Free Credit Card Offers

Most airline mileage credit cards have fees. At least the ones that earn one mile per dollar. And some people are just against paying fees — imagine that!

I will say that it may be worth it. If the card is earning you a free ticket per year and the fee is $50, that seems like a pretty good tradeoff. It can even be a good tradeoff compared to free cards if you’re spending enough on the card.

And I definitely think it’s a better deal than the free cards offered by credit card companies where you earn their points which can be redeemed for travel — because those awards are usually only for coach and must be booked a couple of weeks in advance. That means you’re usually capped on the award at a value of $250-$500. And the way I use my miles (international first class travel, upgrades), I usually get thousands of dollars of value for the same credit card spending.

However, free cards do have a place. And they’re not all created equal. So let me suggest three:

And while not free, a uniquely good value is my favorite points earning card, the Starwood American Express.

You earn a point per dollar spent which can be redeemed for Westin, Sheraton, W hotels (and other Starwood properties) and which can be converted 1:1 into most airline frequent flyer programs – so you’re not tied to a single program like with most cards.

What’s more, there’s a 5000 point bonus for coverting 20,000 — so if you convert the points in chunks like that you’re really earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.

And the card is free the first year, $30 thereafter, and comes with a generous signup bonus.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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