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We’re credit card experts. This means we know our stuff when it comes to helping our customers find the right card for them. We know where the best deals are and have access to exclusive deals just for Lending Expert customers.

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What are Air Miles credit cards?

If you are a frequent traveller, then using your credit card to gain points towards air travel can seem like a tempting idea. Air travel can be very expensive, and most frequent fliers are happy to accept any deal which can allow them to cut a few pounds off of their travel price. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, a credit card which offers you rewards in the shape of a free ticket or money off of your ticket can be very tempting. Before you start finding out more about these cards, you need to know that the Air miles reward scheme is now known as the Avios scheme. This will help you to understand what the credit card companies are talking about, and ensure that you know exactly which card is best for you.

Whether you talk about air miles or about the Avios scheme, you need to know what the credit card companies are offering before you are prepared to agree a deal with one of them. The basic principle behind these cards is the same as that for a range of other credit card reward schemes - you make a purchase, and earn points which then convert into vouchers for money off of your reward schemes. If you use a credit card which is closely linked to an airline, you may also be able to get points for the flying that you do without these vouchers. You can boost your points in several ways, and when you have enough for a voucher, you can convert them into tickets for airline flights. You will still have to pay the charges and taxes which come with being an airline passenger, but the most expensive part of the business will be taken care of.

What can I expect with an Avios credit card?

If you want to obtain a credit card that allows you to collect Avios points, then there are several different options available to you. Some choose American Express, simply because it offers the best rewards for purchases. However, you should be aware that this card is not as widely accepted as the standard Mastercard and Visa. There are other companies that do offer the Avios reward system with a Mastercard or Visa credit card. These include Lloyds (23.7% APR) and Amex British Airways (15.9% APR). Some of these cards are only available for those with excellent credit, and an annual income in excess of £20,000. Virgin Atlantic also offer a credit card for their own Flying Club air miles.

In addition to the cards named, which are standard credit cards, you can also choose to have premium versions of these cards. With these cards, you have a much high rate of interest, around 52% APR, and you may also be expected to spend several thousand pounds a year to earn tickets, including Lloyd's premium card which will provide a Flight Upgrade voucher for your tickets when you have spent £5,000. This is quite a lot for most borrowers, and may mean that you are not able to earn the rewards that you want. These premium cards will also come with an annual fee, another cost that most users cannot afford.

How can I use an air miles card?

If you choose to have an air miles card, there are several things that you can do to add extra benefit to your credit card. Firstly, you should check with your company to see whether you can use it as an expenses card. If you can, this is a fantastic way to earn miles. You should also make sure that you get air miles when you pay for flights, with it without a partner ticket. If your partner regularly accompanies you, you can also get them a second card, so you can jointly accumulate air miles.

What are the disadvantages of an air miles credit card?

Although there are a great many positives to the air miles credit card, there are also some things that you must look out for. Firstly, it is not a good idea to transfer your balance from another credit card to the air miles one. Although they may offer you Avios points as a reward, it may mean that you can't pay off the balance each month, and that will require that you pay a high rate of interest. In addition, you should never use your air miles credit card to take out cash from an ATM. You will be charged a high fee, and often interest, sometimes doubling the charges and costing more than the amount of cash you withdrew.

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