Tag Archives: credit cards

Air miles: 1 way to travel for free and live a great experience

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE THE TRAVEL CREDIT CARD AND GET A LOT OF FREE AIR MILES FOR YOUR TRIPS

Do you know how air miles programs work? Are you aware of all the benefits reserved to travelers? Nobody can say surely to know exactly how the miles awards work. Why? First of all, because each airline company applies different policies. Then reading the rules is sometimes hard. Yes, it’s not easy to understand the programs.

It is made by purpose. So how to deal with the situation? How to maximize the benefits? Well, I am going to give you some tips that will help you to earn air miles and to spend them on your trips.

In fact, you can easily get free flights or free holidays. Or you can simply save a lot of money with huge discounts. The point I want to focus on is that most of the people can’t fly for free. Because don’t fly enough to collect the miles they need to do it. Well, I want to give you some tips to get more free miles. Also because flying is not the only way.

I think you already know that credit cards can help you to collect air miles. I will tell you more details in this post because I want to make you an expert. Then I will also share access to a specific source that can help you a lot. Not only to maximize the benefits but also to apply for any card you want without problems.

Air miles with credit cards

The best credit cards offer always a reward program that allows you to earn air miles for your flights, whit any airline company. They give you generous sign-up bonuses. But this is only the beginning. In fact, the miles obtained for the subscription are only a small amount compared to the quantity given by the usage.

You can easily fly for free just paying with the credit card your daily expenses because this is possible and you want it. You don’t need to spend more money than usual. But how can you know exactly how much money you will get? Easy, there are specific tables that you must know. Let’s go step by step.

As a member of airlines loyalty programs, you have the right to receive air miles for free for each flight you book. According to the range and to other factors you obtain a certain amount of points. If you fly frequently you can get enough miles to travel for free. Free flights and discounts or free rooms in hotels come when you reach a certain amount of points. If you are not using planes some many times per year it’s hard to get benefits.

But you have other chances. Airlines have partners and with some of their offers, you can gain miles. The other way is represented by credit cards. It depends on the type of cards, but the airline credit cards give you 1 mile per $1 spent. Sometimes they recognize you bonuses, especially for certain expenses: 2 or 3 miles per $1 spent.

Airlines credit cards and air miles

You have different credit cards’ brands to choose, each of them proposes different products. There are tailor-made cards to answer better to the specific needs of clients. Among them, you find also the airline credit cards. They unite the benefits of the credit card company and of the airline to give you more miles because it is an incentive to buy more tickets.

Co-branded airline credit cards

The main credit card companies release their cards in conjunction with the airlines. These products allow you to earn more air miles for each purchase made with the airline. So when you book a flight you get more points if you pay with that card. Not only, using it you have some other benefits, like priority seating, free checked bags, extra weight for the cabin luggage, and so on.

Generic travel credit cards

The credit card used for any type of purchase rewards you with 1 mile for each $1 spent. You can then redeem miles for flights, hotels, holiday packages, and transportations. The point can be converted to air miles. This is the way to get more miles and, of course, more chances to have free trips.

Credit card miles worth

Each company applies different rules to their reward programs, so also the value of the miles is diverse. How to calculate it? If you want to know it precisely, you have to check the policies of the credit card company or of the airline. Anyway, your air miles can have a common base that is valid for all cases. Basically, the worth of a mile is around $0.01. Some plans recognize you more, maybe according to specific purchases.

In order to make you aware of what happens with your air miles, I prepared an example using a table with some of the main cards. Then you will see some examples coming from Citibank cards.

Rewards programAverage point value
British Airways Avios$0.015
Delta SkyMiles®$0.012
United MileagePlus®$0.012
Southwest Rapid Rewards®$0.015
American Airlines AAdvantage®$0.014
JetBlue TrueBlue$0.015
Discover it®$0.01
Barclaycard Arrival®$0.01
Capital One$0.01
Chase Ultimate Rewards®$0.02
American Express Membership Rewards®$0.012

The table shows the air miles valuations for the most popular airline rewards programs. It starts with airline loyalty programs and it ends with credit card rewards programs. The points of credit cards can be transferred to airlines or used for air travel. That’s why now I let you check the examples of Citibank cards.

