Credit Card Rewards Programs And Flexible Travel Rewards Cards
Chase Ultimate Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards®
Flexible Travel Rewards Cards

The term "miles" is used pretty liberally these days. But most of us still think of earning reward miles in the framework of frequent flyer programs. If your credit card lets you earn 1,000 miles per $1,000 spent, you probably expect those 1,000 miles to convert into 1,000 airline frequent flyer miles.

But there are good travel credit cards nowadays that let you earn miles that don't actually convert to frequent flyer miles. Instead these "miles" actually act like points or cash back because you can redeem them towards a travel purchase, instead of converting them to frequent flyer miles.

This can make things very confusing, because you might think that miles have the same value on all cards. But a frequent flyer mile that can be redeemed directly with airlines might have a very different value compared to a mile that can be redeemed towards travel purchases.

2 Credit Card Rewards Programs To Know About

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards' travel programs eligible for 1:1 transfers from Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include:

  • United MileagePlus
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®

American Express Membership Rewards®

If you use an American Express card that rewards you with Membership Rewards® points, you can transfer your points to a frequent flyer program which you are enrolled in. You will pay a small fee ($0.0006 per point, maximum fee $99) for the transfer.

You can transfer your points to any of these frequent travel programs:

  • Delta SkyMiles®
  • JetBlue TrueBlue®
  • HawaiianMiles® (Hawaiian Airlines)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Virgin Australia Velocity
  • Club Premier (Aeromexico)
  • Aeroplan (Air Canada)
  • Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Matmid Club (EL AL Israel Airlines)
  • Iberia Plus
  • MilleMiglia Club (Alitalia)
  • Krisflyer (Singapore Airlines)
  • Etihad Guest
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Malaysia Enrich (Malaysia Airlines)
  • Qantas Points
  • Asia Miles
  • ANA Mileage Club (All Nippon Airways)
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Hilton Honors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest®

Flexible Travel Rewards Cards

If you prefer a card that lets you earn rewards that can be redeemed towards the cost of travel purchases without a 1:1 conversion rate for frequent flyer miles, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer is a solid option.

But it may help if you look at the rewards you earn from these cards more as cash back that you can apply towards travel purchases, rather than looking at them as airline miles.