Credit cards have evolved from much more than just a means of carrying out transactions. The benefits offered by credit cards have been tailored to appeal to the various segments of consumers. Benefits offered range from cashback to attract the customers who are looking for extra savings to travel benefits such as AirMiles and complimentary travel insurance that are meant to cater to the frequent traveller.
What is an AirMiles Card
Air Miles Cards are specialised travel credit cards that offer the cardholder a chance to earn points known as miles that can be redeemed against various expenses such as car rentals, discounts on holiday packages and even be used to purchase air tickets or upgrade air tickets. These cards are generally issued in partnership with a set of airlines or a specific airline or sometimes issued independently. The advantage of such cards is that the miles earned can be used across different airlines which provides a bigger selection of destinations and dates.
The miles are earned against expenses charged to the card. Many cards have now begun offering sign up bonuses or welcome bonuses which give the cardholder a huge chunk of air miles to begin with. There is a downside to these cards though. Such benefits usually have a cost and in this case, the cost comes in the form of higher annual fees.
Boosting Air Miles
Most cards offer a meagre conversion rate. This means that the cardholder will have to spend an unnecessary amount on the card in order to earn the extra miles. The below points show how one can leverage their credit card to earn points whilst maintaining their spending patterns.
- Use the cards for everyday groceries and utility bills: such expenses that may otherwise be paid for in cash can be put on the card. This way cardholders can earn points and still have the cash to pay off the bills in full without attracting additional interest.
- Use larger group purchases: When at a group dinner, offer to pay for the bill by card and collect the cash from your friends or family. This way the cash collected can be used to pay the bill in full and negate any interest whilst earning reward points for the same expense charged to the card.
- Avoid unnecessary plans: Balance transfer plans and instalment payment plans have their benefits but is pointless when used only to earn points. It is because most cards don’t offer any sort of reward points for such plans.
- Sign up with the Airlines: Emails from partnering airlines will inform subscribers of upcoming miles sales that can be taken advantage of.
- The increase of expenses without changing patterns of spending can be useful but the advantages will be offset if the cardholder does not pay the credit card bills in full with the cash set aside.
Top 5 AirMiles Credit Cards:
The Top Banks that offer credit cards with AirMiles are as follows
- ADCB Platinum Credit Card: This credit card from ADCB offers the cardholder a host of travel benefits. The card earns 1 touchpoint for every AED 1 charged to the card. These Touchpoints can be redeemed for Etihad Guest Miles. The card has an annual fee of AED 500 and when cardholders pay the first annual fee, they receive a welcome bonus which provides the cardholder with 60,000 touchpoints. The card also couples other benefits such as complimentary golf round the year at select golf courses when the card meets the minimum spend criteria of AED 1,000 every month.
- ADIB Etihad Guest Platinum Credit Card: This credit card from ADIB earns cardholders 2.2 Etihad guest miles for every AED 4 spent using the card. The card is designed around offering travel benefits and even offers a complimentary companion ticket when the card has been charged with over AED 150,000 in a span of 12 months. The card is also equipped with travel takaful protection and offers lounge access. The annual fee of this card is AED 2,000 and offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Etihad Guest Miles.
- Citi PremierMiles Elite Credit Card: This credit card from Citi offers cardholders 3 Citi Miles for every USD 1 spent in foreign currency using the card and 2 Citi miles for every USD 1 spent in AED. The miles accumulated by the card have no expiry date and can be collected over extended periods of time. The annual fee for this card is AED 1,500 and requires the cardholder to earn a minimum income of AED 30,000 per month. Citi miles can also be used to make travel purchases. 15,000 Citi miles converts to AED 500.
- FGB Credit Cards: FGB Platinum, Signature and Infinite cardholders can enrol themselves into the loyalty programme from FGB called first miles. In this program, every USD 1 spent on local retail purchases earns the cardholder 1 First Mile and every USD 1 spent on international retail transactions earns the cardholder 2 First Miles. These miles can even be accumulated through use of supplementary cards. The loyalty programs offer Miles, cashback or rewards and a cardholder can switch between these loyalty programmes as and when they desire.
- NBAD Credit Cards: NBAD Stars earned by NBAD credit cards can be instantly redeemed when booking flights using the NBAD credit cards. Alternatively they can also be used to earn Etihad guest Miles. One can simply convert the NBAD stars earned from their card into Etihad guest miles at the conversion rate of 6 NBAD Stars for 1 Etihad Guest Mile. NBAD Stars can also be redeemed for Skyward Miles at the rate of 8 NBAD Stars for 1 Skywards Mile.
Words of Advice
So before choosing an airmiles card go through the fine prints of each card and then finalise the best as per your needs. Every card has its own perks so choose wisely to avoid any repercussions later.