credit cards are normally an effective method to accelerate mileage earnings.
Budget or "no-frills" airlines do issue their own credit cards but note
that many do not have frequent flyer programs.
In the article below we profile credit cards from Ryanair and Flybe available to UK residents. We list the main features of each card which includes bonus flight offers and forex fees. For APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) please refer to the card issuer. We conclude that these cards have little benefit to the frequent traveller.
The Ryanair card is offered by Santander:
|Ryanair Credit Card (Mastercard)|
|Spend £100 on the card within 90 days and get 1 "bonus" return flight|
|Spend £3,000 on the card in first 6 months and get 2 "bonus" return flight|
|spend £3,000 on the card in second 6 months and get 2 "bonus" return flights|
|No annual fee, 2.75% forex fee|
Note: We don't see a lot of benefit in this card. The bonus vouchers must be used within 8 months of issue and flights must be booked at least 1 month ahead. You must also pay taxes and charges plus any checked baggage fees. You must use this card for fee payment on the booking which attracts a further "admin fee".
Flybe has the following card issued by Sygma Bank UK:
|Flybe Credit Card (Mastercard)|
|1 "bonus" return flight on enrolment|
|1 Rewards4all point for every £250 you spend|
|No annual fee, 2.99% forex fee|
Once again we don't see a lot of value in this card. The "bonus" flight covers base airfare only and as Flybe itself states: "Taxes, surcharges, insurance, advanced seat assignment, baggage, customs fines, immigration fees, airport charges, fuel surcharges, agricultural inspection fees, security, customer user fees or any other charges related to the booking must be paid by the voucher holder when making their flight booking." Consider also that Flybe's frequent flyer program Rewards4All does not allow redemptions to Spain, Portugal and Croatia (ie - its popular holiday routes).
In summary, because base fares are already quite low on budget airlines, the "free" flight benefit does not amount to a great deal.
As always, you should carefully read and understand the terms and conditions before applying for any frequent flyer miles credit card. Alternatively speak to an authorised financial advisor. Above card names are registered trademarks; information accuracy not guaranteed and can change.