What To Look For In An Airline Credit Card

by : Anthony Samuel

Airline credit cards were designed to help you earn air miles when you use your credit card. The miles can then be redeemed mainly towards airline tickets but most credit card providers partner with other merchants to give you a wide choice of options. Using your airline credit card frequently is a great way to enjoy free air travel to many destinations especially if you combine frequent flying with the selected airline and frequent purchases with the airline's card, the combination of the two would lead to you earning those free tickets faster.

When choosing your airline card, you should evaluate the number of miles offered as an introductory incentive. Depending on the offer, you could earn up to as much as 30% of the miles you need for certain destinations. Providers can offer up to 17,500 introductory miles which is added to your account when you make your first card purchase. In addition, the number of miles you earn for each dollar spent is important as the more miles you earn on purchases the quicker your total miles add up. Miles per dollar range from 1 mile per dollar spent up to 2 miles per dollar.

To entice you to apply for the credit card the provider would offer very low and sometimes 0% introductory APRs on the airline credit cards and these rates tend to vary across the industry. While the rates may prove attractive you need to look at the length of the introductory period as this can range from as little as one to 24 months. The longer your introductory period the less interest you would pay on your purchases and this would save you money. The reversionary APR should also be considered as at the end of the introductory period you could be faced with a substantial increase on your monthly payment.

Freebies often accompany the standard benefits of airline credit cards such as 24 hour concierge service, free one-way class upgrade travel certificates and discount travel certificates. Airline credit cards can offer no pre-set spending limit and zero liability on unauthorised purchases which gives you added protection against the fraudulent use of your card should it ever occur.

The annual fee of a card would add to the total cost of maintaining that card as you would have to pay interest on the annual fee as well as the balance on purchases, so be sure to budget for it if your card carries one.

The rate charged on your purchases abroad can add a significant amount on to you card balance but the industry average is about 3%. Airline credit cards that offer no over limit fees ensure that you have one less fee to worry about but late payment fees do apply to most cards so it is in your best interest to always pay your bill on time. Once you shop responsibly and earn your miles, you would be on your way to enjoying free air travel to your favourite destinations.