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Freebie Cards

While the annual fee for a co-branded airline bank credit card averages $51 plus change, two airlines are currently promoting cards with or without a fee. Midwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines now offer a no annual fee version of their MasterCards, however, the miles earning feature has been cut in half. Instead of the traditional one mile-for-one dollar charged feature, the Midwest and Frontier cards offer one mile-for-two dollars charged. Therefore, to earn a free round-trip ticket on Midwest you’ll have to charge $50,000 worth of stuff. Frontier’s no fee program requires $30,000 in purchases to earn a free ticket. The cards with fees are $69 per year for Midwest’s MasterCard and $49 per year for Frontier’s MasterCard. With long haul round-trip coach tickets averaging about $350 each, the trade-off is a bit lopsided. If you charged $50,000 over a two-year period, you would earn one free $350 ticket on Midwest. But if you paid the $138 in annual fees for two years, you would have earned $700 in free Midwest tickets. Both programs do offer an initial bonus of 2,500 miles and up to 5,000 miles for balance transfers, which can jump start the program. Unless you regularly fly on both airlines or charge a great deal, pay the fee to fly free. If you carry a balance and pay interest, weigh the costs against other low interest rate cards. For more information on both programs visit: “http://www.frontierairlines.com/mastercard/”:http://www.frontierairlines.com/mastercard/ OR “http://www.midwestairlines.com/frequentflyer/mastercard/mastercard.asp”:http://www.midwestairlines.com/frequentflyer/mastercard/mastercard.asp

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