Subject: Re: Credit cards can help with frequent flyer miles -
Hi Rose and other Ziners with reward miles questions,

Re credit cards and frequent flyer miles.. I use my American Express with Delta FF miles for every place they will take it, including grocery stores (a major expense). Never would have believed I would do that, but I've made several trips with those miles and, like Rose, I write a check to pay it in full when the monthly bill comes in. I have found I like the convenience of tracking my spending habits with a Quicken report, by category, of my Amex account. I have just bought two Bus. Elite tickets to France for the fall with some of those miles.

I have another card whose miles can be used on any major airline and with supposedly no restrictions (though I've not tested that yet). I've stuck mostly with the Amex /Delta because, for some time, they have been awarding double miles for most purchases - gasoline, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. - so it adds up much quicker. My Capital One card is starting a new program with even fewer restrictions and a good deal for fewer award miles. For short hauls (tickets that would be $100 or less) you can spend 8,000 miles, and the miles increase with the amount of the ticket, but you can have the ticket issued by a travel agent, Orbitz, anywhere, charge it to your card and, with the documentation, they will credit the card and use your reward miles. I may be cancelling the Amex, for which I do (grudgingly) pay an annual fee. I think it sounds like a very good deal. This card also has a lower FIXED interest rate for those who don't pay in full each month.

I also used my card to pay for a new roof on my house when I bought it, and that was about $8,000. Just wrote my check to Amex, rather than the roofing company. Not everyone will do it, of course, but it sure pays to ask Most of my utility bills could be put on the card and earn miles, but I haven't gotten conditioned to that yet, except for the cell phone.

Hope this helps someone.

Lou Matthews (from dark, dreary, rainy and cold Lakeway, TX)