Citibank cards

CardBenefitsPurchase and Balance Transfer Rate
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®For a limited time: earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening18.24% - 26.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
For a limited time: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening17.99% - 25.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ CardEarn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening18.24% - 26.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening17.99% – 25.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
Expedia® Rewards Card From CitiEarn 10,000 Expedia Rewards bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening17.24% - 25.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
Citi PremierSM CardEarn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn more on travel purchases. Redeem points for meaningful rewards16.74% - 25.74% variable APR based on your creditworthiness
Citi Prestige® CardEarn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening. Experience more together17.99% - 25.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness

In the table, you can see the main conditions of the travel credit cards offered by Citibank. Some of them require a quite expensive annual fee, meanwhile, others are free of charge. All of them give to the subscription a certain amount of benefits, like free and more miles for the first period. This is a common feature for most of the cards proposed by the main banks in the world. But there are some elements that you need to consider because you can get more but they don’t say it to you.

Range of redemption

Obtain air miles from credit cards is quite easy, but it’s a bit hard to maximize the worth. The tables are an example and they can be updated from time to time, so check the credit cards and airlines websites when you are ready to subscribe. Average points are calculated by looking at a range of redemption options. They consider the reward program’s travel and the transfer partners because of the agreements. In fact, for each partner of the program a mile worth differently. For example, if you purchase a flight ticket you will get 1 mile per $1 spent. If you rent a car the recognize you 1 mile per $5 spent.

This depends on every single agreement between the partners with airlines and credit card companies. Also, redemption is different. If you will use miles to book a hotel room or a flight, the air miles you need will be totally different. I can’t explain to you the reason, but everything is part of the deals among the companies. So maybe you will need 30.000 miles to have a free domestic flight and 100.000 for one night in the hotel. If you check the rates you will see the similar cost, but a huge difference between the miles you have to use.

How many credit card miles will you need for a free flight?

As it is visible in the tables and also as you have read in the previous lines, there is not a precise answer to this question. According to the program you subscribed and you are using, the worth is different. Some other examples: Discover it®, Barclaycard Arrival®, and Capital One offer miles worth a flat rate of $0.01 each for travel redemptions. So you would need 20,000 miles for a $200 flight, 30,000 miles for a $300 flight, 40,000 miles for a $400 flight, and so on.

The advantage of the points earned with those cards is that you can transfer the air miles to your favorite airline. You are not obliged to spend them with the company they want. In the other hand, this opportunity change the number of miles you need. If you are flying to a certain destination and you have more companies that offer the service, you can choose the more convenient. Otherwise, the option to spend fewer air miles is to select company and destination according to your points budget. Of course, you can always add some money to the points.

Another element that you have to consider concerns about the flat rate redemption options. They depend on the distance you want to fly to. But not for all airlines. In some cases, they consider the price of the flight you want to reserve. This way is more profitable for them and it can change easily. Keep in mind that average air miles price is 25,000 – 30,000 per a domestic round-trip flight. It’s better to select companies with cheaper rates based on distance. International flights generally require 60,000-80,000 miles.

How to earn air miles with the credit card?

The basic principle for each credit card company is easy: the more you spend, the more you earn. Well, this is not totally true. Why? Because they offer many ways to earn without spending. Naturally, this means that you have to know them. The companies are not sharing a lot about the opportunity. Let me give you some tips to earn more air miles for free.

Select the best credit card for you

As the first step select the credit card that fits you more according to your spending habits. If you purchase flights mostly with the same company, you should subscribe to its credit card. Because you will get more air miles. In case you don’t fly so much or you do it with many different airlines, pick a generic travel credit card.

Verify the sign-up bonus

Each airline or travel credit card offers a certain amount of air miles as a sign-up bonus. Some of them require just the subscription, others oblige you to spend $1,000 per month for the first three months to have 30,000-50,000 miles. It depends on the policy applied by a single company because they use different ways to make loyalty. That’s why you have to check very well the offer before to sign the contract for the credit card.

