“Points” and “miles” are often used interchangeably, but they’re usually two very different things.
You can earn rewards points such as Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards with cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can use these points to book travel directly with the bank, or you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners.
Miles, on the other hand, are usually earned with airline credit cards and through airline frequent flyer programs. Your main option for redeeming them is for flights.
To maximize and diversify your rewards, it’s best to earn miles whenever you fly, and to earn credit card points on your everyday spending.
See Business Insider’s list of the best travel rewards credit cards »
Many credit cards earn “points” or “miles” on every dollar you spend, but those rewards can be very different things. Each bank and frequent flyer program has its own rewards currency that can be used in different ways. That makes it complicated when you’re trying to choose a credit card; two different cards could offer double points on purchases, but those points could have different values, and could be best for two different things.
Continue reading below to learn more about the differences between transferable credit card points and airline miles, and to see why it makes sense to earn both.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Points vs. miles: the main differences
In general, one type of rewards stands out as the most valuable: transferable points, which you can earn with non-airline travel rewards credit cards. Transferable points are not to be confused with hotel points, which are tied to a specific hotel program like Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt.
You can use transferable points to book travel directly through the credit card issuer, or you can turn them into airline miles or hotel loyalty points by transferring them to different loyalty programs. (Hence, the term “transferable points.”)
Because of the way frequent flyer programs work, you can usually get a lot more value from transferable credit card points than from airline miles. Plus, with transferable points, you have more options for using your rewards than you would with airline-specific miles.
However, since you can earn frequent flyer miles every time you fly — in addition to any points or miles you earn from buying the ticket with your credit card — there’s no reason to pass those up, even if you don’t fly often.
Transferable credit card points are potentially more valuable
Transferable points give you the most redemption options, from cash back …read more
Source:: Business Insider