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.

For Example...

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you transfer the points you earn with 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs. That means you get full value: 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points converts to 1,000 frequent flyer miles or points with partner airlines and hotels listed down below.

  • 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®

2 Credit Card Rewards Programs To Know About

Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to some popular frequent travel programs at a full value.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides the best of both worlds because it lets you earn flexible points that you can transfer to participating leading hotel and airline loyalty programs at a full 1:1 value (so 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points). If you prefer, you can also redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and get 25% off travel. However, you may get better value converting to frequent flyer miles. Not only that, you can also redeem your points for gift cards, cash back, merchandise and more. But, keep in mind you get exceptional value when you redeem for travel.

It lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (worth $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).

You earn 2X points per $1 spent on travel and restaurant dining worldwide, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Travel perks include trip interruption/trip cancellation insurance, no foreign transaction fee, travel accident insurance, primary auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, trip delay reimbursement and baggage delay insurance. For a card with an $95 annual fee, you get a lot of benefits.

To reiterate, 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.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

$95

Why we like it
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Excellent/Good