Should You Sign Up For Credit Cards From Airlines Outside The U.S.?

Every once in a while, I’ll see a post about a credit card from an airline outside the United States. The card is from a bank in the U.S. and marketed to Americans but why should I be interested in a card that earns points in a program from a foreign airline? I guess the answer depends on the program you’re collecting miles from and what you can do with them.

While some of these cards are for programs I’m familiar with, others are for programs I admittedly don’t know much about. While I might not ever fly on that airline, there’s plenty of opportunities to use miles on partner airlines.

While a single sign up bonus might not be enough for an award ticket, if the program is affiliated with a flexible points currency you can combine those points to get the award you want.

Employing a strategy of earning points in airlines outside the U.S. involves more work than just earning Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points or Ultimate Rewards. You need to know ahead of time if you’ll have any use for the points you’re earning. However, if you’ve already applied for the cards from the major U.S. airlines, these cards give you some additional options. I’d categorize this as a medium risk, medium approach to earning points and miles.

Here’s a list of some of the cards available in the U.S. that earn miles for foreign airlines:

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Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?

We’ve made a choice to avoid flying on United Airlines. For our normal travels, it doesn’t cause much of a hardship as we don’t live at a United hub airport. We’ve been able to find flights to where we want without using them and they’ve never been the cheapest or best option anyway. The problem is that we still have a stash of United miles that we earned from the United MileagePlus Explorer card sign up bonus. We didn’t renew the card but those miles are still ours and I need to figure out a use for them.

Thank goodness for airline alliances. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which means we should be able to use those miles for flights on Star Alliance member airlines. You may also hear this being called “using miles on partner airlines.” So where can we fly from our home airport, or nearby, using our United miles?

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Like Watching Airplanes? Check Out Austin Airport’s New Deck

Austin airport has grown tremendously since we first visited the area over a decade ago. The increase in the number of flights and passengers pushed the capacity limits of the airport, putting a strain on all of the resources from baggage handling to parking spaces, and eventually capacity limitations caused prices of flights to increase significantly.

Austin airport announced an expansion plan and the first phase of it opened in February 2019. The most immediate impact was the addition of 9 new gates, which increased the number of flights the airport can handle.

In May of 2019, Delta opened their new SkyClub in that new addition and it’s an amazing space located at the end of the terminal on the second floor between gates 1 and 2.

But for those of us who can’t get into a SkyClub, Austin airport has you covered with their new outdoor deck.

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Book Your Flight To Europe & Learn Where You’re Going Afterwards?!?!?!

Imagine booking a flight (granted, a discounted flight) and you don’t know what your final destination will be until you’ve paid for the flight. Does the spontaneity make you feel excited? Or does it make you cower at the loss of control? Either way, it’s exactly what German airline Lufthansa is doing, and despite the preferences of control freaks like me where everything has to be planned ahead of time, it seems to be doing quite well!
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