Banks and financial institutions usually offer rewards to credit card holders for using their cards. They try and establish a regular spending pattern among cardholders and incentivise them for the same. These rewards are designed taking into consideration the varied preferences of consumers. One such rewards program is Air miles or frequent flyer miles.
Air Miles are a part of a loyalty program initiated by a credit card company where you accumulate free reward points, dubbed as ‘miles,’ based on the amount spent on your credit card. With an increase in the number of people traveling for business and pleasure, banks and financial institutions offer an Air Miles Credit Card to help you earn some travel rewards.
Keeping the requirement of frequent travellers in mind, Air Miles cards allow the cardholder to accumulate ‘miles’ against the transactions done on the card. These miles can be redeemed against travel-based expenses like purchase of flight tickets, renting cars, etc. Usually, banks offer these benefits based on a tie-up with certain airlines. Due to a strong expat population, many people in the UAE opt for air miles as the preferred loyalty program on their credit card. Some banks have started offering a welcome bonus of air miles against high annual fees on the card.
The more you transact using your credit card, the more air miles rewards you earn. It is really that simple. However, every bank offers a different conversion rate which can vary from 0.5 miles per dirham spent upwards. If you focus only on the air miles, then you might end up spending unnecessarily to boost your miles which can be counterproductive. Here are some tips to earn air miles without overspending:
- Try to convert your cash purchases to credit card purchases. If you are buying groceries or fruits or medicines or any such product which you are paying for in cash, then you must try and pay using your credit card. Remember to immediately deposit the amount spent in your card account to avoid charges.
- Electricity bill, Telephone/mobile bills, internet bills and similar utility bills can also be paid using your credit card.
- Get-togethers can be good opportunities to boost the miles. How? Offer to pay the bill while the rest contribute in cash. Deposit the cash in the bank and clear the bill. Easy!
- You need to be wary of disrupting your spending pattern for air miles. Instead, focus on your current spending habits and try to use the card in all possible places.
Most banks and financial institutions offering credit cards have Air Miles reward program for frequent travelers.
ADCB Etihad Guest Above Credit Card
Etihad Guest payment cards reward cardholders for their daily purchases. Etihad has tied up with several banks to offer Etihad Guest Credit cards and an opportunity for consumers to earn air miles. The ADCB Etihad Guest Above Credit Card offered by the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has three variants; Infinite, Platinum and Gold & Classic with features:
- 25,000 Welcome Bonus Miles on Platinum Card and 50,000 on Infinite Card
- 10,000 Anniversary Bonus Miles on Platinum Card and 25,000 on Infinite Card
- Complimentary one-way Airport Chauffeur service for Platinum card and Infinite Card
- Complimentary Upgrade Vouchers
- Purchase Protection
- Multi-Trip Travel Insurance
- Balance Transfer and Credit Card Loan
HSBC Credit Card
HSBC Credit cards offer an exciting air miles rewards program along with a plethora of travel and lifestyle benefits. HSBC offers five variants of credit cards Black, Premier, Advance, Cashback and Platinum Select and the features:
- 250,000 Air miles as a signup offer
- Cashback offers
- Complimentary at 750+ airport lounges
- Up to 10% Travel discounts
Emirates Islamic Skywards Infinite Credit Card
It offers not only air miles but also many discounts on the price range and various complimentary offers.
- Upgrade to Emirates Skywards Silver Membership
- Complimentary lounge access with a guest
- Free valet parking
- Multi-trip travel insurance
- Balance transfer facility
Q. Do Air Miles have an expiry date?
A. Every bank has different policies for loyalty rewards. You must check with the bank or financial institution before applying for the card.
Q. When and how can I start redeeming my Air Miles?
A. Air Miles can be used to book flight tickets, upgrade your flight, renting cars and many such travel related expenses. You must check with the bank for options available for redeeming air miles.
Q. Is there a bottom top limit for earning/spending Air Miles?
A. This is usually at the bank’s discretion. Most banks have a bottom limit. You may not redeem your Air Miles if they are below a certain threshold. Similarly, there may also be a limit upon the maximum Air Miles one can accumulate. Do check with your bank for any such limits.