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Old Aug 4, 00, 1:57 pm   #1
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Are there any credit cards that give FF miles on several airlines?

Recently a friend mentioned that she had an American Express credit card that gave her FF miles on several airlines? Is that true?
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Old Aug 4, 00, 2:02 pm   #2
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She's probably referring to a regular AMEX card with Membership Rewards. You earn points which ($1 = 1 point = 1 mile) which are redeemable for miles on several airlines.

There is also the Starwood AMEX card, which earns Starwood points which can be converted to miles also ($1 = 1 Starwood point = 1 mile).
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Old Aug 4, 00, 7:27 pm   #3
  
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The American Express Gold Rewards Plus card offers 1.5 miles per dollar charged with Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners and 2 pts per dollar in the first year of membership. All other purchases earn 1 pt per dollar.

In addition to AMEX, Diners Club offers pts that can be converted to miles, however the redemption is 2:1 on DC, unless there is a promotion where you can convert 1 pt for 1 mile, such as the current British Airways offer.

Other cards that I am aware of are specific to airlines, for example, the Citibank World Mastercard only earns you pts on American, or the UA MC/VISA which only earns miles on United Airlines.
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Old Aug 4, 00, 8:49 pm   #4
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There's no difference between the reward rates of AmEx and DC. Each gives you one mile per dollar. DC confuses matters by giving you two "points" per dollar, then converting at the rate of one mile for every two points, but the net effect is the same.

DC has advantages over AmEx: it's cheaper at $80 per year (don't forget to add the MR cost to the green AmEx annual fee), it converts to more airlines, and sometimes they run double-bonus promos (one mile per point). However, not as many places accept it, especially in North America. You can generally get DC with a 24,000-point (12,000-mile) sign-up bonus, given out at the rate of 2,000 points in each of your first 12 membership months in which you use it at least once. That more than covers the annual fee.

If you want DC and have a friend who's got one, have him/her recommend you. The friend gets 6,000(?) points and you still get the sign-up bonus. (If you want DC and don't have any friends that have one, send me an e-mail.)
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Old Aug 4, 00, 9:09 pm   #5
  
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One other big advantage of DC is that at numerous restaurants (located mainly in metropolitan areas), you can get 20% off the bill automatically. I believe the restaurants are listed off the website, (in us, www.dinersclubus.com) along with more info about diners (like primary auto insurance coverage).
Diners also has some great promos, like the British Airways one going on right now--1:1 exchange instead of the 2:1. So, those 24,000 points for the bonus, after one year, can be 24,000 miles. With the first year bonus and a renewal bonus for the second year of 10,000 points plus some charges, I was able to exchange 40,000 points after only 16 months with the card--enough for a BA roundtrip to Europe, off peak.

Plus they have lots of airport lounges, although only a few are in the US.

For anyone needing a DC referral, I'd be happy to part with four AA 500 mile Greenpoints certificates. Let me know.
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Old Aug 4, 00, 9:40 pm   #6
  
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Hop on over to www.americanexpress.com and check out the rewards. The one downside for me is that you can't xfer to UA, which will get worse when US/UA merge. I do however, like the hotel programs (Marriott especially).
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Old Aug 4, 00, 9:41 pm   #7
  
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Efrem,

Actually Amex is cheaper than Diners, FREE! The Starwood Optima card does not charge an annual fee and you get 1.25 miles per dollar automatically on all associated airlines (20,000 points = 25,000 miles). The only downsides are: 1)$60k annual limit; and 2) If you don't pay your bill exactly on time you will be hit with a huge finance charge.
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Old Aug 5, 00, 12:03 am   #8
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Diners Club gives you two statement periods to pay (55-62 days), which is nice if you need to turn in receipts to be reimbursed later.

I'm considering getting a "free" American Express card from Costco after I cancel my "underperforming" Discover Platinum.

Back on topic: check out the Capital One MilesOne Card. $19 annual fee; 1 FF mile per dollar (including up to 5,000 miles for a balance transfer).

Don't go looking for credit cards; let them come looking for you. You'll usually get more lucrative offers from targeted solicitations.
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Old Aug 6, 00, 6:10 pm   #9
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freakflyer,

You are, of course, absolutely right about the Starwoods Optima. However, I was trying to compare apples with apples. DC and "regular" AmEx are charge cards. Optima is a credit card similar to Visa and MC. Neither type is necessarily better or worse than the other, but they're different animals that serve different needs.
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Old Aug 7, 00, 9:03 pm   #10
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I think the Starwood Optima card is the greatest thing since sliced bread! I've noticed that Amex/Optima is accepted virtually everywhere now. The big downside of the DC card is that it's accepted in
far fewer places.
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Old Aug 9, 00, 8:35 am   #11
  
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When UA merges with US AIRWAYS both frequent flyer accounts will be merged into one UA account. So by transfering your AX points into US AIRWAYS now your will then have UA points.
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Old Aug 9, 00, 1:26 pm   #12
  
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I've got to agree with Neal. I'm VERY pleased with my Starwood Amex Optima card. I wish, though, they'd transfer to Midwest Express. Oh well, the price is sure right.
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Old Aug 9, 00, 4:27 pm   #13
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Thanks to Beckles, raffy, Efrem, griffon, dingo, freakflyer, EPS, Neal, Sydneyjb, and RobertH for their replies. I will be checking out their suggestions. I really appreciate all the frequent flyers that take the time to answer our questions on this bulletin board!!!!!
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