Financial

Get a Cheap International Flight or Book Free Using Your Miles, Points & Credit Cards?

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Would you go for a free or a cheap international flight? Everyone knows that you can get miles and points each time you use your credit card.

The points and miles you earned from your credit card could be used for your next vacation. Not only that, but you also earn extra privileges like protection from trip delay, purchase, and cancellation insurance.

Miles & Points

Hotels, airlines and credit cards have loyalty programs to boost your loyalty to them. Each time you travel, you earn points called travel rewards. These industries are interconnected when it comes to points.

  • Using hotel points for a stay in a hotel: For instance, if you earned points from Ritz-Carlton Hotel, you can use the points to stay for free at Ritz-Carlton hotels and other affiliates.
  • Using credit card points for travel: You can use your points to pay hotels and flights or you can use your card to get points or miles to delete your purchase.
  • Using airline miles for flight tickets: If you earned points and miles from an airline, you can use them to purchase a free flight under the airline or its affiliates.

Miles and points are regarded as currencies as you can use them for your next flight or travel. Points or miles don’t have the same value for all the programs, so ensure that you know how much are their value in a specific program.

Points are used in the majority of credit card companies and hotels. Miles are applicable to airlines. However, selected companies like Southwest and JetBlue use points instead of miles and Capital One uses miles even if it is a credit card company.

The rule is don’t pay a flight in miles and points more than you could pay in cash using your credit card. Here is the formula:

Cash Price / Total Points or Miles = Value per Point or Mile

Check out the popular US-based points and miles:

Credit Card:

  • American Express Membership Rewards points or “Amex points”
  • Barclaycard Arrival miles
  • Capital One miles
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards points or “Citi points”
  • Bank of America Premium Rewards
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points or “Chase points”

Hotels:

  • World of Hyatt points
  • Marriott Bonvoy points
  • Hilton Honors points
  • IHG Rewards Club points

Airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles
  • American Airlines AAdvantage miles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • United MileagePlus miles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Credit Cards

 Unlike debit cards that you don’t get any valuable return each time you use, credit cards let you earn points and miles. The more you use credit cards, the more privilege you get for your next trip.

  • Chase

If you are interested in getting a Chase credit card, you should know the 5/ 24 rule first. Chase doesn’t approve applications if you have opened five or more personal credit cards in other banks in the last 24 months. The only way to get approved is to apply for a Chase card first.

You should be aware of the travel and credit cards issued by Chase. All of these cards are subjected to the 5/ 24 rule.

  • Citi Premier Card
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • American Express

Earning Miles and Points

 You can earn miles and points in several ways:

  • Purchasing, flying and staying

One way to get points and miles is to join a loyalty program. If you have a favorite airline, you can earn miles by booking your flight there.

You can earn points when you stay overnight in a hotel. When you dine, you can also earn points for each dollar you spend.

  • Shopping

Use a shopping portal to purchase items online rather than go directly to the retailer’s website. This way, you can earn bonus points, miles or cash (cashback credit cards).

Before shopping online, ensure to check if they have a shopping portal. Using it and purchasing using your credit card allows you to earn points and miles through the program called “double-dipping.”

Sign-Up Bonuses

The easiest method to earn points and miles is through sign-up bonuses. You earn added miles and points when you spend a particular amount using the credit card for a specific time period.

If you want to enjoy the welcome bonus points and miles, you need to use your credit card as soon as you sign up. You can see the welcome bonuses in your account depending on your credit card.

Chase takes 6 to 8 weeks, Citi takes 8 to 10 weeks, American Express takes around 8 to 12 weeks, and Capital One takes two billing cycles. You can get the advantage of this by spending the minimum requirement before the closing date of your statement.

Are you going to buy a cheap ticket or use your points and miles to purchase a ticket for your next flight? By learning this information about credit cards and how to use points and miles, you can assess which one to go.

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