How do airline credit cards work?

Airline credit cards are a result of collaboration between credit card companies and different airlines. The concept of airline credit cards works well for frequent travelers, who gain in a number of ways by using airline credit cards.
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Airline credit cards are a result of collaboration between credit card companies and different airlines. The concept of airline credit cards works well for frequent travelers, who gain in a number of ways by using airline credit cards.

Purchases made through the credit cards earn points for the card holders; these points can be redeemed for free miles with the airline, at a car wash, hotels, etc. Points are also earned by flying with the chosen airline. The points are earned on the basis of predetermined point levels. This helps fliers to calculate the number points required to qualify for free travel. It is important to be aware of the consequences of card inactivity over a period of time and factors that can lead to points expiration. There may also be a limit to the number of points that can be accumulated in a year. Some airline credit cards have a maximum limit of 100,000 points in a year and points lapse if the card is not used for three years.

Airline credit cards work in the same way as credit cards but may charge a slightly higher interest rate. Annual percentage rate (APR) is used to measure the cost of credit. The methods used for calculating the rate of interest are two cycle average daily balance and average daily balance. The former, which considers the average of the current and previous balance, works out to be more expensive; this is something one should bear in mind while selecting an airline credit card. Different airline credit cards offer different rates; the rate of interest also depends upon the card fees, bonus points, and the grace period. A high rate of interest need not be a worry for card holders who do not have a balance to be paid at the end of the month. All the same, there are airline credit cards that offer 0% interest on balance transfers for an introductory period and also charge a low interest rate.

Airline credit cards have a preset spending limit that affects the amount to be paid monthly; certain airline credit cards offer a very high spending limit and even allow users to exceed the limit, the excess amount being settled in the next month. Airline credit cards can be of greater value if they are compatible with other frequent-flyer programs as they enable cardholders to use the points earned to the best possible advantage. An annual fee is charged by most airline credit cards in order to cover the costs of the benefits offered. Cash advances may also incur a fee, which can have a minimum value of $5 and can go up to $50, depending upon the credit card company and the advance taken.

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