Aviation Information

So You Want to Get Free Airline Tickets: Should You Choose a Reward or Cash Back Credit Card?

If you want to use a reward credit card for getting free airline tickets, you have a choice of choosing a dedicated airline credit card, a travel reward credit card or a cash back credit card. A dedicated airline credit credit card has hefty annual fees and may not be worth it if you are not a very frequent traveller or do not spend enough on your credit card.

If you decide to get either a no annual fee travel reward or cash back credit card, how would you decide which is better? This article examines how you should go about making this decision.

Let us assume we now have one reward credit card and one cash back credit card to choose from. The reward credit card pays one point for every dollar you spend on purchases. The cash back credit card pays a 1% rebate. Essentially, they both have identical payout formula of 1%. Let us assume both have no annual fee (very realistic) and both have identical apr. Would there be any difference between the two credit cards? Should we be indifferent? How do we decide which is better?

How much does your typical vacation airline ticket cost?

The most important factor that in this decision is actually the average cost of your airline ticket when you take your vacation. Why? Because most travel reward program (in fact, most frequent flyer program) require that you earn 25,000 miles or points to redeem a roundtrip restricted economy ticket within continental US. You are required to purchase the ticket either through the specific airline directly (in the case of a specific frequent flyer program) or through the reward program's agent. If you have a cash back credit card, 25,000 points will get you a $250 cash rebate (assuming a 1% formula).

But we all know that a domestic economy ticket cost can vary anywhere from about $99.00 to $350.00. If you are flying short haul, you can get a $99.00 ticket from a low cost discount carrier. If you fly from coast to coast, you are likely to have to folk out over $300 for a ticket. If you use get a special deal from expedia or priceline, you may get it cheaper.

Choose a cash back credit card if you airline ticket cost less than $250

Hence, it is very important to know your vacation habits. Where do you tend to go for your vacations? How much does your average airline ticket cost you? If you tend to fly short haul to a nearby place for your vacation and your airline ticket cost about less than $250 (say for example $150), you are better off using cash rebates from a cash back credit card. This is because you only need to spend $15,000 on your credit card to get a $150 cash rebate. Spending $15,000 on a reward credit card only earns you 15,000 points, not enough on most reward program to earn a free domestic economy flight.

Choose a travel credit card if your airline ticket cost more than $250

However, if you fly long distance (New York to LA for example) and your airline ticket tends to cost over $300, then using a reward credit card makes more sense. This is because if you use a cash rebate credit card, you need to earn over $300 in cash rebates (ie spend over $30,000). However, with a regular reward program credit card, you only need to spend $25,000 to earn your 25,000 points.

So if you tend to take vacations that require long haul flights that cost more than $250, use a travel reward card. If your vacation flights cost less than $250, use a cash rebate credit instead. Some reward program only require 22,000 points to redeem a domestic roundtrip flight. In that case, use $220 or 22,000 points as your guide when you are choosing between a travel or cash back credit card.

Nick Lian
Credit Card Tips, Articles and Reviews for those looking for a credit card

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Unidentified flying object investigated by the Irish Aviation Authority
The Irish Aviation Authority is investigating reports of "unusual air activity" after several reports of unidentified flying objects. On Friday, a pilot reported seeing bright lights near the British Airways plane she was flying from Montreal to London ...
UFO sightings by pilots are being investigated by Ireland's Aviation AuthorityCNBC
Pilots' UFO sighting being investigated by Irish Aviation AuthorityThe National
The Irish Aviation Authority is investigating a recently spotted UFOBusiness Insider Australia
TVNZ -BBC News -Irish Examiner -AIRLIVE.net
all 387 news articles »

Business Wire (press release)

Arthur D. Little Predicts Transformative Changes in Commercial Aviation Market by 2035
Business Wire (press release)
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arthur D. Little (ADL) today published a major new report on the future of the commercial aviation market. It predicts the sector will change more in the years between now and 2035 than in its entire previous 80 years. This ...

and more »

Abilene Aviation Assoc. to meet
Abilene Recorder Chronicle
... will be given an update on the annual safety program scheduled for Jan. 17, 2019 and plans for the 27th Annual Fly In and Pancake Feed to be held the first weekend in May 2019. Everyone interested in aviation and flying is welcome to attend the ...

New York Post

Family of plane crash victim suing aviation company
New York Post
Pilot and plane owner Robert Rosenthal, 63, was flying the Ryan Navion F plane on Feb. 26, 2017, as part of a flight review overseen by another pilot, Arieh Narkunski, 64, of All American Aviation Inc. of Westhampton Beach. Also with the two men was ...

Channel NewsAsia

Vietnam's newest airline Bamboo gets aviation licence
Channel NewsAsia
Vietnam's Transport Ministry said Bamboo's official aviation licence had been approved and that it would aim to operate 100 routes, including to lesser-travelled destinations in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia, with plans to eventually fly to North America.

and more »

Eater Seattle

A Stunning Aviation-Themed Restaurant Arrives in Kenmore
Eater Seattle
Chef and co-owner Jason Stoneburner, whose namesake Ballard restaurant is a superb place for pizza and pasta, oversees the menu at the expansive, aviation-themed Seaplane. The selection features the kind of crispy, thin-crust pizzas the chef is known ...

The Missoulian

Planes from Missoula-based Neptune Aviation on hand to fight California fires
The Missoulian
“We started sending aircraft down there Thursday morning last week,” Neptune Aviation Chief Executive Officer Ron Hooper said on Monday. “We have three on the Paradise fire and three on the fire near Malibu. It was really strange scraping ice off the ...
Missoula's Neptune Aviation Services fighting California wildfiresABC FOX Montana News

all 9 news articles »

Caap chief: PHL biz aviation policy ripe for modernization
Business Mirror
POLICIES governing the business aviation sector is ripe for modernization, the chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) said on Tuesday, noting that the government is now studying the possibility of adopting two global codes to ...


BBA Aviation shares rise on upbeat outlook for Ontic unit
Nov 13 (Reuters) - BBA Aviation Plc said it expects core earnings at its Ontic aircraft parts and services unit to reach $100 million by the end of 2021, helped by acquisitions and contract wins. BBA's shares were 6.8 percent higher at 244.6 pence at ...
BBA Aviation Outlines Targets For Signature And Ontic DivisionsMorningstar

all 12 news articles »

Aerospace Technology

CDB Aviation receives new Airbus A320neo aircraft
Aerospace Technology
China Development Bank Financial Leasing's (CDB Leasing) Irish subsidiary CDB Aviation has taken delivery of a new Airbus A320neo plane. The A320neo represents the 100th Airbus A320 Family aeroplane and the 125th Airbus aircraft to join the CDB ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007