The Ultimate Guide to Credit Card, Points & Miles Lingo [Full Glossary]

confused person at computer

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The world of credit cards, points, and miles can be complicated, especially when you aren’t familiar with the different lingo, slang, and acronyms used among dedicated award travelers. RT? HUCA? B6? How is anyone supposed to figure out what any of this means?

If you’re confused, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to points and miles lingo. Feel free to bookmark this story so you can easily refer to it if you find yourself getting tripped up on any jargon you may see in your reading and research.

Airlines and Loyalty Programs

AA airplane
Image Credit: American Airlines

AA: American Airlines

AAdvantage: American Airlines’ loyalty program

AC: Air Canada

Aeroplan: Air Canada’s loyalty program

AF: Air France

ANA: All Nippon Airways

AS: Alaska Airlines

Avios: The name of the points used by the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Aer Lingus AerClub loyalty programs

B6: JetBlue Airways

BA: British Airways

CX: Cathay Pacific

DL: Delta Air Lines

EK: Emirates

EY: Etihad

F9: Frontier Airlines

FFP: Frequent flyer program

Flying Blue: Loyalty program used by Air France and KLM

Free Spirit: Spirit Airlines’ loyalty program

G4: Allegiant Air

HA: Hawaiian Airlines

JAL: Japan Airlines

KE: Korean Air

KF/KrisFlyer: Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program

KLM: Dutch flag carrier

LH: Lufthansa

Mileage Plan: Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program

MileagePlus: United Airlines’ loyalty program

NK: Spirit Airlines

Oneworld (OW): 1 of the 3 major airline alliances; American and Alaska are members

QF: Qantas

QR: Qatar Airways

Rapid Rewards (RR): Southwest Airlines’ loyalty program

SkyMiles: Delta Air Lines’ loyalty program

SkyTeam (ST): 1 of the 3 major airline alliances; Delta is a member

Skywards: Emirates’ loyalty program

SQ: Singapore Airlines

Star Alliance (SA or *A): 1 of the 3 major airline alliances; United is a member

TrueBlue: JetBlue’s loyalty program

UA: United Airlines

VS: Virgin Atlantic

WN: Southwest Airlines (may also be referred to as SW or SWA)

Airline Seats and Routing

Coach Seats On A Commercial Airplane
Image Credit: Suhyeon Choi via Unsplash

Bulkhead: The seat behind a dividing wall in an airplane cabin that usually offers extra legroom

Direct Flight: Not to be confused with nonstop flights, a direct flight means the flight may still stop at multiple destinations, but the flight number stays the same on each leg

F: First class

HC: Hub-captive; this term refers to someone who is limited in their choice of airline based on their nearest airport (e.g. American at Dallas-Fort Worth, Delta at Atlanta, or United at San Francisco)

IFE: Inflight entertainment

J: Business class

Layover: A flight connection that lasts less than 24 hours

Nonstop Flight: Nonstop flights take you from 1 airport to another without stopping

Open-jaw: A type of itinerary where you fly from City A to City B, then transfer to City C, and fly back to City A from City C (for example, a trip from New York to Paris, then Madrid to New York)

OTA: Online travel agency

OW: One-way flight

PE: Premium economy

RT: Round-trip flight

RTW: Round-the-world booking

Stopover: A flight connection that lasts longer than 24 hours

TR: Trip report

Y: Economy

Credit Card Names

American Express® Gold CardAmex Gold

American Express® Green CardAmex Green

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card: BBC

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card: EDP

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressBB+/BBP

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressBCE

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressBCP

Centurion® Card from American ExpressBlack Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card: CFF

Chase Freedom Unlimited®CFU

Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardCSP

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: CSR

Citi® Double Cash CardDC

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: CIC

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: CIP

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: CIU

The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmex Plat

Credit Card Terms and Rewards

Credit card
Image Credit: Pickawood via Unsplash

2x/3x/4x: The number of points you earn per $1 spent on your purchase

5/24 Rule: A rule from Chase that prevents you from opening Chase credit cards if you’ve opened 5 or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months

AAoA: Average age of your credit card accounts

AF: Annual fee

Amex: American Express

APR: Annual percentage rate

APY: Annual percentage yield

AU: Authorized user

Biz Card: Business credit card

BoA: Bank of America

CB: Cash-back

CC: Credit card

CL: Credit limit

CO/C1/Cap1/CapOne: Capital One

CP: Companion Pass (typically refers to the Southwest Companion Pass)

CPC: Chase Private Client

CPM: Cents per mile

CPP: Cents per point

CR: Credit report

DP: Data point

Earn/Burn: Refers to the flow of earning and then redeeming your points quickly.

