Miles & Points Miscellany

There’s a New No-Fee Credit Card for Earning Miles

Add the new AAdvantage MileUp Card from Citibank to the (very) short list of no-fee credit cards that earn airline miles. It offers one American Airlines mile per dollar charged, plus double miles for purchases at grocery stores or with American Airlines.

The MileUp Card, launching July 22, will offer a signup bonus of 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 within three months of opening an account. This no-fee card is straightforward in its points-earning power—no checked bags or other American Airlines perks come with it.

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Similar no-fee cards that earn miles are the Delta Blue Skymiles Card from American Express, which earns one Delta mile per dollar charged. There’s also the Amex EveryDay Card, which earns one AmEx point per dollar that can be converted to a mile on a bunch of airlines.

Most other cards that earn airline miles—or credit that can be exchanged for airline miles—entail an annual fee of at least $70 a year. It may be waived the first year, but the fee kicks in after that.

My position on cards that earn airline miles is: Go for airline miles if you use them for upgrades and premium travel awards, and use the airline on which you would earn the most miles by flying. But if you more often fly coach, you’re better off with a card that earns up to two cents per dollar on all purchases—use cash to buy your air tickets, and regard any miles you earn as an extra benefit.

More from SmarterTravel:

Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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