Referrals

Another way to get benefits from credit cards concerns promotion. If you refer your friends and they sign-up respecting the conditions, you will get bonuses. In most of the cases, you receive air miles. The company deposits them into your account. According to the program, the number of points can be different.

Couple up travel cards

Are you traveling a lot? Maybe you can pick more travel cards. Because you spend enough money to use an airline card plus a travel credit card. Why should you do it? Because you can collect more air miles. It is not a matter of expenses because you will just share them between the two cards. But you will have the chance to split the use according to the bonuses. So you will be also able to transfer the points and maximize your benefits.

Air miles redemption

Now it is time to know more about the way you can use to get your miles. Or better how to transform the credit cards’ points into miles. As I already mentioned the rules are different for each program. Anyway, to know the procedure, you have to check the company website. You need also to combine the airline and the credit card company processes so you can learn exactly the different options.

Online you will find all the information about the frequent flyer program and how to book your free flights with the miles collected with your purchases. Don’t forget to verify on airline’s website the various possibilities to get free flights spending fewer miles. Maybe you have to choose between direct and split flights, different airports and so on. The saved miles are useful for other trips or for the hotel room. Of course, consider the ticket cost and taxes. Let me give some other tips about redemption.

Book in advance

Never wait the last moment to reserve your seat. Book in advance, at least a couple of months before the departure. In this way, you will have more chance for your redemption and you will use fewer air miles. It works exactly in the same way to buy a ticket with money. You will save also on fees.

Be flexible to spend air miles

If you want to travel on certain days, especially during holiday seasons you will spend more. Maybe it will be hard to find seats. So be flexible. Check all the solutions, you can leave two or three days later or earlier. Just adapting yourself to proposed dates will help you to save air miles.

Consider airlines’ partners

You don’t find the chance to fly for free with your air miles. It depends on the number of points you have, the conditions and many other factors. Why don’t you check the partners’ offers? Each airline allows you to earn miles with some companies, like hotels, rent a car, and many other services. You can also redeem the points with their proposals. Maybe a discount for the hotel room, a free holiday… Pay attention to all the program options.

Research for transfer partners

Earning points with some partners of the loyalty programs allow you to transfer air miles to the airline and book your ticket. So you have to pay attention to the selection of the partner companies in order to optimize the benefits.

Best credit cards for air miles: the choice

It is difficult to suggest a specific credit card because the choice depends on your spending and travel habits. It is also important to define your goals. You want to earn points very quickly and be sure to redeem them for your trips. Naturally, you are searching for a program that allows you to earn air miles for your specific goals.

The first step is to decide between the co-branded credit cards and the travel ones. The choice depends on your airline use. Because the airline card is made to spend miles with that company, meanwhile the other cards give you the chance to collect air miles to spend with the airline you prefer.

There are a lot of elements to be considered to select the best credit card and obtain air miles. The sign-up bonus, the travel protection, the rental car insurance, the airport lounges passes, the dedicated concierge. All these benefits and others can convince you, but then you have to pay. The annual fee is different according to the type of card and of its services.

You can choose the travel cards without an annual fee and you get some benefits, but of course not all the ones mentioned before. It is a personal decision and there is no correct answer to give you, but I can do something more. I can suggest you get a guide that will help you to maximize the benefits of credit cards used for air miles.

The guide

I started to use it some time ago and I started immediately to get a lot of benefits. It is not necessary to spend more to earn air miles, but just to learn how to use the credit card to get more. Instead of saving money, today it’s hard, it is better to be smarter in facing daily costs. You can also get points flying, but your goal will be reached after a lot of time. With the guide made by an expert traveler, I got a lot of air miles just following the tips on credit card usage.

What are the benefits of the guide?

Fly around the world costs quite a lot, there are offers and low-cost airlines, but generally, it’s not uncommon to say that a domestic ticket can be purchased at around $500. Meanwhile, an international return ticket can cost around $3000. Would you like to travel from the USA to Paris for only $20? Or maybe for $0? You are thinking that it is impossible. No, it is possible, you should read some articles published by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal about free travels. Anyway, you can if you know how.

