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Don't change your rent on the card thinking that you will accumulate miles to fly. It's not the way to go. Unless you plan to pay off your card every month, you will likely pay the minimum amount and next thing you know, your balance will come back and bite you. It's easier said than done when someone says he or she will pay the balance off every month.
If you charge your card just to get the "free trip", you'll be better off buying the lowest price ticket. I am a flight attendant for Delta and have seen so many people spend thousands of dollars and they showed me their "free" tickets! They are not free, do you have any idea how much money you have to spend to get a free trip? A lowest price ticket may cost you only $300 - $400. But if you charge $20,000 (or more!) to get that free ticket, you will likely be paying thousands in interest. Someone will tell you that if you "have to" spend that amount anyway, why not get a free ticket out of it. I say that nobody has to "spend" any kind of money at all. Don't charge your rent on the cards and hope to get a free ticket, just save $300 and pay for the lowest price ticket to go to see your folks. For those who will tell you to charge your card, are they going to be there helping you pay for it?

T.J.
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That's a good point, but I actually DO pay off my balance every month. Really! I don't charge anything unless I have the cash to pay it, and since rent is a necessary expense, one that I have to pay anyway no matter what, running it through the card and then paying the VISA bill on time would give me airmiles. There's no way I'd do this if I thought I'd be stuck paying minumum balances from month to month. The only thing I'm really concerned about is whether I'll accumulate enough miles to make the %55 annual fee worthwhile.
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<<That's a good point, but I actually DO pay off my balance every month. Really! I don't charge anything unless I have the cash to pay it, and since rent is a necessary expense, one that I have to pay anyway no matter what, running it through the card and then paying the VISA bill on time would give me airmiles. There's no way I'd do this if I thought I'd be stuck paying minumum balances from month to month. The only thing I'm really concerned about is whether I'll accumulate enough miles to make the %55 an
nual fee worthwhile.>>

I think that if you have the discipline to pay your card off every month then the perk is good. The justification of the $55.00 is dependant on the number of dollars you charge per year. I believe that airlines use the 25,000 mile mark for free trips. That would mean that you would have to charge $25,000 to make it worth your while. Also, you need to look at the time period the airlines let you not use your miles before losing them.

One alternative I might suggest is getting a card that gives you the air miles without charging you the 55.00. I think citibank does it.

kelvin
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<<They are not free, do you have any idea how much money you have to spend to get a free trip? A lowest price ticket may cost you only $300 - $400. But if you charge $20,000 (or more!) to get that free ticket, you will likely be paying thousands in interest. Someone will tell
you that if you 'have to' spend that amount anyway, why not get a free ticket out of it.>>

Certainly nobody is advocating running up your credit card simply in order to get airline miles.

BUT,if you are going to have a credit card, and you are going to pay it off on a monthly basis anyway, why NOT use it to your advantage.

The last car I purchased was via credit card. I checked with the dealer first. They said they would take the credit card as payment. I then checked with the credit card company, and made a substantial prepayment against the credit card, which would allow the credit card company to go throuth.

Bingo...I buy the car AND get a free airline ticket for my trouble. I thought it was a pretty neat deal.

And I now charge virtually EVERYTHING agains my airline card. Every single dime. But the card is only used for purchases that I am planning on making anyway, and that will otherwise be paid off at the end of the month. No balance.

Just another view of things...

TMF Taxes
Roy Lewis
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<<The only thing I'm really concerned about is whether I'll accumulate enough miles to make the %55 an
nual fee worthwhile. >>

Run the numbers. See how many tickets you might pick up using the card. Compare that to the $55 fee. See if it makes sense.

And don't give up on making the credit card companies back down and remove (or reduce) the fee. They may just relent. If your credit is A-1, remind them that there are plenty of other cards out there, and you may just have to switch over. See what the response might be.

You'd be surprised just how often these charges are abated just by asking and/or negotiating.

TMF Taxes
Roy Lewis
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<<One alternative I might suggest is getting a card that gives you the air miles without charging you the 55.00. I think citibank does it.>>

Another good suggestion!!! Check it out.

Taxes
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<<Don't change your rent on the card thinking that you will accumulate miles to fly. It's not the way to go. Unless you plan to pay off your card every month, you will likely pay the minimum amount and next thing you know, your balance will come back and bite you. It's easier said than done when someone says he or she will pay the balance off every month.
If you charge your card just to get the 'free trip', you'll be better off buying the lowest price ticket. I am a flight attendant for Delta and have seen so many people spend thousands of dollars and they showed me their 'free' tickets! They are not free, do you have any idea how much money you have to spend to get a free trip? A lowest price ticket may cost you only $300 - $400. But if you charge $20,000 (or more!) to get that free ticket, you will likely be paying thousands in interest. Someone will tell
you that if you 'have to' spend that amount anyway, why not get a free ticket out of it. I say that nobody has to 'spend' any kind of money at all. Don't charge your rent on the cards and hope to get a free ticket, just save $300 and pay for the lowest price ticket to go to see your folks. For those who will tell you to charge your card, are they going to be there helping you pay for it?>>

T.J.,
First of all let me commend you on the job I'm sure you do! I've flown Delta many times, and the flight attendants are awesome. Simply awesome. The job you do is so hard, and you folks deserve so much more credit than you get. Keep up the good work!

Now, I just need to clear up one point. Your argument is very, very valid--for people that do not pay their balance each month. But...

The discussion taking place has been with the understanding that the balance IS paid each month. It's true that not everyone is able to manage their finances this way, but for those that do, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the perks.

Here's my point: (Again, NEVER leaving a balance), there are people who will buy certain items on a regular basis. They shop. They buy their stuff either with cash or check. For these people that already have the money on hand, I say, charge the "stuff", get the miles (or whatever), and pay that dang balance when the bill comes. It all comes out even in the end, 'cept ya git stuff. ; )

That's it. Plain and simple. And if anyone isn't 100%, absolutely, positively, without a doubt certain that that balance can be paid in full....disregard the whole idea.

Tony
TMF2Aruba
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<<One alternative I might suggest is getting a card that gives you the air miles without charging you the 55.00. I think citibank does it.>>

Kelvin,
Nope, not Citi. They charge $50 for the card. But there ARE cards out there, so shop around.

Tony
...who uses his miles so he can say...
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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<<One alternative I might suggest is getting a card that gives you the air miles without charging you the 55.00. I think citibank does it.>>

The thing is, given where I live, right now the Northwest miles make sense for me more than the other airlines do, and World Perks Visa is the only one I know of (and they claim to be the only one) to give miles on Northwest. I'm kind of new to the miles thing, but I assume that I can't use American Airlines miles on Northwest, right? There's no way to transfer them. So if I want Northwest miles, then this is the way to go. Right? Or is there more to this than I know?
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<<The thing is, given where I live, right now the Northwest miles make sense for me more than the other airlines do, and World Perks Visa is the only one I know of (and they claim to be the only one) to give miles on Northwest. I'm kind of new to the miles thing, but I assume that I can't use American Airlines miles on Northwest, right? There's no way to transfer them. So if I want Northwest miles, then this is the way to go. Right? Or is there more to this than I know?>>

Mach,
Just check with the bank issuing the card. They have departments with all the details, and would be able to tell you what airlines you can use. Also, someone mentioned that Chase has a card which allows you to use any airline. That may be worth investigating.

Good Luck,
Tony
TMF2Aruba
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Yeah, you can frequently get the CC issuer to waive the annual fee by threatening to close & switch. This works once or twice, but usually they snag you the second or third annual fee. But what are we talking about, long-term relationship, or what?

ttm stands for "take the money" in case anybody asks. Or cares.
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