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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 12-05-2005, 08:44 PM   #1
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Okay, I've never owned a credit card in my life. But I'm thinking about getting one that offers flyer's miles and just paying it off monthly. Can anyone recommend a good card? Preferably no fees, no minimum anything, etc. And how do they work, can you only get them for certain airlines? It'd be cool if I still had some options in airlines, I'd be a bit pissed if I never used the miles.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:55 AM   #2
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Most credit cards that offer a Frequent Flyer program have a buy in price. For example, I use Citibank and they have the $80 bucks a year buy in. I am using them right now to rtack up my miles for my Japan trip. I am hoping to get as close to a free ticket as I can and then just pay the difference later on. The way I figure it, is even if I can get a ticket half off, it is still cheaper than the price of a full ticket even with the $80 added in.

You might wantto try looking at a site like LowerMyBills.com and see if you can find a good credit card offer for miles.

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Old 12-28-2005, 11:36 AM   #3
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I have mixed feelings about these cards. While I do know people who've travelled for free on them, they aren't without their problems. First of all, frequent flier miles are full of conditions and restrictions, so they can be very difficult to redeem. Secondly, you're pre-locked into a particular airline. Maybe that airline doesn't have a decent, affordable, or timely route to where you want to go. Thirdly, there is the annual fee. If it'll take you a few years to rack up the miles, the annual fee can be significant. I have a card that has no annual fee and gives 1% cash back. I can then shop around for the best airfare when I travel. I figure it probably comes out about the same cost wise, but I have much more flexibility (although I haven't done any formal analysis on this- has anyone else around here?)
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by @dam@Dec 28 2005, 01:36 PM
Secondly, you're pre-locked into a particular airline.* Maybe that airline doesn't have a decent, affordable, or timely route to where you want to go.* Thirdly, there is the annual fee.* If it'll take you a few years to rack up the miles, the annual fee can be significant.
Your not neccesarily locked into one Airline. There are a lot of programs that are a a group type idea. Basically you might have ten airlines or so in one group like the One World group or what not that you can choose from. It is just a matter of finding out about who is in the program beforehand and how to make it work best for you.

The anual fee that can rack up depends on how long it isuntil you plan on using the miles or how quickly. If your going to use the card within a year and get a $80 fee then it is not so bad. If your looking at 5 years down the road then paying $400 is not so good of a deal at all depending on where your going.

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Old 01-04-2006, 12:12 PM   #5
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just remember about the annual fee
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:18 PM   #6
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Yup - there is an annual fee, but if you put ALL your bills on the card (and pay off monthly of course) the fee imay be worth it. You have to look at how many miles you can earn each month, know how much a mile is worth roughly and then decide if the fee is worth it.

For me personally, I have a United Mileage Plus visa. I travel a lot for work and always fly United. So, I get miles for flying, more miles for paying for my business travel expenses with my United visa, more miles for paying for personal expense on the visa, more miles when I book on-line at United's site with my mileage plus visa (extra 1,000 every time). I have earned a lot of miles that way. I also have not found it too cumbersome to redeem them. I used miles to fly to Australia last year. I am using miles going to Seattle later in the year. If you are somewhat flexible on dates and times or book early enough, you are usually all set. If you decide a month ahead of time you want to fly R/T Saturday to Saturday, you will probably be out of luck.

Now many of the airlines are offering the aiblity to redeem miles for various merchandise. United now does this but I have found the cost tooo high (i.e. the number of miles needed for an item is just too much when you compare what a flight costs versus merchandise).

Everyone is different - it really depends on your personal circumstances.
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:14 PM   #7
 
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If you're just after miles, I'd suggest looking into mileage runs...check out the forums on Flyertalk.com for more in-depth information on that.
As others have said, watch out for the annual fees charged by mileage-accruing credit cards. You may be better off in the long run with a card that gives you a percentage rebate like 2% but has no annual fee.
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:40 PM   #8
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I got a Virgin Atlantic CardVirgin Atlantic card for my trip and so far I've been racking up the miles! I've about 22k which will let me upgrade to first class when I fly out to visit my gf while she's in the US. Now, ya cant beat that with a big stick!
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