HomeBlogUncategorizedA Credit Card Airline Miles Comparison That Tells You What You Need To Know


A Credit Card Airline Miles Comparison That Tells You What You Need To Know

by / 1 Comment / Mar 28, 2015

Even if you already have your card you need a credit card airline miles comparison to tell you what you might not know. The biggest challenge to being a smart points and miles traveler is diversification. It might be easy for you to hoard American Airline miles but you never know when they’re going to have a massive devaluation or institute unfriendly changes to their frequent flyer program.

I like to protect against this possibility by holding miles and points among a wide variety of accounts. Transferable points networks like Chase UR and Amex MR are great but there are only so many Chase and Amex credit cards you can sign up for. Sometimes you need to look to smaller card networks and leverage multiple accounts to know how to use credit card reward points.

I like to apply for cards for me and my wife which enables us to get double the sign-up bonuses but it also means double the accounts. It’s easy enough to track our balances using Award Wallet but sometimes we need to combine or transfer points in order to get certain awards.

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When you do a credit card airline miles comparison you’ll find that most programs won’t let you combine accounts, but they will usually let you make transfers to spouses, family members and people with the same address as you. Every program has its own rules but we’re going to break down some of the best tips and tricks for the top programs.

Credit Card Airline Miles Comparison : Breaking Up Purchases Between Two Accounts

The Barclaycard Arrival card is one of the most popular cash back earning cards in the market since it comes with a hefty 40,000 point sign-up bonus and you get 2% cash back on all purchases when redeemed for travel. I actually signed up for this card for my wife and I right before our last trip to Europe since it’s great for booking things like Airbnb stays when no major hotel chains are available.

When I paid for the stay, I made sure to break the charge into two separate charges: one on her card and one on my card so that we could each use the points on our card to pay. You can’t transfer points with Barclaycard (not even to a spouse) so make sure that you break up your purchases if you intend to pay with points.

Citi Thank You Points (TYP)

I typically redeem Citi points for car rentals or gift cards but recently they have added a slew of transfer partners making their points much more valuable. Citi TYP can be transferred to any other member but the points will expire if not used within 90 days. So if you decide to do a transfer with Citi TYP just make sure that you have a redemption in mind ahead of time.

Starwood Preferred Guest

SPG is a great transfer partner since they have over 30 airline partners. Most of their sign-up bonus offers hover in the 25,000 point range though so if you’re looking for a big redemption you’ll need to combine points with another account holder first. And according to SPG’s terms, members of the same household may transfer points freely so that big redemption could be within reach.

Amex Points Are No Longer Transferable

In the past, Amex was well known for its flexible transfer options. You could transfer points to nearly anyone’s frequent flyer account but that option is no longer available. There is a work around though since you can still transfer points to an authorized user’s account.

If you apply for an AU online, you will have to provide your AU’s social security number. But if you call in and add an AU, Amex may be more lenient with this requirement. One thing to watch out for though is that if your AU lives at the same address as you, the account can still be added to their credit report even without a social security number.

Watch Out With Chase Transfers

For many years now I’ve been making small transfers to other people’s frequent flyer accounts with my Chase UR points. Sometimes I’ve topped off a friend’s account and sometimes it’s been a family member. This has always been one of the best features of Chase UR.

But even though the Chase UR website physically allows you to make transfers to other people’s accounts, it is now technically against their terms of service to do this. Their current rules state that members are only allowed to transfer points to spouses and domestic partners. So be careful going forward since there have been reports of users getting their accounts shut down for aggressively transferring points. And when you decide to get a new card consider all of this as you do your credit card airline miles comparison.

About the Author

Laura Agadoni has a background in credit union marketing, and her articles appear in various financial publications such as The Houston Chronicle's small business section, The Motley Fool, RISE Blog, The Penny Hoarder, San Francisco Gate's real estate section, Zacks, Opposing Views, Arizona Central's small business section and The Nest's budgeting money section. www.lauraagadoni.com

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