Jeff

How to Choose the Best Airline Miles Credit Cards

Since their introduction in the late 1970’s, airline miles credit cards have gained the appeal to travelers worldwide. This is because you earn rewards or points using them. You can redeem your points for free flights to your preferred destinations. You can also get upgrades and other travel related perks. So, how do you choose the best airline credit cards for your travel needs? In today’s post, we explore some of the key factors you should consider before you open your travel credit card account.

Strategize

With any undertaking, the first thing to do is plan. Consider your travel and spending habits and use that to determine your strategy. Do you want to enjoy the travel perks? Do you want to receive upgrades on your flights? Earn loyalty points for purchases at particular outlets or how about free flights to your vacation destinations. With a plan, you can tailor your choice of cards and avoid damaging your credit score or running into excessive debt.

Airline Vs. Bank Branded Cards

Each has their pros and cons. While choosing, consider your location. Do you live in a major airline hub serviced by one dominant airline? Do you travel frequently on that airline? If so, you might be best suited to get an airline miles credit cards with that airline. This way you enjoy all the travel perks offered by that particular airline such as choice of seats, upgrades, lounge facilities.

Bank branded travel credit cards are best suited if you live away from major travel hubs and prefer a variety in choice of the airlines you do business with. These cards also come with other benefits attached such as discounts at particular stores and outlets that lets you increase your points.

Huge Sign Up Bonus

Look for airline miles credit cards offerings with huge sign up bonuses. The higher the sign-up bonus the faster you will accumulate points and hasten your redemption. Ordinarily I look for offers with at least 30,000 sign up bonuses. Some cards offer up to 50,000 sign up bonus points. These are worth at least a domestic flight.

Bonus Points Per Dollar Spent

Most airline miles credit cards program employ a one dollar one point policy. Spend one dollar on your purchases and you receive one airline mile or points. When choosing, look for offerings that give you more for every dollar spent. This could be in form of extra points earned for shopping at particular outlets, occasional bonus points promotions to clients, loyalty programs that let you acquire more points for being a long time customer. This strategy quickens the pace you accumulate points.

Low Minimum Spending

Unfortunately with airline miles credit cards, the minimum spending requirements for most cards are insanely high. Who wants that? Most people just want choice, and cards that compliment their normal spending behaviors. Look for cards with at most $1000 in minimum spending requirements. That is a threshold you can easily cross with your domestic spending needs.

Annual Fees

Fees on airline miles credit cards are inevitable. In my experience, fee based credit cards tend to have better managed point schemes. In the long run, you will end up saving more than the annual fees you pay through better travel protection, perks and special offers. That doesn’t mean you splurge on the fees, on the contrary, research and settle for cards with fair annual fees.

Consider the APR

The Annual Percentage Rate is the rate at which you repay your credit card monthly balances. Airline miles credit cards tend to have higher APR’s than ordinary credit cards. Weigh this while choosing your card and factor in your monthly expenditures. The last thing you want is being stuck with high credit card bills for the points you collect.

Foreign Conversion Fees

Most cards charge a 3% fee on foreign usage. If you travel frequently to foreign destinations, weigh the rates while choosing your card. Ordinarily you want a credit card thats hassle free to use internationally and that has a fair rate.

Teaming Up

Does your preferred airline miles credit cards allow teaming up to earn more points? You can team up with your spouse by adding them as an authorized user on your card and any purchases they make earn you points on the card. This also helps when you travel as a couple or family.

Airline Miles Credit Cards Vs. Credit Scores

It’s a recognized fact that rapidly opening and closing credit card accounts (aka, churning & burning) will affect your credit score. A lot of checks on your credit history and outstanding loans/balances will lower your credit score somewhat.

So how do you avoid this eventuality?

  • Space your credit card acquisitions.
  • Only get airline miles credit cards that fit your strategy.
  • Maintain a great credit scores by timely servicing your loans
  • Clear your credit card balances at the end of each month.
  • Follow your budget when using the card. Do not go overboard for the points.
  • Get creative with your credit card usage. Look for inexpensive ways to earn points.

Conclusion

Airline miles credit cards offer the opportunity to travel for free to the most exotic destinations for just using the card for your normal purchases. Your choice of card ultimately depends on your needs. With responsible usage and an excellent choice of credit cards, you stand to benefit immensely and travel the globe on a shoestring budget. It just takes a bit of planning and strategy to achieve it.

So, what do you consider while choosing an airline miles credit card? Let me know in the comments!

