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Bottom Line When Looking At Best Airline Miles For Award Flights
The best way to earn points is to sign up for a travel credit card or airline-branded credit card. They offer simple ways to earn extra points.
The best travel miles credit cards for premium travelers include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express, and more.
See our complete list of the best travel credit cards and use the one that is right for you.
What Is The Difference Between An Airline Credit Card And A General Travel Credit Card
Though they are both handy for travelers, there are clear differences between an airline card and a general-purpose travel card. For starters, an airline card offers rewards for loyalty to one specific carrier or alliance whereas a general-purpose travel card partners with multiple airline brands. If your closest airport happens to be a designated hub for a particular airline, you might find that airlines branded credit card to be the most convenient.
With an airline credit card, you can often earn boosted rewards on travel and in-flight purchases. A general-purpose travel credit card tends to reward for a variety of categories, sometimes even offering rewards for all purchases. More recently, airline credit cards have begun to reward for everyday spending in categories such as groceries, although it isnt nearly as common as with general-purpose cards. General travel cards also offer benefits such as Global Entry or TSA Precheck credits, while airline cards might offer complimentary checked baggage, seating upgrades and lounge access.
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What Is An Aeroplan Points Value
With the new chart update, an Aeroplan points value is not concrete when it comes to flights, and varies depending on what the points are redeemed for and the time of year theyre redeemed. Generally speaking, when it comes to travel, youll receive the highest value for your Aeroplan Points if you use them toward flights and the lowest value if you use them toward car rentals.
Outside that broad rule of thumb, there are several other redemption factors that affect the value of points. Under the old Aeroplan program, we could state with confidence that youll get better value for your points if you use them for a domestic flight in Canada or the US rather than an international flight. Now, however, given the wide range between possible points needed for each and every flight the value you get for a point doesnt just depend on distance but rather on miles travelled, how popular the flight is, and the time of year .
When redeeming your Aeroplan Points, youll want to make sure you get the best CPM , which means aiming for the lowest possible end of the points range for Air Canada flights.
If I booked a flight from Toronto to Paris in November with Air Canada, the ticket, according to the website, would come to a total of approximately $905.97. To figure out the net value of my flight I would first subtract $141.97 .
How To Convert Credit Card Points To Frequent Flyer Miles
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Many credit card companies offer rewards points that can be exchanged for, or applied to, frequent flyer miles. The conversion process and rates will depend on your credit card terms. However, with the right strategies in place, you can usually earn heavily discounted or free flights to any destination.
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Business/first Class Is A Better Deal When Redeeming Free Flights
It’s better to use your miles to pay for a first class or business class seat rather than coach or economy. Even though it takes more miles to get a free business class seat, you get a greater dollar-to-point ratio. That is to say, you get a greater value for a smaller amount of points, when you redeem for a business or first class ticket.
This holds true for both domestic and international flights.
For example, a one-way economy seat on American Airlines from JFK to LAX can cost $135. A business class seat on that same itinerary would cost $892, and you’d pay $1,192 for first class. That same flight would cost you 10,000, 20,000 and 75,000 miles for economy, business and first class respectively. To get the per-mile value, you simply need to divide the dollar fare by the price in miles.
- Economy: $135 / 10,000 = $0.0135
- Business: $892 / 20,000 = $0.0446
- First: $1,192 / 75,000 = $0.0159
As you can see from the calculations above, business and first class on American Airlines provides a better value, with business getting you nearly four times the value for each mile. Therefore, you get the best bang for your buck if you save up enough miles to pay for a more luxurious cabin ticket.
Pros Of An Airline Credit Card
- Valuable travel perks. Airline credit cards come loaded with valuable perks such as complimentary checked baggage, lounge access and priority boarding, as well as coverage for lost luggage and trip cancellation.
- Points are easy to earn. Depending on your spending habits, its relatively easy to rack up rewards to put towards future travel. Plus, generous welcome bonuses give cardmembers a leg up on accumulating miles and earning status.
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 60k Bonus Tsa Precheck Or Global Entry Credit 2x Miles
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with the ability to earn a 60,000 bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Cardholders also earn 2x miles on every purchase, up to $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit, and a $95 annual fee. Plus, you can transfer your miles out to leading travel partners and enjoy Capital Ones new airline lounges.
At 2x airline miles on every purchase , youre essentially earning 2% back in rewards. When it comes time to redeem your miles, youll have two options:
- Purchase Eraser: Redeem your miles as a statement credit against travel purchases made in the last 90 days
- Book travel: Use your miles to book travel through Capital One
You can also make partial redemptions, with no redemption minimum. That means youll be able to take full advantage of all of your rewards, no matter how few you have. And, as a bonus, your miles wont expire. For travel miles cards, redemption options dont get much more flexible or straightforward than this. For these reasons, the Venture Rewards made it to the best Capital One credit cards.
You may have noticed that the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card have many similarities , $95 annual fee). Check out this post to see how the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture compare and which might be better.
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 opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citiâs discretion.
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Find The Sweet Spots In Your Rewards Program
Every rewards program has its “sweet spots” redemption options that offer a particularly good value. Experts who frequently travel free with credit card miles always keep these deals in mind when planning award travel.
So how do you find these sweet spots? Start by checking the program’s award chart, which lists the different redemptions and how much they cost in points or miles. As an example, check the American Airlines award chart.
