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Frequent Flyer Credit Cards - Adding Pleasure to your Business

These are hard times for business. Actually they are the best times for business. What did I just say? Sounds familiar… Best of times… Worst of times… What the dickens, now I remember. Hmmm – inception of ideas is funny business.

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Business though is not funny. It’s hard work and lots of leg work. Getting those business contracts to go your way rather than fly by you, involves meetings and lunches, trips and conferences, late nights and long flights. Here is a short guide of how you can get your business work for you, even when you are catching a long deserved shut eye.

There are a lot of different credit cards in the market and sometimes we are carrying so much plastic on us that it weighs us down. This article is a short guide of how to make the most of your plastic carry. If you don’t already have one it is about time you made a quick dash to get the right frequent flyer credit card.

Frequent flyer miles are what you gain when you do absolutely nothing special; they are what you gain while you snooze on your late night flight home. Choosing the right frequent flyer credit card requires you to put in a small amount of research first.

Types of Frequent Flying Credit Cards

Airline Specific - Can be redeemed only at a particular airline
Airline Independent – Can be redeemed across any airline

Points to remember when choosing a frequent flying credit card that is right for you:

  • How often do you fly? Frequent Flying Credit Cards are useful only if you fly regularly for business or leisure. Every flight gives you miles that find place in your frequent flyer account.
  • Are your destinations variable or do you visit the same place repeatedly? When choosing a frequent flyer card be sure that the card is one that caters to all your flight destinations. Sometimes airline specific cards can be a hindrance if they do not cover all your destinations. At the same time if they can also give you most benefits if you fly a particular airline only, so try and choose an airline specific card provided it covers your preferred destinations.
  • Make sure that the interest rates on whichever card you get are the lowest in the long run. Short term teaser rates are enticing but eventually it is the long term interest rates that really matter.
  • Almost all frequent flyer cards offer air miles when you make purchases from certain stores or valued chains of supermarkets, gas stations or drug stores. Make sure that these are places that you regularly buy from.
  • To make most of your miles earned, make sure you make your reservations early on, when you do earn enough miles to get a free flight. The reason is that number of award tickets on a particular flight are usually limited
  • Some cards offer you incentives if you pay within the grace period and if your credit is good. The Citi Forward Card for example, rewards you with points merely if you make your payments on time. It also gives you points if you go in for a paperless statement. Seems like a good boy present to me.
  • A lot of frequent flyer cards give you certain bonus air miles just on signing up. It makes things all the more sweet.
  • Most cards now have air miles that do not expire, provided your account remains active. If inactivity is seen for a 36 month period then you may lose air miles
  • On some cards you lose your cash back benefits if the account remains inactive for 18 months
  • Most cards have a ceiling on the number of free miles you may accumulate over a year, so keep this in mind when choosing the card and see that you get the best deal possible.
  • Converting hotel rewards to air miles is possible if the hotel and airline are partners. You could request your hotel where you stay, to credit your frequent flyer account with your accumulated hotel rewards.
  • It is possible to purchase air miles; this would help you fill in the gap to a free ticket if the accumulated air miles are falling short a bit. It also enables you to keep your account active if the air miles are going to expire.
  • Check the fine print before choosing the card as annual fees and interest rates vary from company to company.

Almost all companies are providing frequent flyer cards though Citi, Discover, American Express, Chase Manhattan and Capitol One are the ones that are leading the pack. Do go through the various options before inking.

Frequent flyer programs when properly selected can make your business trips sweet pleasure. Enjoy the free vacation!

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