Credit Infocenter

With All the Changes in the Airline Industry, Are Airline Mileage Credit Cards Still a Good Deal?

May 28th, 2008 · No Comments · Credit Cards

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: May 28, 2008)

Soaring gas costs, charging for every bag – are airline cards still a good deal? I myself use Southwest’s Rapid Rewards cards as my only airline card. Oh how things have changed with Rapid Rewards!

I recently traveled to Las Vegas. I used to be able to fly round-trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas for $51/each way. While shopping fares, I discovered the cost has pretty much doubled and then some *ouch*. Faced with this situation, I decided to use my Rapid Rewards for this ticket instead. To my horror, since I picked the most popular times to fly (leaving Friday and coming back on Sunday), Southwest wanted me to use one full round trip reward for each way. I couldn’t do it.

For other people who use their credit cards to rack up miles, things have changed as well, and you need to be aware of some other gotchas:

  1. Remember those check in per-bag charges (American is charging $15/per bag – expect other airlines to follow)
  2. What kind of booking fee is the airline charging to redeem your miles? Remember that the closer to the desired date, the higher the fee.
  3. What is your annual fee? How many years does it take you to earn a trip? Is the interest you’ve paid on the card plus annual fees really cheaper than paying cash for a ticket?
  4. What are the expiration dates on earned miles? You may get a nasty surprise.
  5. “Free” tickets might be taxable if you earned them during business travel and used the tickets for personal trips

What all have you been seeing out there?

Tags: ·····

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment