Want To Watch Movies On A Plane? You Need To Have The App

Airlines love to tell us the reason they no longer have seatback entertainment is that people prefer to watch their own personal devices instead of the screens provided by the airline. While that’s a lie that’s a questionable assumption to make, we have to live with the fact that some airlines don’t provide any onboard entertainment and others say they do provide entertainment that you can watch on your own device.

I agree that airlines will never get seatback entertainment right but that doesn’t mean they should stop trying. I’m also sure removing the entertainment screens has nothing to do with the weight and the increased costs involved with having them because we all know that airlines don’t care about trying to save weight on planes however possible. (/sarcasm)

Since you’re on your own, here’s what you need to do before your flight to make sure you can watch the provided entertainment during the flight.

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When You Should(n’t) Use Airline Co-Brand Credit Cards To Pay For Airfare

All of the larger airlines in the U.S. offer co-brand credit cards. These cards, which provide extra benefits to cardholders, range from ones with no annual fee to premium cards costing up to $450 per year. While you’d think that using a co-branded card would be the best choice for earning points with your flight purchase, that’s usually not the case. For most airlines, you don’t earn any extra points for airfare purchases for having a more expensive card either.

In most cases, instead of using a co-brand card, it’s better to use a card that earns flexible points like Membership Rewards, Thank You Points or Ultimate Rewards. These cards provide the opportunity to earn more points as well as the flexibility to use points on multiple airlines. You’re able to transfer points from these programs into your airline mileage account when you need them.

Here are the earnings multiples on airfare for the main flexible points cards from each bank:

American Express (Membership Rewards)

  • Platinum card ($550 annual fee) – 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • Gold card ($250 annual fee) – 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel

Chase (Ultimate Rewards)

  • Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee) – 3x points on travel worldwide (including airfares purchased from airlines or travel agencies/websites)
  • Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) – 2x points on travel worldwide (including airfares purchased from airlines or travel agencies/websites)

Citi (Thank You Points)

  • Citi Prestige ($495 annual fee) – 5x points on purchases at airlines and travel agencies
  • Citi Premier ($95 annual fee) – 3x points on purchases at airlines and travel agencies

The AMEX Platinum and Citi Prestige both offer 5x on airfare but the AMEX card only counts purchases direct from the airline or their website. When I had both cards, I used the Citi Prestige because I valued the additional travel insurance coverage but I know people would rather earn Membership Rewards than Thank You points. Of the $95 cards, the Citi Premier earns the most points on airline purchases at 3x.

So how many miles will you earn by using an airline co-brand card to purchase airfare and when does it make sense to do so? I’ve indicated which airlines are partners of one (or all) of the flexible currency cards so you can compare earnings potential between cards.

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How To Sign Up For Airline Frequent Flyer Programs

You should always sign up for airline frequent flyer programs. First of all, it’s free. In addition, having your information on file with the airline saves time when making a reservation. You can also put your Known Traveler Number (KTN) into your profile, if you have enrolled for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry, which you should do if you travel even somewhat regularly.

Here are links to the major US airlines loyalty programs along with how long the miles you earn are good for. Note that while many plans will claim your miles will “never expire,” they will deactivate your account, thereby causing you to lose any miles earned, if you don’t have a qualifying activity within a certain time frame.

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Hotels Removing Parking Fees, The Flight That Left With No One’s Luggage, & More

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope you’ve had a good week! Here are the travel articles we’ve recently seen that we think you may enjoy.

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