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Old 04-28-2016, 12:33 PM
 
912 posts, read 1,249,152 times
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Miles aren't a scam - you just have to know how to use them, and airlines do change the rules and restrictions from time to time. From my personal experience - even if I haven't had enough miles to pay for a flight in full, I have gotten some heavily subsidized flights that have made travel much more attainable for me.

The miles-affiliated credit cards can be great, but I think they're most beneficial if you pick the airline that you fly on the most often/has the biggest presence in your city. If you live a United-dominated market but you get a Delta credit card, that's probably not going to be as useful to you as the United equivalent.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:38 PM
 
9,893 posts, read 3,271,164 times
Reputation: 7254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondurant View Post
A few days ago I was gifted 20k American Airlines lines miles. My intention was a multiple flight trip with the first leg being Phoenix to Newark on June 3 and the return leg from Scranton to Phoenix (with a Philadelphia layover). According to American Airlines the entire trip would cost 50k air miles and I was prompted to purchase the remaining 30k air miles for a staggering $885! Given that the cost for the entire trip is much cheaper when booked without air miles, I am left wondering what is the point of air miles?
Air miles work best those who travel all the time, and I mean a lot.

For the rest of us, just get a card that pays you the most cash you can get. that CASH can buy whatever you want and it stacks up nice and fast.

Sure if you are willing to plan, book at 2 seconds after opening, jump through a dozen hoops you can pull it off, but you will be working for those savings..


Mostly CC air mile plans/rewards start off good and then decline in value over time. The idea is to ensure the rewards are valueless to all but the most active customers.

Banks do this, investment firms do this, airlines, and cc providers do this.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:45 PM
 
558 posts, read 413,527 times
Reputation: 508
they are not a scam. They serve a marketing purpose mainly.

What most people does not imagine is that there is also a lot of tax planning behind the scenes.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:45 PM
 
9,893 posts, read 3,271,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oronzous View Post
they are not a scam. They serve a marketing purpose mainly.

What most people does not imagine is that there is also a lot of tax planning behind the scenes.
legally not a scam, but they are carefully planned to devalue as users accumulate points. In that sense they are very dishonest and a scam.

Airmiles are used to fool people into thinking their loyalty will be rewarded when in fact it is exactly opposite.

the loyal low volume customers get ripped off , while those who are heavy users reap rewards prior to the debasing of the currency....
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,233 posts, read 4,123,924 times
Reputation: 15545
I participate in the Alaska Airlines program and I can get a trip to and from Alaska for 25,000 miles. Almost all my miles come from my Alaska Airlines Visa. Over the years I've accumulated over 200,000 miles just for using a credit card that I pay off in full each month. Not a bad deal.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:38 PM
 
343 posts, read 425,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
Air miles, when earned, aren't a scam.
They are when Frontier suddenly shut off my account with about 50k earned miles and offered no recompense. I will never trust any airline program again.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:44 PM
 
9,773 posts, read 4,991,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedy View Post
They are when Frontier suddenly shut off my account with about 50k earned miles and offered no recompense. I will never trust any airline program again.
Okay. You don't have to. I'll continue to use them, and earn free flights.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,092,150 times
Reputation: 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
Yes, you have to be careful with those miles. I had an awful experience with Delta, tying to get to Amsterdam last year.
For whatever reason, low level Sky Team redemptions into Amsterdam can be a unicorn hunt. Last time I was searching, London would be 60K (plus the usual 'UK departure taxes'), Paris not that much more, and Amsterdam would be pricing out at like 135K for coach tickets.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,311,621 times
Reputation: 3600
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
For whatever reason, low level Sky Team redemptions...
No such thing. There are Delta redemptions, KLM/Air France redemptions, Alitalia redemptions, Korean redemptions... Every program is different.
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,661 posts, read 6,271,423 times
Reputation: 11476
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
What do you mean? Credit cards are the best way to earn miles actually. You can earn way more miles through your everyday spending than you ever will by just flying.
The credit cards I was referring to where the promotional cards that give you, say, 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within 3 months. Or something to that effect. For me, that's not worth it. And even for those cards where you get miles for every dollar you spent (outside of promotions like the one mentioned above), I'd prefer my rewards points go towards other things. But that's me.
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