Consumer Payment Card News

WorldPoints vs MilesOne

When it comes to rewarding your credit card activity with air mileage, there is big difference between programs directly-sponsored by airlines and those not linked to any specific airline. Nearly all credit cards with an air mileage program award cardholders one air mile for each dollar charged, but when it comes to redemptions, there is a lot of air space between airline programs and generic programs. The nation’s top air carriers, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, Northwest, typically require 25,000 miles for a free domestic coach roundtrip ticket (worth about $700-$800 on average). But, two generic programs, not connected to any airline, offered by two of the nation’s largest credit card issuers, have a very different redemption schedule. For example, Capital One’s “MilesOne” program requires 25,000 miles to get a $250 credit towards a domestic flight, and MBNA’s “WorldPoints” program requires 25,000 miles to get a $400 credit towards a domestic flight. While the Capital One and MBNA program may enable some low volume credit card users to get a free flight on a discount carrier, the only way to get a non-stop flight with a big name carrier is to stick with programs like Bank One/United Airlines’ “Mileage Plus VISA” or Citibank/American Airlines “AAdvantage MasterCard.”

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