A quick guide to air miles credit cards

By UK CreditCards.com

Credit cards can be a useful travel companion. Secure and widely accepted, they are a great way to fund the purchase of your flights, accommodation and spending whilst you are on holiday. And, with an airmiles credit card, you can now accumulate perks, such as flights or hotel accommodation simply by using your credit card for everyday spending. (Be aware, however, that not all travel destinations have adopted chip and PIN credit card technology. If you plan to rely on your credit card while travelling, check ahead of time before you leave for your trip.)  

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What are air miles credit cards?
An air miles credit card awards miles for every pound that you spend on your card. These are then converted into a special Air Miles account for you to use on a range of benefits. You can choose domestic or international flights, holidays or hotel accommodation from a wide range of exclusive and special offers in the Air Miles catalogue.

It is also possible to use the points on your air miles credit card plus cash to pay for your travel. Many travel deals can be paid for using a mixture of Air Miles and cash.

Look for an air miles credit card with a 0% introductory period
Another way that air miles credit cards can help you get your dream holiday is by spreading the cost of your vacation. The best credit card rates now offer a 0% interest rate for a period of time (typically 6 to 12 months). This means that you can benefit from interest free borrowing on the costs of flights, accommodation or your package holiday.

By paying for your travel on a 0% credit card, you can then pay back the cost over several months. However, make sure you are able to repay the full balance of your holiday during the 0% period. Otherwise you could end up paying a significant amount of interest.

See related: The right card may cut overall holiday costs; Booking flights on credit cards is 'crucial'

Published: 3 June 2011