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Randy picks the best credit card plans to offer air miles cheaply

Randy picks the best credit card plans to offer air miles cheaply

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Old Oct 13, 00, 6:56 am
  #1  
doc
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Randy picks the best credit card plans to offer air miles cheaply

Probably one of the most common questions I get asked is: What is the best credit card plan that offers air mile credits plus the lowest APR?

The unpleasant truth is there's almost no such thing, these days, as "low APR and the most rewards." If you want the best miles, you are going to have to pay for them. Now, with that being said, I do have a great strategy for you. But, I am warning you, this is not for the faint at heart. If you are at all queasy, stop reading now! For those of you with jet fuel in your blood and miles on your mind, continue...
http://misc.biztravel.com/content/ne...iles/miles.htm
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Old Oct 13, 00, 8:14 am
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Good article and quite interesting. However, I notice that Randy didn't mention the mileage caps that many of these cards have. I did find one that, for small business owners (or the self-employed among us) has a higher cap. The Citibank AAdvantage Business Card has a cap of 150,000 miles a year, as opposed to the 60-100K that most have. It's a pretty good deal. My good friend who has a business loves it. The application number is 1-888-66-APPLY and offers 7,500 miles as a sign-up incentive.

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I wish I were 1,000 miles away
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Old Oct 13, 00, 8:35 am
  #3  
PG
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Randy Petersen said:
Now for the low fee argument. I know many people that simply won’t pay the $55-$85 or more fee to get a frequent flyer credit card, preferring to go with a low cost card. Fine, but you won’t find a great return on those cards if any benefits at all.
How about the Sheraton/Starwood Optima. No annual fee (so you are saving $55-$85 every year). First year complimentary Starwood gold status. 1000 point bonus on signup. 1 mile per dollar charged to the card. 5K bonus miles on transfer of 20K throughout the life of the card (not just the first year). Transfer to almost all domestic airlines.

[This message has been edited by PG (edited 10-21-2000).]
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Old Oct 13, 00, 9:13 am
  #4  
doc
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As PG notes, this SPG Optima surely gets my vote for the best CC "deal" considering along with the bonus, there is no fee & superb flexibility!

Also, Smart Money recently ran a little blurb, albeit neglecting miles, on how to find the best CC!:
http://www.smartmoney.com/ask/index.cfm?story=20001009

BTW- If comparing cards and rates, this may also be useful to you:
http://www.smartmoney.com/debt/calcu...ory=creditcard

[This message has been edited by doc (edited 10-13-2000).]
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Old Oct 13, 00, 9:25 am
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Not is the U S Airways card issued by Bank of America a great deal at 1.2 miles per dollar but if you can place a lot of spending on the card, it pays to get the Platinum card because the mileage earned is unlimited. In addition, the promo currently offered (and mentioned on another thread) from American Express Optima / Delta is a very sweet deal. Finally, the Starwood Optima card is very nice because it is so flexible (no blackouts at their hotels)
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Old Oct 13, 00, 9:43 am
  #6  
 
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Have to agree with PG and doc! Sheraton Optima is the way to go. The hotel rewards aren't bad either!
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Old Oct 13, 00, 10:15 am
  #7  
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My vote goes to Shearton/Starwood AmEx Optima. It one of the most flexible points as well; hotel stays or one of its many airlines partner FF miles.

Only downside is that it's capped at 60,000 pts/yr for those higher spenders.

Lastly, don't overlook CompuBank's Visa checkcard which earns ClickRewards miles. It's one of two checkcard that gives you FF miles that I'm aware of. It's good for everyday small purchases such as groceries, gas, etc...

You can still get $50 sign up cash bonus if you sign up via Spree.com

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For money savings ideas & tips check & FF miles bonus for finance & auto buying check out ValueConsumer.com

[This message has been edited by DH (edited 10-13-2000).]
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Old Oct 13, 00, 10:30 am
  #8  
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I agree with DH about the Compubank Card. I know someone who used the last Clickrewards Starwood promotion to get an effective 2.5 miles per dollar with that card.

This is not the first time that people have recommended the Starwood card in FT in response to one of Randy's published articles.
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Old Oct 13, 00, 10:52 am
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One thing I didn't notice in Randy's article was bonus features of Airline co-branded cards. I have the Alaska Platinum Visa and it's the only card I know of that gives you a first class upgrade cert. As well as a 50% off cert. every year that you renew the card. Cost $75. Do the other airline cards give bonuses for purchasing airline tickets with their credit cards? Alaska gives 2 miles for every $ spent on an Alaska Airline ticket.
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Old Oct 13, 00, 11:36 am
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I was surprised Randy didn't mention the 3,000-10,000 mile bonuses offered for some of the cards. That, to me, is the biggest draw for signing up for a C.C. If you can get 10,000 miles as a bonus (UA, Delta, American have had such offers over the past year or two, and Diners has the 12K offer), then paying a $50 or so fee is worth it, at least for the first year.
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Old Oct 13, 00, 1:49 pm
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The earnings cap on First USA's UA Mileage Plus card is waived for elite FFs (Premier and higher).
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Old Oct 13, 00, 2:34 pm
  #12  
 
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I agree with the SPG promoters for two reasons: one mentioned already and one not.

1. Fees. Although Randy discounts fees, I think they matter. For example, if it takes you one year to charge enough for a trip, that "free" trip could cost $50-$150. The Amex SPG makes the trip really free.

2. The ability to "flush" orphan miles. I have read many threads suggesting to get rid of orphan miles by reducing balances (e.g., buying magazines, using Milepoint.com). But by reducing balances, you usually get a redemption rate of 2 cents/mile or less.

With SPG, you can top off nearly any account and get three benefits:
a. Clear out the account
b. Get a good redemption rate, and
c. Not have to worry about finding obscure ways to get rid of the miles.

The only SPG drawback is that you have to get a Visa/MC since Amex isn't accepted everywhere.
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Old Oct 13, 00, 2:48 pm
  #13  
 
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Remember on Citibank AAdvantage cards there is no mileage cap if you are a Gold, Plat, or EXP with American Airlines.
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Old Oct 16, 00, 8:29 am
  #14  
doc
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From credit cards that will get you into virtually unbookable restaurants, to exclusive betting hotlines and concierge care, it is a different world.
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/p...nnws01012.html
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Old Oct 16, 00, 11:14 am
  #15  
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All you Optima fans, maybe I missed something, but it looked to me (and so said the title) like Randy was talking about MILEAGE-EARNING cards not necessarily hotel points.
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