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Executive Travel

Personal View

June 12, 1996

* Name: David Smith

* Position: Senior product manager, Day Runner, Fullerton

I enjoy reading articles about frequent-flier programs, such as last week's story on credit card mileage cards. I have over 600,000 miles amongst six carriers. Over 500,000 are on American Airlines. Here are some additional considerations about earning miles on such cards:

* Some credit card companies offer additional incentives that offset the annual fee. For example, the Citibank AAdvantage gold card offers a 2-for-1 certificate on American if you fly just 15,000 miles in a calendar year. This can more than offset the annual fee of $85.

* Miles are maximized if you are a business traveler. You expense business-related charges, which then become miles that are "free."

* Don't use a mileage travel certificate unless you would be stuck with a fare of $400 or more.

* Use your miles on routes not normally discounted by the airlines. On less traveled routes, ticket prices remain relatively high. I will use mine to get to Kalispell, Mont.

* Charge everything on your airline card regardless of interest rate. Then sign up with a second low-rate card issuer--there are plenty of 6.9% cards around--and transfer your balance to the low-rate card if you are unable to pay off the balance within 30 to 60 days. If you know you have more purchases upcoming, transfer more than you need.

Do you have advice for fellow business travelers or a travel-related experience you would like to share? Mail your typewritten contribution to Executive Travel Editor, Business Editorial, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053. Or fax it to (213) 237-7837. Or e-mail it to on the Internet. Please be as detailed as possible and include your name, title, company and a daytime phone number.

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