Do you spend a lot on your credit card? Do you pay off the balance each month? And do you like to travel?
If the answer to all of the above is yes, then you could be using your credit card to turn everyday purchases into travel rewards by collecting airmiles.
This page explores the different types of airmiles available and answers questions you might have, such as: what rewards can I get? And which credit card is best for me?
What exactly are airmiles?
Airmiles are travel reward points you can collect through a loyalty reward programme. One of the ways you can collect airmiles is through your credit card. The general rule is the more you spend on your card, the more rewards you receive. You can redeem airmiles against flights, travel rewards and other things too – such as spa days and theatre tickets.
There are various types of airmiles, including Avios and Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club miles. Confusingly Avios used to be known as ‘Airmiles’ – note the capital ‘A’.
Which credit cards can I collect airmiles with?
You can collect Avios with a few different credit cards. You can also pick up ‘Flying Club miles’ with other credit card accounts.
Some of these cards even offer zero balance transfer with airmiles. But make sure you can pay the transferred balance off in full before the 0% period ends on your zero percent credit card.
When considering which credit cards might be best for you, be sure to check the annual fees. Those charging an annual rate typically allow you to accrue airmiles faster than those without, but it’s worth doing a few sums to ensure the rewards justify the amount you’re paying. Again, be sure to pay off your credit card in full every month.
It’s important to note that these aren’t the only reward cards available. In fact, most airlines offer some form of airmiles. Which credit card is best will depend on what you’re looking for. And that brings us to our next point.
Which is the best credit card with airmiles?
Since each credit card is aimed at different consumers, a better question to ask might be: which credit card is right for me?
The best credit cards for airmiles, or the ones with the most enticing rewards, are often aimed at big spenders. The more you spend on your credit card, the more points you’ll collect. So the more you spend the further you’ll fly.
However, consider if you can afford the repayments and any other fees that may be involved. Be sure to make regular payments above the minimum amount to pay off the balance on the card.
If you regularly fly with one particular carrier, then arguably the best airmiles credit cards will be the ones affiliated to your favourite airline.
How do I get free flights with my credit card?
Unfortunately, you can’t get completely freeflights. You have to pay some or all of the airline taxes and surcharges, depending on which reward programme you’re with, and where you’re flying.
Another point to note is that the availability of reward flights can be limited – so flexibility on dates, cabin class and destination is often needed when using your airmiles for flights.
You can exchange airmiles for upgrades and extras too – from priority boarding to VIP departure lounge access. Or you can buy a flight in the normal way, and use your airmiles to knock some money off the price of your ticket.
But Airmiles aren’t just about flying. For example, there’s an array of things you can spend Avios on, including car hire, hotels, holidays, spa days, photoshoots and trips on Eurostar. Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club miles offer similar rewards – there’s even a course to help you conquer a fear of flying! And your American Express charge card membership points can get you tickets for music, film and theatre events – even before they go on public sale.
How can I find the best airmiles credit cards?
From high-reward cards with annual fees, to airline-specific credit cards, there are many options to consider. So you may be asking yourself: which credit card is best for me?
Click the button above to start comparing credit cards with airmiles.
Compare some of the best credit cards for airmiles today with comparethemarket.com.