Cash in on being a frequent flyer

With prices increasing for airline travel, there is a way to keep the costs of air travel down….become a frequent flyer credit card member.




There’s no denying that the cost of everything is going up.  Take a trip into town and you’ll spend more at the grocery store, more at the gas station and more at any supply or department store.   Unfortunately, this means that the price to run businesses is also on the rise and one of the biggest sectors being hit by increased prices is airline travel.
I can remember a time when a round trip airline ticket from Miami to New York cost under $125 and that included free checked bags, a meal and entertainment on the plane.  Sadly, those days are long gone but a great way to keep the costs of airline travel down is to become a frequent flyer credit card member.
Frequent flyer credit cards should only be owned and used if you find yourself in the air at least a handful of times every year.  If that’s not you, you’re better served owning a no fee cash back credit card which will maximize your savings every year.  So without further ado, allow me to present you with the three best options for frequent flier credit cards.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card – Frequent fliers of United and the now merged Continental Airlines need to own this card as 40,000 bonus miles can be earned the very first year.  You’ll also earn double miles when purchasing United flights, get your first bag checked for free and have the annual fee waived during the first year.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express – Similar to the other frequent flier programs here, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card dishes out 30,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in the first three months.  Zone two priority boarding is always included and the first bag (for up to NINE members of your part) is checked for free.  The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
Citi® Platinum Select / AAdvantage Visa Signature Card – For the American Airlines traveler, this card opens up by providing 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months.  That’s enough for a round-trip flight anywhere in the Continental US (with a lot of points left over) and some additional awesome benefits are:

  • $100 discount on an American Airlines flight every year you spend at least $30,000 on the card
  • Annual fee waived for the first year ($95 value)
  • Double miles on all American Airline flights booked
  • First checked bag is always free (for up to five members of your party, including you)

No matter what airline you fly, it’s a great idea to use airline credit cards to fund the purchase and pay for any fees you may be charged while in the air.  Card issuers love to reward you with perks and big discounts simply for your business, but please remember to charge responsibly and pay your bill in full each and every month to avoid costly interest charges.


3 Responses

04.07.12

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04.07.12

A great read! It is true to say everything is increasing including flying

04.07.12

Great post. I know a couple of business owners that charge thousands of dollars to credit cards each month with no rewards. I keep telling them to get a card that earns sky miles, and they could be flying around the world for free.

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About Wayne Farley

I am Wayne, a career air traffic controller. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from around the aviation world. A post titled “13 Characteristics of an Air Traffic Controller” written in 2010 went viral and established me as the unofficial ambassador of ATC.

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