Read More

Weekly Roundup – Spine Chilling Places in the World

Spine Chilling Places in the World

What an amazing world we have, from its splendid landscapes, wonderful people to its creepy haunted places. There are spine chilling places you need to know, explore or visit. Here is a list of few creepy places you may not want to visit.
The Sedlec Ossuary -Sedlec, Czech Republic

Sedlec ossuary also known “Bone Church” is a small chapel located in Sedlec Czech Republic. Abbot Henry brought back a jar of soil from Grave of the Lord of Jerusalem, Golgotha and scattered the soil accross the Sedlec cemetery. Soon people from the place and the surrounding countries desired to be buried in Sedlec Cemetery that was now believed to be a holly land. The number of burials outgrew the space available thus exhuming old remains and stored them in the Chapel.

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Hill of Crosses is located about 12 kilometers from the city of Siauliai northern Lithuania People began leaving crosses on the side of an old fort in commemoration and remembrance of those killed fighting for the independence in Lithuania. Over 10,000 crosses are crowded together in huge piles across the entire hillside.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

Aokigahara Forest also Known as “Suicide Forest” is located Northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. It is believed over 100 people commit suicide in this forest every year. Government of Japan has been laying uplifting sign boards messages like ‘think of your family’ or ‘life is precious! please reconsider’ all over the forest. I believe here is scary especially the view of hanging bodies on trees across the forest.

Devil’s Kettle – Minnesota’s Judge Magney State Park, USA

Devils is located in Judge Magney State Park, Minnesota. Brule River splits twice down the fall with one section of the river down streaming normally while the other section vanished into a deep hole known as Devil’s Kettle. No one has ever discovered where the whole ends or water goes.

Island of Dolls, Mexico

The Island of Dolls is located in the Xochimilco Canal, near Mexico City. It has strange and terrifying dolls hanging on trees and also scattered along its floor. According to legend, a young girl drowned in canal and a man by name Julian Barrera found her doll floating in the nearby water. In memory of her, he tied the doll on a tree. He thereafter decorated the whole island with dolls which he collected from rubbish tips and around the canal as a memorial to the girl.

Have you ever visited strange, unusual, scariest place around the world? Share with us your experiences by leaving a comment.

Amazing Reads of the Week

My Mother’s StoryAussie in France

How to travel on the cheapBlonde and Balanced

20 Ideas For Beach Hotels In ThailandThe Expeditioner

More About Queenstown, New ZealandThe Travel Insider

Valentine’s Day FAIL: Romantic Mishaps from Traveler Reviews WorldwideTrust You

Which City Was the Most Expensive to Live in?Blonde on a Budget

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review: A Great Rewards CardFrugal Rules

How to Use Groupon to Save on Your VacationMoney Smart Guides

 

Read More

Weekly Roundup – Eccentric Airports in the World

Eccentric Airports in the World

When landing at various airports around the world you will be surprised or shocked because air travel is full of wonderful and weird when it comes to landing or taking off. Here is the list of the most strangest airports in the world.
Kansai International Airport Osaka, Japan

Kansai International Airport is Japans second most important international airport located on the official island in the heart of Osaka Bay 38 kilometers Southwest of Osaka Stations. It serves as a hub for various airlines such as All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, and Nippon Cargo Airlines. The Airport has two terminals though is planning to build a third terminal. The first terminal services both domestic and international flights by regular airlines while second terminal also serves both domestic and international flights but by low cost airlines.
Due to land scarcity of land in Japan, engineers headed three miles into Osaka Bay to build this colossal structure, in their mind they had to account for the earthquakes that always hit Japan, dangerous cyclones and unstable seabed. Climate change and rising sea levels poses a threat to the airport existence.

Agatti Airport India

Agati Aerodrome is the only airstrip in Archipelage and it is located of the Southern Coast of India, sits on the island of Agatti. The airport is 4,000 foot long surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The runway appears to get lost in the sea. Flights operates to the island six times a week.

Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Gibraltar Airport serves the British overseas territory of Gibraltar and it’s owned by the Ministry of Defense for use by United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. The runway intersects Winston Churchill Avenue which is the busiest road in Gibraltar. Railroad-style crossing gates acts as a barrier holding cars back every time a plane lands or depart.

Courchevel Airport Courchevel, France

The airport has a short runway of only 525 meters located on the French Alps Mountains. The most surprising thing is the steep large hill on the runaway towards the middle of the strip which has 18.5% gradient. The Airport is considered dangerous because of its up slope runway. The hill is so steep that small planes could probably gain momentum rolling down it with their engines off.

