How an Air Miles Card Can Cut Your Flight Costs
Using a travel credit card is one of the cheapest ways to spend money abroad because it shouldn’t charge extra fees for transactions or withdrawals.
The promise of earning miles or points for travel every time you use an air miles credit card can be alluring. But there are several factors to consider first.
Here we explain everything you need to know about choosing an air miles credit card.
What are air miles credit cards?
Every time you spend on the credit card, you will earn points or air miles, which can then be converted into flights.
You’ll also earn points when you fly, and you’ll often be given a stack of them just for opening up the card. The more money you spend, the more points you collect and the further you will be able to fly.
Yet, however tempting the points might be, these cards are worthwhile only if you use them for spending you would already be doing.
What will an air miles card cost?
Whenever you use a credit card you are borrowing money from the card provider. If you clear the card each month, you won’t pay anything extra. However, if you can’t clear the balance in full you’ll pay interest on the remaining amount.
Some air miles cards also charge an annual fee.
Who can apply for an air miles card?
Anyone can apply for one of these credit cards, but some of the best offers are available only to those spending £10,000 or more a year. Your credit history will also play a part, as when you apply for the credit card the provider will check your credit score to see how likely you are to pay any money back.
Before making an application it’s worth using a free eligibility checker. These don’t impact your credit score and will give you an idea of which cards you can apply for. Some providers have their own eligibility checkers, as do many price-comparison sites.
Why would you need an air miles card?
If you fly frequently — or plan to once things get back to normal — one of these cards could help cut the cost of your travel. If you were to use one to do all of your normal spending, and then pay it off each month, you’re effectively collecting the rewards for just using the card.
However, there are a lot of credit cards on the market, and unless you’re going to use the air miles (or whatever rewards are being offered by the card), there’s no point in having one of these cards.
How to pick the best air miles card for you
While there are lots of reward cards available, there are only a few specific air miles cards. Consider the financial strength of the airline or company the rewards need to be used with. The travel industry has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and there’s no point opening a card if you’re not going to be able to use the rewards attached to it.
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Rebecca Goodman is a freelance journalist who has spent the past 10 years working across personal finance publications. Regularly writing for The Guardian, The Sun, The Telegraph, and The Independent. Read more