. You might be wondering why they would do that but they are relying on the fact that many people will end up making interest payments for years to come. But as long as you pay your bill on time and spend responsibly, everyone can win.
Many people wonder how credit card airline miles work, especially those big sign-up bonuses. The average sign-up bonus offer is around 25,000-50,000 miles but there are usually some caveats. You’ll need to spend a certain amount within a specific time frame and there is almost always an annual fee on these cards. But the fee is usually waived for the first year and you can often get the fee reduced or eliminated completely in following years by calling in and inquiring about a reduced or even waived fee. I do this every year with my Citi AAdvantage cards (American Airlines).
Once you meet the required spend, you should see the bonus appear in your frequent flyer account after your next statement posts. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re just starting on your miles journey, the first thing you’ll notice is that there are a lot of airline credit cards out there. For your first card, make sure that you sign up with an airline that you actually intend on flying with. It wouldn’t make much sense to sign up for a domestic carrier’s card like Southwest if you only fly internationally. In that case, you’d want to sign up with one of the big boys like American Airlines or United.
The best part about signing up with an airline like American or United is that they also have an extensive list of partner airlines. American Airlines is a member of the One World Alliance which includes almost 20 partner airlines while United is a member of the Star Alliance Network which holds almost 30 members.
My normal threshold for a bonus sign-up offer is right around 50,000 miles. In order to stay on top of all the latest and greatest offers you can subscribe to our e-mail list or follow our updates on Twitter.
Every couple months, you’ll see some great offers pop up. Here are my simple steps to landing a great sign-up bonus offer:
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