Travel Hacking for Dummies: Loyalty Doesn’t Get You Far

All you do is give, and all they do is take. Time to diversify


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I understand. You have a favorite airline. You might love the in-flight experience with Delta, American Airlines might be the dominant operator at your nearest airport, or United might have the routes you like to fly.

It makes sense to open a co-branded card with one of those airlines, right? The short answer is a big no. Loyalty to one brand only gets you so far, and having one card attached to one airline ties you to the mercy of fluctuating award flights and poor redemption values.

But it’s just as important to understand that using a general travel card, or even another airline’s credit card, doesn’t mean you can’t fly with your favorite. 

Take Delta, for example. Its award flights (barring SkyDeals) are ludicrous these days. But you can book award flights with Delta using Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Air France, and Korean Air–usually for better rates. Virgin, in particular, has tremendous rates compared to Delta’s own website.

Opening this card and scoring the 60,000-point intro bonus gives you all those points to transfer to any of those airlines barring Korean Air. With 60,000 adaptable points, you can check rates for Delta flights on Delta, Virgin, and KLM/AirFrance, and transfer to the best value option.

You’re still loyal. You’re just giving yourself a little extra power.  

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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