Do you know how to redeem credit card miles the best way? Whether you dream of traveling to exotic locations or you simply want to visit family a few states away, travel lets us expand our world, spend time with different people and live fuller lives. But the price tag for those joyrides can be steep. As of the end of 2014 a round trip ticket from Florida to Michigan could easily run you $300-$500 – and we are talking economy class here. Try to fly somewhere exotic and you quickly hit a thousand dollars or more in plane fare.
It’s not easy to be well traveled.
Whether your travel dreams are ambitious based on your income or even if you have a good income but you like to save money where you can, airline mileage cards can be the key to your travel bliss. But before you sign-up thinking you can redeem credit card reward points and fly off to Neverland next week, you need to know these five things as we give you credit card miles explained:
Many people get so excited that they have earned enough points for a free ticket that they can’t spend those miles fast enough. They assume that the best credit card reward deals
Are getting free tickets. It’s understandable – free travel was the point of your rewards card. However, you still need to be a savvy shopper. Before you redeem your points check out your options. Are you about to redeem a ton of points for an economy class ticket home for the holidays that is currently on special for just $79 one way? If so, it might make more sense to pay for that ticket, earn a few more miles, and then use your points instead for a future trip or to buy a business class ticket at a fraction of its price.
Many people think that annual fees are always bad – not true. Sometimes cards have annual fees because their rewards are really good. Before you dismiss a card because of the annual fee look at what you might be able to earn in miles points with that card and if the value of those points offsets the cost of the card. And remember, if you prove yourself to be a good member you may be able to call the credit card company and get them to waive your annual fee.
Just because you have earned sufficient points to redeem credit card miles doesn’t mean you can fly any time. Many airlines have restrictions around when you can fly, using block out dates, limited numbers of seats that can be redeemed using frequent flyer miles and so forth. In addition, remember that you have to pay the taxes on your flights – that can add up.
There are more to airline miles than meets the eye. You can actually apply credit card airline miles (and your rewards card) for inflight entertainment and purchases, airport lounge access, seat upgrades, companion tickets and more. Read your benefits information.
Like the fabled Twinkie snack cake, airline miles do not last forever. Most miles expire at some point, especially if your account goes inactive. The good news is that often just a little activity on your account can keep it active. So, if you have 100,000 miles saved and they are about to expire, find out if donating a few of them to charity or buying another plane ticket will reactive the account and extend your expiration date. Watch those dates; you don’t want to try to redeem credit card miles only to find that they expired.
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