Before applying for an airline credit card, you need to ask yourself two questions:
1. What benefits are available from the largest airline in my area?
2. Which airline credit card would let me reap the greatest benefits quickly?
A credit card sponsored by an airline usually only allows you to collect points to use on that specific airline. That will be convenient, efficient and economical for you if that particular airline controls the majority of the destination routes from your area. On the other hand bank sponsored credit cards allow you more freedom, in that the bonus point you earn on them, could usually be used on a wide range of airlines. If there's no dominant airline in your area, then a bank credit card will be more beneficial to you. Something else to consider is that a bank credit card will often require a lower number of air miles before you can use them for travel. However, use extreme caution in reading the fine print on a bank sponsored credit card.
Air miles credit cards can be very beneficial to those that travel frequently for business. With these types of credit cards you accumulate rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for air miles. Simply use your credit card to purchase your airline ticket, and all the other necessary goods and services, and you'll be able to collect a lot of miles. With airline credit cards you usually get extra points for paying for your airline ticket with the credit card. You can then use the air miles to get future free or discounted trips to the destination of your choice. As an added incentive, airline credit cards often offer bonus air miles at selected stores, or on specific travel destinations. Usually, both airline and bank sponsored cards give bonus air miles when you sign with their company.
Just about every major credit card company have different levels of air miles credit card offers, something like standard, gold and platinum. Airlines and air miles credit cards usually have a membership or annual fee that varies greatly depending on the type of credit card. Which means that the better the option and benefits to you, the higher the fee would be. You can get a high credit limit with gold or platinum credit card, but of course the membership and annual fees will also be higher and these add up quickly.
You can very often get introductory offers for 0% APR air miles credit cards. They do that simply because they want your credit card business. But those interest rates go up quickly after the introductory period, so if interest rates are of concern to you, an air miles credit card might not be the right choice for you, since the interest rates tend to be very high. Many air miles credit cards also have a minimum number of miles that have to accumulate before you receive a free or discounted trip. Be sure to read the fine print and make sure that you understand all of the stipulations.
There are some disadvantages to having an air miles credit card. As we mentioned earlier, these credit cards usually have much higher interest rates than standard credit cards, which can add up quickly if you don't pay off the entire balance each month. And unfortunately it is always tempting to use the air miles credit card for unnecessary purchases in order to accumulate points to be exchanged for air miles. As with all credit cards, air miles credit cards have to be used responsibly in order for the cardholder to reap the benefits.
About the author
Magaret Phillips is a regular contributor for the Credit Card Guide at http://www.information-pages.info/creditcard/ and the Information Pages at http://www.information-pages.info/.