Point for dollar credit cards have been around for a long time. Some earmarks of these cards are:
- Your travel reward purchase is done on the credit cards internal site.
This is an example of these internal sites as you can see they offer the member the ability to search flights like most Internet travel sites.
- Your travel purchase is based on the dollar value of the travel you want to purchase. In my experience the pricing on the point card sites will closely mimic the pricing you will find on popular travel sites like Expedia and Priceline.
- These credit cards don’t usually offer airline specific advantages like early boarding, free baggage, and airline lounge privileges.
Different point for dollar credit cards will offer different advantages and it’s a good idea to really look at the fine print with these cards to see which one fits your needs most closely.
Some criteria to consider are:
- The card’s yearly fee.
- The cards bonus program for joining.
- The card’s point value. An example would be the American Express card only offers a 1cent value but the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a 1.5 cent value on travel purchased on their site.
- The quality of the cards shopping portal. Virtually every credit card now offers a shopping portal for their customers to get additional points for purchases made on the Internet. Some of the shopping portals like American Expresses Portal are well-oiled machines others are a nightmare. Reviews of the different shopping portals are available on the Internet and if you plan to do a lot of shopping thru your cards shopping portal you may want to explore this element of your card.
- The travel advantages offered by the travel card such as yearly travel credits and airport lounge partners.
- Many of these cards also partner with airlines to offer point for point trades with their partner airlines loyalty partners.
- Some cards position their customers to receive travel loyalty advantages for their tickets from the travel vendors such as loyalty air miles and some don’t. The easiest way to see if your point for dollar credit cards will help you get loyalty points is to see if the site asks for your loyalty membership number during the purchase process.
These cards offer more flexibility then any company loyalty program credit card because they will allow you to shop between all three-airline alliances or the major hotel conglomerates for the best prices. The problem is I have not found any of the point for dollar credit cards that have built partnerships with all the discount carriers like Allegiant, Spirit and Ryan. The “Statement Credit System” cards will be more powerful in getting free flights on these discount carriers.
Some of the cards that use this system of loyalty rewards are the American Express Platinum Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and the Citi Prestige card (thru thankyou.com).
If you’re just getting one travel card and don’t want large yearly fee’s a “Statement Credit System” like the Barclay Advantage+ card may be a safer bet. With it’s $89 annual fee and two reward points per dollar return and a statement credit system of redemption that offers maximum flexibility this card is a great first card.
If your planning on traveling a lot and want to build a strong system of credit card rewards to generate as many points as possible all of the point for dollar cards can have a strong asset in your credit card strategy.
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