The hidden loopholes

For 63 world’s largest airlines there are hidden loopholes. You can find them in the big part of companies including United Airlines, American, Delta and Southwest Airlines. 

The system revealed by the guide works also:

  1. if you don’t have a passport;
  2. if you don’t have any money saved up;
  3. last but not least, if you don’t have any knowledge about how to make all this happen.

Thanks to a strategy called Award Stacking it is possible to book flights that generally cost thousands of dollars for just a few bucks. This happens with those loopholes. The only problem is that you can’t find much information about it. There are some forums accessible only by an invitation that allow you to learn about the opportunity.

The author

Derek Pankaew wrote the book. He was an average Jon Doe, he had his job with the ambition to explore the world. After one year process to obtain 1-2 week flight, he met a travel writer. That meeting gave him the chance to know Award Stacking. Then he started to visit the globe. Derek used this system and he has been in more than 28 countries, buying flight tickets with air miles. Now he is a travel writer and he quit his job. All his experience became a guide: Fly Free Academy.

How does the system work?

As you know the credit card companies are competitors between them because they want to lead the market. Most of the people have 1 or 2 cards to pay their bills in shops and online because everyone can manage easily the expenses and the accounts.

So when you put money on a credit card and you continue to spend, it for those companies like to win the lottery. They earn increasing the number of clients. Also, they gain when those customers spend. More money spent it’s equal to more commissions.

The companies goal is to attract people. That’s why they offer zero percent APR, free balance transfers or free concierge service. These aspects are important, but what we really want are free airline miles. You can get between 30,000 and 50,0000 miles easily, just with the sign-up process.

It can be what you need to purchase your first free flight, but it depends on your destination. You only need to subscribe and start to use your credit card. Fly Free Academy teaches you how to use the bucks and obtain legally the air miles.

Join The Fly Free Acadamy Right Now By Clicking This Link And Start Getting The Highest Discounts Possible On Your Next Vacation!

Fly Free Academy guidelines

If you want to take advantage of the credit cards’ benefits and get free air miles you have to follow these steps:

#1 Select the best credit card offer: analyze the various proposals on the market focusing on the ones without fee or with a low fee and a good amount of air miles for you.

#2 apply and receive the new credit card: the companies have strict rules, so this means that you can be rejected. Be careful about the requirements and the policy to prepare your application and get approval.

# 3 earn air miles: credit cards give you at sign-up bonuses between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. The worth of these points is between $600 and $1500. But to obtain them you have to spend some money as requested. Fly Free Academy explains to you how to get those air miles without spending any extra money.

#4 Pay off your credit cards: this is about outsmarting the credit card companies and avoiding paying interests. You don’t need to rack up your debt in order to get those free miles.

If you follow these instructions you won’t have problems and you will earn a lot of air miles.

Free Fly Academy lesson

Now you want to know exactly what you will learn with Free Fly Academy. Well, I am going to explain it to you. The goal of the guide is to support you in improving your credit card score while earning airline miles. Derek created the system to be easy and to work effectively. His course is divided into several parts:

1. Increase your credit score

You will learn what are the 5 credit card factors that companies look at. With a few tricks, you can improve your score in a week and overcome the limits came from your credit history.

2. How to choose the right credit card for air miles

In this part, you can find all the tips to find and use the correct credit cards. Derek teaches you how to recognize them, also reading carefully the cards’ websites. Then you will learn how to manage the payments and the air miles bonuses.

3. Double the chances to get approved by the company

The time of your payment plays a huge role in improving your credit score. The guide will tell you how to apply to get the credit card and also to whom you should talk directly to the company in order to solve any issue.

4. Spending requirements and air miles

The goal is to earn miles without spending any extra money. In this part, you will learn it. In particular, you will get tips on how and where to spend money to be rewarded by the credit card. You can also charge the rent on the credit card even if the landlord doesn’t accept it. Because you will learn all the options offered by the card company.

