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Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Unfortunate World of Airline Miles

I can't believe I did this, I bought plane tickets to Las Vegas on Monday for $200 each, and then two days later, I get a huge chunk of airline miles posted in my account when my United Airlines Credit Card posted me 21,000 miles available to use.

21,000 miles is the equivalent of $210 in money to pay a plane ticket, or just an additional 4,000 miles to get a "saver" ticket to fly almost anywhere in the USA (regardless of the price of fare).

Now I regret it because the airline I picked has a "no refund" policy, damn! I could have used my 21,000 in free air miles to buy a flight to Vegas and used that extra cash to feed it down the mouth of a rip-off slot machine or a shot a roulette.

But I must say that it is totally worth getting a credit card or a check card with some type of rewards program because you use your cards to pay for your daily and big ticket item purchases, and why not get about 1% back? Say you spend $1,000 on your credit card, 1% of $1,000 is $10, which typically means you can claim a gift card for a retail store for that amount.

Credit cards with rewards is a good option, but check cards with rewards typically only return 0.25% of every dollar you invest. The only thing that would make the rewards program worthless is that if you do use it, it's usually a higher APR than a non-rewards program, and if you are paying interest on your credit card bills (instead of paying your bill completely every month for 0% interest), it aint worth it.

Let's summarize my rants:
Rats, I could have flown for free!
No refund?? What a joke!
Can't I get my money back so I can gamble and try to get double?
Try a credit card with rewards, it's worth getting free crap.

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