EIN: Employer Identification Number

EQ: Equifax credit bureau

EX: Experian credit bureau

FTF: Foreign transaction fee

GC: Gift card

GE: Global Entry

HP: Hard pull (this is a hard inquiry on your credit report)

HUCA: “Hang Up and Call Again” (experienced points and miles travelers advise to use this strategy if a customer service representative is unhelpful or tells you incorrect information)

KTN: Known Traveler Number (used for both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck)

LOL/24: An expression meaning the number of credit cards you’ve opened in the last 24 months is laughable

MC: Mastercard

MR: American Express Membership Rewards points

MSR: Minimum spending requirement

P1/P2: Player 1/Player 2 (used when couples/friends/family members tackle credit card rewards as a team)

PC: Product change (for example, changing your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card)

PP: Priority Pass lounge network

PYB: Chase Pay Yourself Back redemption

Recon: Reconsideration (calling a credit issuer’s reconsideration line if you’re denied for a credit card to try and get your application approved)

Rep: Customer service representative

SC: Statement credit

SM: Secure message (sending or receiving a secure message to/from a bank)

SP: Soft pull (this is a credit inquiry that doesn’t show on your credit report)

SSN: Social Security number

SUB: Sign-up bonus

T&C: Terms and conditions

TIN: Tax Identification Number

TSA Pre: TSA PreCheck

TU: TransUnion credit bureau

TYP: Citi ThankYou Points

UG: Upgrade

UR: Chase Ultimate Rewards points

WF: Wells Fargo

X/24: The number of credit cards you have opened in the last 24 months

YMMV: “Your mileage may vary” (this is a saying that means results can vary from person to person)

YQ: Fuel surcharge (this is a fee added to some airline award tickets)

Hotels

Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts
Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts. Image Credit: Hilton

Choice: Choice Hotels

FHR: Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program

FNC: Free night certificate

HH: Hilton Honors (Hilton’s loyalty program)

IHG: InterContinental Hotels Group, now known as IHG Hotels & Resorts

LHRC: Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

MB/Bonvoy: Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program

M life: MGM Resorts’ loyalty program

RC: The Ritz-Carlton

Walked: “Being walked” refers to when you are denied a room at check-in because the hotel is overbooked

WoH: World of Hyatt (Hyatt’s loyalty program)

Wyndham: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Final Thoughts

All of these different acronyms, abbreviations, and strange-sounding phrases can certainly be hard to keep straight at times. But with this knowledge, you can create a foundation of understanding that will help lead you on your way to becoming an award-travel pro in no time. Of course, remember to refer back to this page anytime you come across terminology you’re unsure of!


The information regarding the American Express® Green Card, Centurion® Card from American Express, Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, and The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 


Frequently asked questions

What are common points and miles acronyms?

There are dozens of points and miles acronyms that get thrown around by award travelers, but some of the most common ones you’ll come across might include YMMV, 5/24, HUCA, MSR, and CPP.

What does YMMV mean?

In the credit card rewards community, YMMV is an acronym for “your mileage may vary,” which effectively means your experience or results may differ from someone else’s.

What does MSR mean?

In the credit card rewards community, MSR is an acronym for “minimum spend requirement,” which is the amount you must spend on a credit card in order to receive the sign-up bonus.

Minimum spend requirements can vary, but usually require you to spend a few thousand dollars within your first 3 months of card membership to receive the bonus.

What does HUCA mean?

Among award travelers, HUCA is an acronym for “Hang Up and Call Again.” This is advice you’ll often receive if you spoke to a customer service agent at a bank or airline who was unhelpful or gave you incorrect information.

What is 5/24?

5/24 is a rule from Chase that restricts new applicants from being approved from most of the banks’ most popular credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, if they’ve opened up 5 or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months.

What does CPP mean?

CPP is an acronym for “cents per point,” which is used to convey how much value someone got out of a redemption.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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