5. Cancel all the fees and the costs

Here you will get all the details to make the system 100% free for you. It is efficient and it guides you to avoid the monthly or annual fees of your credit card. You will also cancel any commission for fuel or other surcharges for specific transactions.

6. Booking your flights with air miles fast and without efforts

Derek explains here how, where and when to book a flight with the free air miles in order to maximize the benefits and save time and money.

7. Experience and examples about air miles collection

You will see the video examples of live bookings as a proven strategy. Because the author can demonstrate you the efficiency of his system. It will be easy to follow the steps explained one by one. You will learn something more: how to avoid the airline companies that charge additional fees and what are the best tool to book your tickets using free air miles.

Bonuses

It is not finished! The online guide offers you something more. If you buy the course you will get 3 bonus products.

  1. The Free Checked Bag & Free Priority Boarding Guide: learn how to avoid all the fees for the check bags and the charge for the extra weights, how to access to priority boarding.
  2. Visit Additional Countries for Free with Stopovers: use the stopovers options around the world without extra charge. Because there are ways to see more without spending more. Learn everything about the various airlines’ options and join the best stopovers for free.
  3. Preventing Your Miles from Ever Expiring: the most important thing about free air miles. Learn what miles do and what don’t expire. You will get all the tricks to use on time and in the best way all your miles.

Many travelers already used the course and wrote excellent reviews for this product. If you like to travel, if you have an adventurous spirit, and you want to explore the world without spending a huge amount of money, Fly Free Academy is definitely a program for you!

Save Huge Chunks Of Your Travel Expenses And Start Flying For Free Today – Click Here To Join The Fly Free Academy!

Currency exchange: some tips

Traveling I learned how to manage the basic things. One of them is currency exchange. When I go abroad I have always in my wallet a credit card and some cash. My currency is Euro, but not all countries use it, so I have to convert the amount in local money. It is useful to have the cash to buy small things, but sometimes also to pay for a restaurant or a hotel. Because some places do not accept credit cards. Well, regarding this topic I want to share some tips. There are many elements to keep into consideration to get better conditions and avoid the risks.

Currency exchange: the rates

This is the most important aspect. The rate of the currency exchange indicates you how much local money you can have with your cash. You will convert your money into the local currency and it will be calculated the value. According to the daily worth. Anyway, you need to consider that the rate published in the newspaper or online by specialized websites is different from the one applied by banks. In fact, there is a commission, a fee that you have to pay to exchange your money.

Therefore the first step is to check the official rate to have an idea about the worth. Then you can compare and make the calculation with the price applied by the currency exchange rate. In this way, you know exactly the cost you need to pay to have local money. You have the necessary to evaluate what it the best rate (commission included) offered. This is the step to save money.

 

Currency exchange: the converters

If you don’t know how to make the calculation or where to find the official rate, you can easily use a converter. What is it? A tool that makes an automatic check and it tells you the amount of money is worth in foreign currency. It works with the rate of the day. Where can you find it? I should answer everywhere, but let’s check together how can you find a converter for the currency exchange.

Online

 
 

Apps

Are you using a smartphone? Don’t lose time on the web, just download a currency exchange converter App. You can install it on your mobile and do the process every time you need without to search for a website each time. The online resources I mentioned have their Apps and you can use them, otherwise search on Google Play or iOS Store. They are free. Of course, you have to be connected to the internet when you do the conversion.

 
 

Devices

Do you prefer the traditional way? You don’t need to check websites or install an App. There are exchange currency converter devices. They are calculators with the specific option. In this case, you need to check the exchange rate of the day and then do the calculation. It is necessary to enter the rate because the device has no way to be updated.

Another way to know the amount of local money you can get with your cash concern the simple use of a calculator. All the process is made by yourself. It is enough the calculator already installed on your mobile. I give you an example. I have in my wallet 100 Euros and I want to buy US dollars. Checking the official rate I see that 1 Euro is equal to 1,14 USD. So I multiply 100 x 1,14 and I obtain the amount of USD that I can get: 114.
 

