Credit Cards and Air Miles

My husband and I both have AIR MILE credit cards and we have to renew them. Tonight we were discussing the pros and cons of whether to pay an annual fee and earn more AIR MILE reward miles or go with the no-fee credit card and earn fewer AIR MILE reward miles. As we were chatting I began thinking that this would be a great problem in math class.

We have two choices for our AIR MILE credit card. Here are the details:

  • No annual fee and you earn 1 AIR MILE reward mile for every $20 spent.
  • A $99 annual fee and you earn 1 AIR MILE reward mile for every $15 spent.

(There are some more advantages such as increased insurance options with the $99 annual fee credit card but for my purposes I think I would leave this part out.)

I would share this story with my students and ask them to help me make a decision about which AIR MILE credit card I should get. This is all the information I’d provide and then I’d let students run with it.

I hope the context supports their thinking and that the situation is engaging and understandable for young adults. I believe that this problem has entry points for every student and many ways to solve the problem. They could set up ratios, make tables/charts, create graphs or write equations in order to compare the two cards.

Even though students could solve this in a variety of ways, my goal is for students to work with linear relations. Do you think that I could get students to that point with this context? I’d appreciate your feedback.

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About ccampbel14

I am a junior high math teacher at an Edmonton K-9 school. I am always looking for innovative and creative ways to teach mathematics so that I can reach every learner so they can be as successful as they possibly can be.
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One Response to Credit Cards and Air Miles

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