Airline miles card?
I think I’m going to open up a miles credit card. The area I’m from has just two major airlines, and I have been a member of the frequent flier club of one of them for years. I have about 20k miles, which is a one way ticket, but I haven’t earned miles in at least a year. (I lived within driving distance for some time.)
I could open a card directly through this airline. Opening a card (and spending $500) will give me 20,000 bonus miles. The annual fee is waived for the first year. After the first year (or sooner), I can cancel the card (unless they agree to waive the fee).
The impact to my credit score will be minor, and doesn’t matter since I’m not getting a mortgage anytime soon.
This is good as a short term solution, because I’m close to a ticket. It is a bit of a hassle to get a new card, but when I realized I was considering staying overnight in the Vegas airport in order to pay about $385 roundtrip to get back to the Midwest (savings of $125), I thought I should explore more sane options. In the near term, this will allow me to cash out on my years of flying on this airline and will get me home for the holidays “free” rather than for another $500+.
I realized I can use 12,500 of my rewards and book a ticket at $271 to go home for the birthday. That is so much more reasonable than $507!!! I just need to confirm the dates, but I will probably do this, whether or not I get the new card. That made my stress level go way down!!! I still plan on going home for christmas, but I should have more flexibility and be able to fly into a major city and make my parents collect me.
As a long term solution, a card not tied to an airline would be better, but are they better than plain old cash bacK? I really can only handle two credit cards at a time. I have a gas card (5%) and a Chase Freedom Visa, which gives 3% on my top three “categories”. Technically, I own a Citi Visa card, but I haven’t used it. I can’t juggle 3 cards. I’d have to retire one of these cards in order to get a new one.
The main point of getting this airline card would be to redeem the free 20,000 miles. I’d spend 500 on it, pay it off, then probably not use it much, except for to buy tickets. If 12,500 miles can save me $230 on a ticket, that is not a bad deal at all.
What do you think? Do you have a miles card?