Airline credit card offers are just about everywhere. Most of the major airlines offer their own credit cards and it can be difficult to select the right card. While they are still basically credit cards at heart, there are some very big differences in how they should be used. Here are some tips about how to get the most out of airline credit cards.
Stick With One Card
Almost every airline offers a credit and even most travel companies offer them too. Although it would seem that having more cards would lead to more points and rewards, that is actually not true. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is signing up for too many credit card offers in hopes that they will be able to earn a lot of rewards. In theory, that is possible, but very unrealistic because it requires a person to make use of several credit cards all at once to gain enough points and rewards for trips. The best course of action is to sign up for one card and then focus on accruing enough points and rewards to pay for flights that would be very expensive otherwise.
Pay On Time and In Full Every Month
While it is always recommended that people make payments on time and in full each month for all credit cards, it is especially for airline credit card offers. This is because many of these programs will try to deduct points or refuse to allow you to use them if you have late payments. Another thing is that most of these types of credit cards have relatively high interest rates, so it is advantageous to always pay in full to get the maximum benefit of the rewards.
Watch Out for Fees
Purchasing airline tickets is not a straightforward process. In most cases, people not only pay for the tickets alone, they will also have to pay different fees and surcharges for fuel and other related expenses. The reward points may be for the flight, but the passenger will still be responsible for paying these fees. Be aware of the potential costs and ask questions in advance to prevent sticker shock at the counter.
Plan Your Trips Far In Advance
It is best to plan trips far in advance to ensure that there is a reservation in place. Some airlines have blackout dates and limit the use of points during certain times of the year. Airlines also tend to limit the amount of passengers on a plane and they may only allow so many people to use reward points to pay for a particular flight. In order to actually be able to use reward points for an upcoming flight, book far in advance to guarantee a spot because the slots are limited.
All airline credit card offers have slightly different features, rewards, and interest rates, but most of these tips still apply. As a general rule, stick with one card, try to pay in full each month, book reward flights in advance, and watch out for fees and surcharges.
Author: James Patrick is a finance blogger at compareit4me.com The UAE’s leading finance comparison site.