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Answers (4)

Airline Cards vs Bank Cards

Airline Cards vs Bank Cards

  1. kenomom

    For years I have used airline cards. My reasoning was that I am not a frequent flyer and the advantages were 1) no luggage fees and 2) points don’t expire. But I put a LOT of money on these cards, especially in home improvements.

    After reading several articles lately about bank cards, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve chosen wisely in which cards to use. Would bank cards be beneficial in my case? Do you lose points for infrequent travel? Are the flight credits sometimes offered, be used for international tickets as well (my current airline cards give me some coupons but they are only domestic and they are only applied if I bring someone with me – and from the same airport). (Note: I’m not opposed to those $450 fees I see when I look at what I’d receive in return).

  2. MidSouthSkier

    Welcome [USER=3443]@kenomom[/USER] – When you say “bank cards” I’m assuming you’re talking about the cards that offer flexible currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards and SPG Starpoints.

    These are great specifically for their flexibility. As long as you have a card earning that type of currency your points don’t expire and you can transfer those points to frequent flyer programs where you might not otherwise want to accumulate points. Case in point: on a flight from Asia to the US, it was 10K cheaper to transfer my UR points to Singapore Air vs. United for a flight on ANA. Since Singapore miles expire after 3 years, it’s not somewhere I want to gradually build up points but in this case I was able to just transfer in the exact amount of points I needed and immediately use them.

    Now, these flexible currency programs won’t get you a free checked bag but they are pretty good otherwise.

  3. kenomom

    Yes…those are the cards that I was referring to! It never occurred to me that I could then accumulate points first and then use them for whatever airline offered the better flight deal. That is great since I am sometimes willing to travel out of my usual home airport – thus opening the door to other airline options, So I would imagine that the 230k on AA and 134k on DL would give me 364k…pushing me closer to some of the more luxurious travel options…and on an airline that actually flies to that destination . Wonder if I can reverse transfer….take my points and move them to the bank card…or will I simply have to use what I have stored now with those particular airlines?

  4. MidSouthSkier

    No, once the points are in an airline’s FF program you can’t transfer them out or combine them. But you can transfer Amex MRs to your DL account to boost that balance if needed. Keep in mind that if you transfer MRs to a US-based FF program that there is a small fee based on the number of miles you transfer.

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