To give you an idea what these deals look like: sweet spots in the American Aadvantage chart include round-trip, off-peak economy flights to Europe for about 45,000 miles. And one great redemption deal from United Airlines is the ability to fly from the United States to Australia or New Zealand on partner airline Air New Zealand for 40,000 miles.
Look at expert recommendations for the best way to use the program’s points or miles for maximum value. For example, here are our takes on best redemptions for: American Airlines miles, Delta miles and Hilton points. Prefer a different program? Check our site for advice on redeeming points or miles for maximum value in the program of your choice.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for special deals. Many programs will run award specials where you can get a bargain redemption for a lower “price” than normal. You may get emails or other messages from your credit card company alerting you to deals.
Capital One Transfer Partners
The Capital One travel transfer partners include:
- Choice Hotels
- Wyndham Rewards
The Capital One Venture review exemplifies in detail why this might actually be Capital Ones most popular card, thanks to its easy-to-use rewards and valuable sign-up bonus.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card are popular choices for many travelers. Their ease of use, uncomplicated earnings potential, and simple redemption method make them attractive options.
Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards
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Buying Flying And Staying
You can, of course, earn points and miles by doing business directly with an airline or hotel. You can earn miles almost every time you fly with any given airline, and youll earn hotel points by staying overnight with a participating property. Just be sure to sign up for their loyalty program first!
What Are Credit Card Miles
With these rewards credit cards, you earn miles or reward points that you can later redeem for airfare, hotel stays, or other travel expenses.
Under most programs, youll earn miles or points for every dollar you spend as well as bonus miles for spending in certain categories or spending a minimum amount of money within a certain period of time after opening a new account.
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Capital One Miles Value
Theres no official Capital One Venture miles redemption chart. But thats because you dont need one. Its not that complicated. Capital One Venture miles are worth a penny each when redeemed for travel and half that when redeemed for gift cards or a statement credit. Since Venture gives you double miles on every purchase, that means youre getting 2% back when you redeem for travel and 1% back otherwise. read full answer
So, its pretty easy to make your own Capital One Venture miles redemption chart. In fact, Ill make one for you
Here are your Capital One Venture miles redemption options:
Top Ways To Earn Airline Miles
Since they first took off more than 30 years ago, frequent flyer programs have undergone as many changes as the airline industry itself. While its still possible to reap some major rewardsor to waste time collecting points youll never usetodays programs look very different from those of even a few years ago.
A huge shift, notes Brian Kelly, who calls himself The Points Guy and runs the website ThePointsGuy.com, has been in the way many airlines now calculate their rewards. Often called a revenue-based model, it rewards travelers for the amount of money they spend rather than the miles they fly. In other words, frequent flyer programs are becoming serious spender programs.
That can be a good thing or a bad one depending on the type of traveler you are. If you typically fly in economy class, youre likely to benefit less than before. On the other hand, Kelly says, just a couple of trips a year in a premium class of service could mean many thousands of miles added to your account.
With two-thirds of Americans saying they plan to resume travel in 2021, you may be interested in the best ways to save money on flights. Though there may be more changes on the horizon, here are some of todays best ways to earn airline miles.
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Airline Miles And Hotel Points
If you have points or miles with a specific airline or hotel loyalty program, however, their value can fluctuate based on how you redeem them. You can typically get more value, for instance, if you use Delta SkyMiles to book a free flight instead of shopping for merchandise in the SkyMiles Marketplace.
Even if you’re booking a free flight or hotel stay, however, the value of your rewards currency can vary based on the current cash price of the booking and other factors.
This means that if you have 50,000 miles with both programs, your balance would be worth roughly $600 with Delta and $700 with American Airlines, according to those calculations.
With hotel rewards programs, the contrast can be stark. World of Hyatt points, for instance, are worth 1.7 cents apiece on average, while Hilton Honors points give you just 0.6 cents each. So if you have 50,000 points with both programs, they’re worth $850 with one and $300 with the other.
Of course, these are averages. The value of your points or miles can vary depending on when you book your free award flight or hotel stay, where you’re headed, whether you’re flying coach or first class, or if booking a higher-category hotel versus a lower one.
What Is The Best Travel Rewards Card
We think the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best overall travel rewards card, but the best card for your particular situation will depend on what benefits you care about the most, as well as how you feel about paying a high annual fee.
We’d recommend opening a travel rewards card that earns Amex or Chase points, since these are among the easiest rewards to redeem and you have various travel partners to utilize. But if you’ve investigated your options and are confident that you can get value out of their rewards, cards that earn Capital One miles or Citi ThankYou points can make sense as well.
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American Express Gold Card
If you dine out or shop for groceries frequently, the American Express Gold card could be the perfect travel rewards credit card for you. Youll earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first three months, plus 4X points at restaurants and 4X points on up to $25,000 in grocery store purchases per year.
In addition, you get 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel. For a limited time, youll also get $120 in Uber Cash for dining or rides. When you consider that the annual fee is only $250, its easy to see the value in this card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Sign Up For A Credit Card With A Welcome Bonus
If you’re new to the rewards game, get a head start by taking advantage of sign-up bonuses. These bonuses typically offer new cardholders a cache of points or miles for opening a card and spending a certain amount in a specific period. A sign-up bonus may be worth hundreds of dollars in travel. If you’re wondering how to get free airline tickets with a credit card, this is one of the top tricks.
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