If you’re planning to use your American Express card points for reduced airfare costs on your travel, be sure you make your account payments on time. Beginning in January, AMEX will not release “points” earned on accounts that are not paid on time without a new $29 fee. This is in addition to their hefty late payment fees.
Delta, Starwood, JetBlue and Hilton loyalty accounts administered by AMEX will be affected by this new policy.
While no other credit card company currently charges a fee to reinstate points when a payment is made late, AMEX’s new policy, once implemented, could easily start a trend. Consider the rash of new airline fees – once one company added a fee for checked luggage, most of the other airline carriers followed. All the credit card companies may be eager to jump on the bandwagon for a new revenue stream.
Using points to pay for airline tickets is a great way to insure reduced airfare costs for your vacations. But when you’re trying to find cheap international airfare and decide to use your mileage points instead, you may find using your points is not a great deal.
Available flights through the airlines’ reward offers are often hard to find. The cost of purchasing additional points if you find you’re a bit short – plus the additional cost to reinstate points if you’ve made one or two payments late – can turn a “free” flight into an expensive journey. Be sure to check the alternatives and weigh all the costs when you’re looking for cheap international airfare for your vacations.