This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
In the world of point and miles, things always change. Our basic strategy for cheaper travel used to be:
- Buy cheap domestic and international tickets, collect miles in the process. Prior to 2016, an international trip to Asia, we would earn enough miles with elite bonuses for an off-peak award to Europe.
- Redeem miles for expensive tickets like international business and first class or domestic tickets during holidays and so on.
However, with mileage earning devaluation and award price inflation during the last 18 months, this strategy is much more difficult to execute. Now we rely heavily on maximizing miles from credit cards for travel. It just happen that credit cards for the two airlines that we frequent the most (American and jetBlue) rebate 10% of the miles and points redeemed. Here’s a quick rundown of cards that have this feature.
American Airlines Credit Cards from Barclays and Citibank – 10% back
American, through its partner Citi, was the first program that we remember having a rebate for redeeming miles. When American merged with US Airways and added Barclays to its credit cards portfolio, the feature was extended to Barclays American branded cards.
At the moment, the following cards have this rebate feature:
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
- Barclays Aviator Red Mastercard
- Barclays Aviator Silver Mastercard
There is a maximum of 10,000 miles rebated per year regardless the number of cards you have. You will receive the rebate regardless of which airline the award is with. We like to redeem all our miles on Cathay Pacific flights.
Barclays jetBlue Plus Card – 10% back
We have transitioned some of our domestic flying to jetBlue due to the negative changes to the American Airlines Advantage program. Barclays has two cards for jetBlue – a regular version and a Plus version. The differences:
- No annual fee
- 3x on jetBlue purchases
- $99 fee
- 6x on jetBlue purchases
- 5K anniversary bonus
- 1st checked bag free
- 10% redemption bonus.
Each jetBlue point is worth about 1.3 cents. The 5K bonus would worth about $65 and would cover most of the Plus annual fee. If you fly ONCE a year and check a bag, you would break even with the Plus version as compared to the Regular version of the card. The 10% redemption bonus makes it even better. And the best part? The rebate that you can receive is UNLIMITED on an annual basis.
IHG Rewards Club Card from Chase – 10% back
If you frequent Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo hotels, the IHG Rewards Club is a great card to have. There are two benefits that we really like:
- One free night every year for the $49 annual fee. This have no hotel blockouts, so you can use it at even the most expensive Intercontinental hotel in the world.
- 10% rebate on point redemptions – up to 100,000 points annually.
Barclays Arrival Plus Card – 5% back
For those who are not tied to any particular program, the Barclays Arrival Plus card is a good choice. It is essentially a cashback card that earns 2x on all purchases. When you redeem miles you’ll earn an extra 5% to use on your next redemption. Say you redeem the 20,000 miles, you would receive a 5% rebate or 1,000 miles back for use on your next redemption. There is a minimum of 10,000 miles per redemption. While this is less lucrative when the card was first introduced (initially, there was a 2,500 miles minimum and 10% rebate) we can still see the value in this rebate.
The short of it – always get something for your spend, whether it’s earning points for your spend or in this case, receiving a rebate for your redemptions.
The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.