As a traveler, one of the first factors that we consider when planning a trip is airfare (sure, there’s bus fare, train fare, cruise fare (?), and gas cost, but we’ll focus on flying). We’re actually kind of lucky because we live in a time abundant with cheap airfare. Still, it would be nice to fly for free, right? More budget for souvenirs or the next trip!
Here’s where miles programs by airlines come in. Earn miles to exchange for free flights. The most common way to earn miles is to fly with that airline or their airline partners. You all know this.
Earning air miles through credit cards is also pretty common. It’s actually one of my motivations in choosing my card. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: you do your shopping, pay bills – things you have to do anyway, and get something back – rewards points – that could take you a step closer to that dream vacation. One of the best ideas of credit card providers, right?
But as with everything, not all cards are created equal. There are cards co-branded with airlines specifically for the purpose of earning miles faster. There are elite cards (diamond, platinum, titanium, or whatever else precious metal they use) that have really low points-to-miles requirements, which would let you earn miles without having to collect points for years, but they require a ginormous yearly income to be approved. There are the gold cards, kind of like the middle class of credit cards. Then, there are the “classic” cards – the ones that have the lowest credit limit, yearly income requirement, and highest spend-to-points ratio. Well, supposedly. I was surprised with the findings of this study I made.