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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As airlines gear up for a busy holiday season, many are making an increasing amount of money not by selling seats or baggage fees – but credit cards.

Financial reports from the second quarter of this year show most major U.S. airline companies’ credit-card and loyalty programs have brought it more revenue than during the same time last year.

The benefits are a win-win. For airlines, credit cards holders usually have  high incomes and spend a lot. For consumers, the points collected from purchases could mean free travel.

“I like having points and I like Jet Blue it’s the best airline,” said Lori Horlink of Boston, MA.

“I actually have one through American Airlines and my wife has one through Southwest,” said Tobi Ojo who lives in Center City.

But financial experts pointed out it’s important people use the rewards they earn.

“If you have them don’t let them just sit around because you never really know when the value of those points will go down,” said Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert for NerdWallet.

Palmer also pointed out there other perks that help keep airline credit cards attractive, like priority boarding and free checked bags.