Updated: Oct 24, 2021
We all enjoy a good secret—especially when it benefits us or our loved ones. And, there are a lot of good secrets out there. However, there is one secret that only a select amount of people know about. What is that secret? The value of miles & points accumulated by using credit cards.
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Aren't Credit Cards Bad for Me?
Credit cards have received a bad reputation—and sometimes deservedly so. High-interest rates, the ease to rack up credit card debt, and unexpected loss of income has put many individuals on a path they wish they never knew existed. This has led to bad credit scores, rejected loan applications, and even bankruptcy filings.
There is also the emotional impact having a negative experience with a credit card can bring. This includes stress, anxiety, and damaged self-worth.
Credit Cards Aren't All Bad
With all the aforementioned consequences having a credit card could potentially result in, why would anyone consider using one? The short answer—MILES & POINTS! When used responsibly, using credit cards to earn miles & points is an outstanding way to mitigate travel expenses. To put it simply, you will save a significant amount of money. Although credit cards are not the only way to earn miles & points, credit cards generally come out on top over other methods—generally because of the WELCOME BONUS!
"When used responsibly, credit card spending is a golden opportunity to make your dollar go further."
How does an individual use a credit card responsibly? There are essentially two aspects to responsible credit card use:
Pay the outstanding balance in full on or before the due date; and
Don't use your credit card to buy an item you normally wouldn't purchase with cash on hand.
By adhering to these two points, an individual will avoid paying interest and maintain healthy spending habits. The opposite of this method—paying out interest and spending money impulsively—will eat away at the miles & points earned using a credit card. This would be defeating the purpose of using miles & points to save money in order to travel.
What Are Credit Card Miles & Points?
Miles & points earned by using credit cards are essentially a type of currency. This means that every time you use a credit card that offers rewards, you accumulate miles or points. The various credit card issuers have their own terminology to identify the rewards that they offer for using their credit card; some prefer to use "miles" while others use "points." Nonetheless, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably to mean the same basic thing—money in your wallet.
Credit card miles & points can be redeemed in a variety of ways. Most credit card issuers will have a cashback option. Nevertheless, usually, the most lucrative way to use the miles & points accumulated through credit card use is to transfer those miles & points to a transferable partner—if the credit card issuer has that option available.
Chase currently has 14 transfer partners and may be the best card issuer in town. Chase recently introduced the BEST welcome bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card since it was introduced to the public in 2009. Although it is no longer at 100,000 points, it currently packs a punch at 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards®! This is a must-have credit card for anyone getting started with Award Travel. Compare and apply for this card here! Feel free to use our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in your first year of use.
What Is the Big Secret?
There are two aspects of getting the most "bang for the buck" when it comes to credit card miles & points. The first aspect is EARNING as many miles & points as you are able to do using your reward credit card(s). The second aspect is REDEEMING those miles & points earned strategically in order to maximize the value of what you have earned. When you combine these two "ingredients" the end result will be a "recipe" that tastes very good for your wallet.
This is where a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant can be of tremendous value. They will be able to review your personal situation, discuss your travel goals, and customize a plan to help you select a credit card and/ or use your miles & points to maximize their value. As an added benefit, if you are new or inexperienced, and have a desire to learn about credit card miles & points and award ticket bookings, utilizing the services offered by a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant is a way to learn and leverage the knowledge gained for future award travel.