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Air miles cards
Old 12-19-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
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Air miles cards

I've been noticing over the past few years more stores asking if i have an air miles card, am i missing out on something by not having one? i dont intend to fly ever again and subscribing to a card where after 10 million points have been accumulated gets you a free coffee isnt worth the effort of carrying the card. A quick look on Google came up with air mile cards that are connected to your Visa card,they look a wee bit expensive and i hardly ever use a credit card eg CIBC - CIBC Aerogold VISA Card

Again am i missing something ?
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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Pass.

I guess I don't know all the options available in Canada, but here in the states there are plenty of no-fee Visa rewards cards you can use to accumulate "points" which can be used for many things, including air travel and cash back. I have two different rewards cards which both give one point per dollar spent, and those points can be redeemed for travel or for merchandise, or can be redeemed in quantity for one cent per point (i.e. 25,000 points = $250 cash back).
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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Jambo, you have provided a link to the CIBC Aerogold Visa card, which is quite different from Air Miles https://www.airmiles.ca/arrow/Home.

I have both. The CIBC Aerogold Visa Card earns me 1-1.5 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent (on anything) plus miles when I fly Air Canada or an affiliate. Since this is my only credit card and I put most purchases on it, I accumulate points quickly. This pays for a lot of my personal travel and as such is worth it.

The Air Miles card is a general consumer loyalty program, no charges involved. It accumulates points when I shop for gasoline, groceries, etc, etc. Whenever I see the blue sign I pull out the card. Of course, if I pay by credit card, I will also accumulate Aeroplan points! The points are redeemable for various consumer products, movie tickets and flights. However, unless you have significant family purchases such as moving expenses, you will find it takes a long time to accumulate a meaningful number of points. I have had an Air Miles card for at least 15 years and believe I have taken one flight and gotten one piece of electronics. So is it worth my while: not really.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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I have always been told that this was not the "best" type of Credit Card.

A Google search is enlightening -- start with Credit Cards - Compare Credit Card Offers at CreditCards.com just to get an idea of the choices you have.

Full disclosure: I have two "cash Back" credit cards (Citibank-MC and Capital One Visa) that I used for all but about $200 in purchases this year. It is not a great source of income but I did get around $700 back this year.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Problem is i dont use a credit cards,i use a debit card for most purchases.Is there an all encompassing air miles card?like visa is to credit cards, or are they just extensions on a particular credit card?.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Problem is i dont use a credit cards,i use a debit card for most purchases.Is there an all encompassing air miles card?like visa is to credit cards, or are they just extensions on a particular credit card?.
Yes, see my post above. There is no need to have a credit card to get an Air Miles card.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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The value of frequent-flyer miles is eroding so badly ...
I was very loyal to Delta for years, built up quite a supply,
thinking I'd be able to get most domestic coach round-trips
for about 25K miles. No longer, it's pretty much impossible
for less than 50K miles. I think the FTC oughta come down
on them. Some airlines are way better on this.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Problem is i dont use a credit cards,i use a debit card for most purchases.Is there an all encompassing air miles card?like visa is to credit cards, or are they just extensions on a particular credit card?.
I have a Bank of America debit card that accumulates airline miles at the rate of one mile per two dollars paid with the card. It took me about three years, using the card for almost all purchases, to accumulate enough miles for a ticket. Since the card has an annual fee of $30, I won't actually be getting a "free" ticket, but a ticket to anywhere the airline flies for $90.

I am thinking of switching to a "keep the change" debit card when the Air Miles card expires next year. This rounds all purchases up to the next even dollar and deposits the rounded amounts into your savings account. All else remaining equal, I think I might accumulate enough cash in the savings account to pay for a plane ticket faster that way. Plus, I'd get interest (albeit not much) on the savings account, and there's no annual fee with a "keep the change" card. And last but not least, if I need to, I can use the money for something else, for example if I need an expensive repair on my car. I don't think my mechanic takes airline miles.

Which card is the better deal? I have trouble making up my mind on this kind of thing. "Keep the change" is pretty obvious. It's an automated penny jar, a painless way to get myself to save small amounts of money so I can later buy something I want. OTOH, the airline miles appear to be "free", but are they really? Is B of A actually giving me a big discount on a plane ticket out of the goodness of their hearts, or is there a catch? What's in it for them?
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