What is an Airline Miles Card?

Most airlines operate like supermarkets offering rewards to customers while tracking their activities.  An airline miles card is a branded credit card for a specific airline.  The card is also known by many as a frequent flyer credit card.  You gain extra frequent flyer miles when you use that card for expenses toward that airline (and sometimes the airline alliance).  The miles are then in turn redeemable for free flights, flight class upgrades, or even hotel stays and merchandises.

What So Special About Airline Miles Cards?
The short answer is “The difference of getting a free magazine vs. a free flight!” Credit card issuers discriminate when it comes to targeting potential customers, in a business sense.  If it only takes a free magazine to gain you as a customer, why should they spend 20x that to lure you over?  This gives birth to different offers for the same product.  This is also the same reason that there exist some unbelievably handsome offers from the credit card companies.

You are much more likely to fly with an airline where you receive extra rewards than ones you don’t get extras, it pays to convert frequent travelers into card members.  So credit card issuers and airlines have been very aggressive in customer acquisition, with promotional offers such as:

  • Free domestic round trip ticket upon approval,
  • Free seat class upgrade,
  • Free airport lounge access,
  • Priority boarding,
  • Free checked luggage,
  • Free companion ticket,
  • and more.

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Does It Make Sense For Them To Make Such Enticing Offers?
It really depends.  The short answer is “yes” – why else are they still doing it?  The longer answer depends on the fact that there is no perfect information on these products.  It can take up valuable time for someone to research and decide whether if a product offer is in fact good or bad.  So it is not uncommon to hear people accepting the less versions of the same product – this is how they can afford to make the super sweet offers, by averaging the good and not-so-good offers.  Thank those people next time for making these deals possible.

What Does Airline Miles Card Watch Focus On?
We focus on tracking and evaluating cards, programs, and offers we consider to be acceptable.  We don’t believe in accepting a free magazine subscription as sufficient reason to get a frequent flyer membership.  We won’t even take 5 such memberships!

An example of what is considered acceptable by our standards:

  • Free round trip ticket (typically in the form of miles) upon approval,
  • Waived annual fees (at least for first year), and
  • Special rewards for flying with the said airline.

This can be further sweetened by other goodies such as

  • Class upgrades,
  • Priority boarding,
  • Lounge access,
  • and more.

In other words: The offer should be valued at $250+ before we would even consider it!

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