Juancho E. Yrasquin Airport Saba, Netherlands Antilles

It is the only airport on the Caribbean Island of Saba. It’s known worldwide for its shortest Commercial runway. Winair is the current airline serving Yrausquin Airport. Due to its short runway, landing and taking off becomes a challenge.

Macau International Airport, Macau

It is situated at the Eastern end of Tapia Island, China. Due to scarcity of land and high population, Engineers like in Kansai Airport had to reclaim land from island to build this unique and eccentric airport. A set of highways links the runway to the surrounding.

Amazing Reads of the Week

Vegas Trip RecapFrugalRules

When Winter Gives You the Cold Shoulder…Need Another Holiday

Top 6 Sydney Beaches That Aren’t Named BondiTheExpeditioner

Finding Time for Yourself When You Travel With KidsDelicious Baby

6 Crucial Keys To Booking The Perfect Apartment While TravelingLanding Standing

Spirit Airlines Wants You to Pay More for Your Ticket on the Day of Departure if the Price of Fuel RisesBoarding Area

Read More

Weekly Roundup – Best Airlines in the World

Do you want to get the best Airlines that will make you feel confident, secure and safe? With many upcoming airlines all over the world, it is important for you to choose carefully the airlines that you will trust. Here are just a few of the best airlines in the world.

Emirates Airlines

Emirates is a global airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest airline in the Middle East and was ranked among the top 10 carriers worldwide and eighth by Air Transport World. Emirates has been named the best airlines in the world for 2013. The Emirates serves more than 120 destinations across the six continents.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the state-owned carrier of Qatar. It operates services across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania. It joined the One World Alliance on 30 Octomber2013.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a five-star airline and Singapore’s flag carrier. It operates from its hub at Changi Airport with its strong presence, mostly visible in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Kangaroo Route destinations.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is the international flag carrier of Hong Kong. The Airline serves 168 destinations in more than 40 countries across Asia, The Pacific, Africa, Middle East and North America. Cathay Pacific offers up to four cabin classes on its long-haul international flights including First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is United Arab Emirates Flag carrier airline. Etihad was awarded the world’s leading airline for four consecutive years (2009 to 2012) by The Travel Awards. Etihad serves in all the six inhabited continents.

Amazing Reads of the Week

My Six Thousand Dollar Boat RideWise Dollar

Gorgeous Holiday Decorations On a Budget”See Debt Run

The Difference between “Wants” and “Needs”Snark Finance

Shopping for Opportunity In Billion-Dollar DubaiThree Thrifty Guys

How a Vacation Can Teach You about Financial MarketsDividend Ninja

Confessions of a Condo Owner: I Fear That My Neighbors Will Move and I’ll Be Stuck With PsychosTeacher Finance

Read More

Is Air Travel Really the Safest Way to Get to Your Destination?

Traveling by airplane has a bad reputation that isn’t entirely earned. Yes, there are stories of dangerous airplane crashes and even heartbreaking terrorist events that cause passengers to be injured or even killed. These stories, though, represent a minute percentage of travelers. If you’ve received complimentary airline miles from a credit card, there is no reason not to redeem those miles and take advantage of the savings. Air travel really is the safest way to get to your destination.

Considering the Statistics

If you still aren’t convinced, simply consider the statistics. When you compile the measured results of automobile accidents, public transportation incidents, boating accidents, and even accidents sustained while walking, you’ll notice that all of these events are higher than the number of airplane accidents that occur each year.

No Contact with Other Drivers

When you fly in a plane, you don’t have to worry about negligent or dangerous drivers. There is virtually no chance of an in-air collision because airplane courses are meticulously plotted to eliminate these risks. Also, travelers won’t have to worry about fatigue or exhaustion causing them to be reckless. Unless they have pilot’s licenses, they won’t be flying the plane.

Air Travel Hassle Free

In addition to being one of the safest ways to travel to your intended destination, air travel is also one of the most convenient travel methods. Take, for instance, a journey, from the Midwest region of the United States to the West Coast. By car, this journey would take nearly thirty hours. This means you would have to stop several times along the way, pay money for overnight lodging, and waste a huge chunk of your vacation time in a cramped vehicle. Traveling this distance by public transportation such as a bus would take even longer. In a plane, however, this journey will not take more than four hours of your time. If you consider the travel to and from the airport, you might be investing six hours of your vacation in transit time.

Conclusion

If you truly want to get the most out of your vacation experience, traveling by plane is the way to go. Many consumers rack up airline miles through the use of a credit card, and this means that they can save even more money on vacation travel. When you consider the incredible safety ratings of air travel along with the convenience of shortening travel time, it’s no wonder that air travel is becoming more and more popular.

 

Read More