Ask an Expert: Best Card for Airline Points?

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

How do you earn rewards with an airline that has no frequent flier program?

A Money Talks News reader recently wrote in with the following question:

My husband and I are starting an agricultural business of organic produce, beef, and chicken. Read: lots of start up costs with building materials for a barn, barbed wire fencing, trailers, and so on. Of course, our personal credit cards are paid off each and every month.

What business credit card would you recommend to maximize airline points? We’re new to this concept and we obviously live in a rural area without access to major airlines. The closest airport only has small commuter planes exclusively with Great Lakes Airlines. My precursory research hasn’t found any points for or with this particular airline.

Also, while you’re at it, can you direct us toward resources or your posts for a primer on how to work the system, both in accumulation of points and redeeming airline tickets? Again, we’re new to this point system concept, but not at all about finance and credit responsibility.

Thank you,

My response

Great question, Lorie. To start, Great Lakes is a carrier that is commonly referred to as a regional or commuter airline. And while it does sell tickets for its own flights, most passengers travel on Great Lakes as part of a code-share with a larger carrier such as United, Frontier, or US Airways.

Great Lakes does not offer its own frequent flier program, but when you fly with them you can earn miles in the program of the carrier you purchased your ticket from. Likewise, you can redeem miles from its code-share partners for use on Great Lakes flights. But since it only operates 19- and 30-seat turbo-props, you will probably find some difficulty obtaining award seats.

So you have two options…

  1. Get a credit card that is affiliated with Great Lakes’ code-share partners. So if your local Great Lakes flight routes you through Denver, you could get a business credit card from United or Frontier.
  2. Get a card that earns points in a flexible program where you could redeem points for miles on several different airlines or directly for travel. My favorite business cards right now are the Ink Bold charge card and Ink Plus credit card from Chase. These cards earn points in their Ultimate Rewards program that can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points in several different programs. Or, they can be used directly for the purchase of airline tickets.

Finally, here are a few articles that will get you started on working the system when it comes to points and miles:

(Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.)

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Sam’s Club Reveals Details of Black Friday, 5 Other Holiday Sales

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,730 more deals!