Currency exchange rates

At the end of the conversion, I know exactly what I can buy, but in reality, it is not what I will obtain. Why? Because I have to cut from the total amount the fee. I need to pay the commission to the bank or the agency that is doing the currency exchange, selling me the local money. They are going to buy my currency also. So the office has to consider the two rates: the one to buy my currency and the one to sell me their currency. The difference is their profit. Plus they will add a small commission. It happens for banks, hotels and all the agencies who will do the operation.

The fees

There are always commissions on your currency exchange. Also if you withdraw the money with your credit card from an ATM. Your bank will charge some fees for any withdrawal in a foreign currency. It is possible to pay also a transaction fee. To know the details you have to check the conditions proposed by the credit card company and by your bank. In case of doubts call them and ask.

For this reason, I suggest you to not go to ATM many times, but to withdraw all the amount you need one time. You will reduce costs. Let me give another tip for the currency exchange. Compare different offers of banks or sign a contract for an independent credit card company that gives you better conditions.

Where can you exchange currency abroad?

The question could be this one: is more convenient to exchange at home before to leave or at my arrival? Well, it depends on the currency you are searching for and on the fees applied by your bank. In some cases, it is good to have the local money before to leave. But don’t forget one more thing. Some countries will accept easily US dollars, meanwhile, it will be more difficult with Euro or vice-versa. So keep in mind this and exchange currency between Euro and US dollars according to your destination.

 

At home

 

If you have an account with a large bank, you will be able to exchange currency before to leave. Be careful about the fees. Usually, they apply high commissions. In the alternative, you can purchase a prepaid debit card and charge what you need for the expenses. But again there are some costs and fees for the withdrawal.

 

Banks

If you live with your own currency, you can exchange it at your destination. The first option is to go to the bank. It is safer, but the fees can be high. Also consider that some banks, it happens in the USA, exchange currency only for their clients. Therefore you will not able to obtain the service. Check when you enter.

 

ATM

The automated teller machines give you the opportunity to have money with your credit or debit card. You can withdraw local money from the ATM. Also if there is a fee to pay, I suggest you print out online lists of Visa and MasterCard-owned ATMs before you leave home. It will be easier to find them, losing less time in their location. Check also the instructions to use the Pin Code, in some countries you need four or five numbers in the code.
 

Airports and seaports

The currency exchange is available in the main airports and seaports in the world. There are offices for that, usually, provided by the main banks or currency exchange companies. They have the highest rates so do it only if you really need it and exchange a small amount of money. In case keep in mind that there are also ATM inside the airports and the seaports. My tip is to exchange the money you need to pay the transfer to your hotel.

Hotel

The hotels, especially the biggest, offer a currency exchange service for their guests. This is any way in addition to the normal activity of the hotel, so, for this reason, they apply a high commission. It is not always convenient, it is better to go to the bank. I suggest you do it also if you are in need or the offices are closed. Never for a huge amount of money.
 

Safety tips

 
In the end, I want to give you some more tips about your safety. When you plan your trip call your bank and give them a list of the countries you will visit. Why? Will they ask for a postcard? Maybe, but you have to do it because they will be aware that you will be in a certain place. So when you spend money and maybe they are not able to get in touch with you, they won’t block your credit card. Why should they do it? For suspicious use of the card. You can also contact the credit or debit card company for the same reason.

 

As I mentioned before while you withdraw money from an ATM take a huge amount of money. Why? Because you will cut the transaction costs. It is a way to save money. It is better to have them in the wallet than give more cash to the bank. Of course, be careful putting them in your wallet, take some precautions to prevent thieves. They can be around the ATM. Read my travel planner tips for this.

Use a credit or debit card for the payments, you can block it easily if someone steals it or if you lose it. Also, keep all the receipts, so when you go back home you can check the credit card statement and see if everything is correct. If you notice some duplicate or unauthorized charges, call immediately the bank. Pay always attention to these tips when you need currency exchange.

Check out my other post about money to get more tips. Subscribing to my newsletter you can receive updates and extra contents weekly to your inbox.

Enjoy your trip!