With an airmiles credit card, you collect Avios points every time you use the credit card for transactions. You can then spend these points on flights, hotels, car hires, package holidays and a range of other things. If you meet certain conditions and use your card wisely, it could be an excellent addition to your wallet. However, not everyone needs one. The following six questions will help you decide whether you are the type of person who would definitely benefit from having an Avios credit card.
* How much do you care about travelling?
Although Avios points can be spent on rewards other than flights, many of the things that you can get will be closely linked to travel in some way (whether they are related to your journey or to what you do at your destination). In short, these cards are aimed at frequent flyers. If you do not have much time for travelling or simply do not feel the urge to visit many places away from your home, a different credit card may be a better choice. However, if you love to see cities all over the world, enjoy planning holidays several times a year or view your ability to travel as something that is intimately connected with your overall happiness, an Avios credit card can help to make sure that you travel more often in the long run (and travel in greater comfort). Further, if you choose a credit card with a companion flight scheme, a partner, family member or friend may be able to accompany you when you collect enough points for a free flight.
* Are you flexile about travelling?
Once you have collected enough Avios points to convert these points into a flight (or flights), you will not have as much freedom as you do when you buy flights under normal circumstances. Availability is quite limited, so an airmiles credit card is best for people who can afford to be quite flexible about their bookings. For example, if you are a teacher and get long holidays when school is not in session, you might be perfectly happy getting a flight to a major US destination sometime during the summer months and may not mind when exactly that flight happens to be scheduled. However, if you tend to have tighter windows for travel then you need to book well in advance if you want to make the best use of your Avios card.
* Do you regularly travel to distant places?
When it comes to short or medium haul journeys, the cost of the taxes that you will have to pay may well be the same as a ticket on a budget flight, so cards that earn airmiles or Avios points are more effective when you use your points to pay for long journeys.
* Do you have a good credit rating?
As with most credit cards, airmiles cards require you to pass a credit check. Ideally, you should have an unblemished (or at least decent) credit history, and should be earning at least an average income.
* How do you feel about paying your balance in full every month?
One thing that airmiles credit cards typically have in common is a high interest rate. In most cases, the interest rate will be around 20%, meaning that you stand to pay a hefty price if you struggle to pay your balance on a monthly basis. If you either worry about having the funds to pay off your credit card or are concerned that you might just forget to pay it off, you may want to avoid an Avios card and look for something with a lower interest rate.
* What is the annual fee of the card you are considering?
Some airmiles cards require you to pay an annual fee of as much as Â£150, so it is well worth looking into the specific policy of the card that you are thinking about acquiring. However, it is also important to note that cards with higher annual fees often come with higher rates of reward, so it may be that in your particular case the benefits of the fee will outweigh the cost.
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