Yes, airline miles are worth it. Whether you earn airline miles through an airline’s frequent flyer program or from a credit card with miles, you’re earning something of value in return for money you would be spending anyway. The miles you earn can then be redeemed for free flights and flight upgrades, saving you money on future purchases.
Frequent flyer programs affiliated with major airlines are free to join. Once you sign up, you just have to enter your membership number each time you book a flight to get your miles. Airline credit cards and general travel rewards credit cards help you earn miles much faster, since you can earn miles on tons of different purchases. Many cards also have signup bonuses.
The best airline and travel credit cards often have annual fees. So you’ll have to weigh the value of the miles you’d earn against the cost of the card to determine if the airline miles are worth it. You can also choose a credit card with a $0 annual fee, but you may not earn as many miles.
If you’re usually loyal to one airline, it makes sense to get a credit card for that specific airline. However, if you instead bounce around and book flights on whichever airline has the best and cheapest route, you should get a general travel rewards credit card that’s not affiliated with just one airline.
You can redeem miles for free flights and flight upgrades, whether you’re earning them from a frequent flyer program or a rewards credit card. Credit card miles can also be redeemed for other travel-related purchases, like hotel stays and car rentals, in most cases.
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