With so many credit card options available, it can be hard to sort through everything from earnings rates, additional benefits, and included insurance protections to decide which option is right for you. Deciding whether you want to earn flexible credit card points or frequent flyers with a specific airline is a good place to start. Here’s what you need to know.
When are flexible credit card points better than frequent flyers?
When it comes to credit card points, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Credit card points can often be used for a number of things, including travel expenses, cash back, gift cards, and even merchandise. However, how you can use your points is up to the credit card issuer, so it’s important to do your research before signing up for a card.
It’s possible to choose a credit card that earns flexible points and this flexibility can come in handy when it’s time to use your flyers, ultimately making them easier to use and sometimes more valuable.
Also keep in mind that the value of your flexible rewards points can vary. For example, your points could be worth more if you redeem them for travel during a promotion compared to redeeming for cash back or merchandise (merchandise is often one of the worst redemptions possible). Some bank points can be transferred to partner airlines, but award pricing, award availability, and current cash prices will all affect the value of your points in this case.
When are frequent flyers better than flexible credit card points?
Frequent flyers, on the other hand, can typically only be used for travel expenses. But if you’re a frequent flyer with a specific airline, this might be the better choice for you. You’ll often get perks like free checked bags, priority boarding and even lounge access depending on the credit card you choose. If you often find yourself flying one specific airline and paying additional fees for things like checked bags, the savings you can get from these benefits may be more valuable than additional flexibility from flexible bank points.
And of course, you can benefit from using your points for flights in addition to the other benefits offered by the card, but, like with flexible points, the value you get from your points will vary depending on award pricing, award availability, and current cash prices. What you won’t have is the ability to transfer your airline-specific miles to other partners or redeem for more flexible cash-back.
Which option is better for you?
So, which is the better choice for you? It really depends on your spending habits and how you plan to use your rewards. If you’re a frequent flyer with a specific airline, then an airline-specific card that earns frequent flyer miles might be the way to go. But if you want more flexibility in how you redeem your rewards, then flexible credit card points is the better option.
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