Collecting air miles for free trips is an obsession for some people.
But even if you aren’t an air rewards obsessed super-saver, you can still manage to travel cheap – if you know the best way to collect and use air miles.
There are two different types of air miles you can accrue with different air rewards programs.
– Fixed air miles, often offered through credit card air miles programs. These provide for a set amount of travel.
– And standard air miles, which have a different value based on when you are flying.
The Capital One No Hassle range of products offers the fixed type of miles, which is why Alec Baldwin keeps saying on those commercials that you can travel whenever you want.
Airline branded credit cards normally have the standard type of air miles. With standard air miles – when you want to travel affects if you can redeem them, and how much you can redeem them for.
While the fixed air miles sound better, because you know exactly how much the miles you have are worth, they actually offer very low redemption rates – often as low as one cent per mile. This means it might take you a lot longer to save up enough to actually be able to go somewhere.
If you want to get a free trip somewhere cool, and you don’t really mind where that is or when you take it, you should collect only the standard miles and redeem them at an off peak time – outside of holidays and other busy travel times. You’ll find that those standard miles will be worth a lot more, and you’ll be able to save up enough to go someplace much sooner.
However, if you want to use your miles to pay for a specific trip you have planned (for example to go to a family reunion, a wedding, a sporting event, etc), then the best option is often to go for fixed miles. These are reliable, and you’ll get better value on them if you want to travel at a busy flying time, when your standard miles would be worth very little.
If you want to get the most out of your travel rewards, it is important to understand these differences and be able to organize your credit card spending to get the kind you want when you are planning for a free trip.