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Burbank airport launches rewards points program

July 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Partnerships between credit card companies and airlines are taking off. Now consumers can earn free trips without having to be a frequent flyer. One Los Angeles-area airport is the first in California to offer airline and hotel rewards points.

The airlines really want your business and are willing to offer free trips to get your attention. But to get free travel you do need to get a new credit card.

Brian Kelly is a rewards points expert and runs a website called the PointsGuy.com. He says today's rewards credit cards are better than ever.

"If you're smart about your credit card signup bonuses, they're extremely lucrative so you can take your entire family on a trip just for getting a single credit card," said Kelly.

Kelly's favorite card right now is through Southwest Airlines.

"Southwest is offering a card right now with 50,000 points, which means almost $900 in free travel. So you could take a family of four from L.A. to Vegas, and just pay the $2.50 tax per ticket," said Kelly.

But most of the time, Kelly suggests getting a card that is not tied to any one airline.

"There are cards out there like the Chase Sapphire Preferred that lets you transfer to not just Southwest, but also United and Virgin Atlantic, if you want to go to Europe," said Kelly.

One new way to earn more rewards points was announced Friday at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. It's a program called Thanks Again.

"With Thanks Again, Burbank Bob Hope Airport is the first and only airport in California to enter into an airport-wide rewards program that will give our customers airline miles or hotel points, whenever they use their preferred card, their credit or debit card to park, dine or shop here at the airport," said Airport Authority executive director Dan Feger.

There are more than 170 airports nationwide with the same program, so look for it when you travel.


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