Credit cards come with all kinds of different rewards programs to earn business and perhaps entice users into spending a little more than they normally might. Perhaps the most well-known reward cards – and possibly the most advantageous – are frequent flyer rewards, which can net you a host of travel-related freebies.
Smart shoppers should do a thorough frequent flyer rewards card comparison to make sure they get the product that most suits their needs. This way, they can turn frequent flyer rewards into something that truly benefits them, instead of an expensive mirage to be chased.
What are frequent flyer rewards credit cards?
Rewards cards have existed for a long time, letting cardholders collect points every time they spend with their credit card, which they could then exchange for various bonuses. Frequent flyer programs have also been around for a while, letting customers build up 'miles' when using airlines, which they could use to get free or discounted tickets.
A frequent flyer rewards program credit card is simply the amalgamation of these two.
By using your frequent flyer credit card, you can build up these points without having to set foot in a plane until you're ready to fly. In many cases, you can even earn extra points for spending at partner companies. Some of the benefits you can trade your points for include:
- Discounted flights
- Hotel bookings
- Flight upgrades
- Baggage upgrades and priority delivery
- Extended warranty
- Travel and medical insurance
You can earn these frequent flyer reward points by:
- Flying with the particular airline your card is linked to and their partner airlines
- Using your frequent flyer rewards credit card for your everyday spending
- Going out of your way to spend at partner supermarkets and stores
What are the benefits of frequent flyer rewards credit cards?
There are a number of benefits to frequent flyer rewards credit cards that draw customers toward them.
Most obviously, there's the chance to get discounts on flights and other products and services offered by an airline, something that could save you substantial sums of money if you're a globetrotter.
This type of card benefits big spenders who use their frequent flyer reward program to earn bonuses on top of their existing spending behaviour. The more you spend, the more rewards you can earn.
Of course, there are things to watch out for too. You need to be careful not to get sucked into spending more than you otherwise would as you chase those rewards points. You'll have to maintain personal discipline, just as you would with a regular credit card – perhaps even more so. And remember, for those rewards to remain valuable, you should always aim to pay your card off on time – so you’re not ‘buying’ those rewards with high interest charges.
What should I know about frequent flyer rewards credit cards?
Before signing up for a card there are a few points to bear in mind:
- Such cards tend to have high interest rates and fees, so you have to make sure the rewards will be worth it. In other words, will the card pay for itself?
- Remember to read the terms and conditions so you know the restrictions on how you can use your points.
- Make sure your credit history is up to scratch – these types of cards aren't divvied out to just anyone.
- Ask yourself if you're the kind of person who would truly make the most of a frequent flyer rewards program.
Then you're ready to compare frequent flyer cards.
How do I carry out a frequent flyer rewards comparison?
There are a few elements to focus on in order to make a successful frequent flyer rewards credit card comparison:
- The offers themselves – what kind of rewards do you get with each card?
- What is the efficiency of the point system? In other words, is it more difficult to earn rewards with some cards than it is with others?
- Do any cards offer generous introductory rates?
- What are the caps and expiration dates on the points?
- Do the partner stores match your current shopping behaviour?
- What are the rates, fees and other aspects of the card like?
These questions will prove a useful guide when comparing credit cards features.