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Ask Dave

Aren't Free Air Miles Worth It?

Karen gets air miles and thinks that's a good enough reason to keep her American Express credit card, but Dave doesn't.

QUESTION: Karen’s credit card gives her air miles. There is a $95 membership fee. If she pays the balance off each month, doesn’t it make sense to keep the card? It doesn’t, for a few reasons, says Dave.

ANSWER: First off, the problem is that a $95 membership fee is an absolute ripoff. The number of people who actually use air mile rewards is ridiculous. About 78% of air mile accounts are never redeemed, according to Consumer Reports.

My personal problem with American Express is that we deal with their collections department, and they are lying pond scum. I could never do business with that company. On that basis alone, I don’t care if they gave me free air miles. Overall, you shouldn’t play with snakes, because you’ll get bit. Cut up the card and just pay cash for things. Buy your own airline tickets. You’ll come out better in the scope of your life.