Saturday, October 3, 2015

Earn frequent flyer miles in the air or on the ground

There’s something magical about taking a flight and not paying for it. At least you’re not shelling out cold cash on the spot—just cashing in your frequent flyer miles (that you paid for one way or another).
There are lots of options to
earn miles with credit cards.
Still, we love to think we’re getting something free and try to rack up as many miles as possible before booking the next trip. If you don’t fly often enough to accrue sufficient miles for a free ticket, there are other ways to boost your frequent flier account.

The most obvious is to use a credit card either one from a specific airline or one that allows you to earn points that can be used for a flight (compare here),. Many airline cards give you a sign-up bonus that may be enough for a domestic flight, with additional bonus miles added after you charge a certain amount on the card. If you charge all of your credit purchases on the same card, you’ll be surprised how quickly the miles add up. Airlines will even tempt you to purchase additional miles that may be discounted, but use your calculator to decide if the price is worth it.
If a hotel partners with an airline, you can transfer
points to miles.
Most major hotel chains are affiliated with an airline, and you can transfer points to their partners. Same for car rental companies and lots of restaurants. Use your loyalty credit card for these purchases, so you get additional miles when using those services. Then transfer points earned to your frequent flyer account.

You should also sign up to link your credit card with dining programs and use that card for payment for an easy way to earn additional miles. Watch for miles used as sign-up bonuses by retailers like Direct TV or Dish, too.
Add more miles to your account when dining out.
If you like to shop online, you’ll find many airlines let you earn miles (and multiple the points periodically) for shopping with specific retailers. Again, you do need to register at the airline’s site and use that specific card, but if you’re buying anyway, you might as well get points in your frequent flyer account.

Online shopping is a great way
to bolster your miles account.
Have free time? It’s possible to earn miles by taking surveys. Also, follow airlines on social media because sometimes special promotions are offered on Twitter or Facebook, but you generally have to grab those quickly.

Overall, points programs can be confusing and frustrating because values are constantly changing. Redemption can be difficult especially if you wish to travel on certain days or visit specific destinations. Sometimes the required miles may be so high that the exchange isn’t worth doing.
But if you like a challenge and a sense of gaming the system, bank those miles and use them when it’s to your advantage.

Images from free sites.


Unknown said...

We eat out a lot, so the dining program connected to our main credit card earns us a good many extra points. Many times we don't even realize we're earning them!

Unknown said...

It's so true that you've technically paid for the points in one way or another, but there is still nothing like the feeling of excitement when you realise you have enough points to pay for a flight in full!

Unknown said...

Ah this is something I keep meaning to get into and learn more about, great starting post thank you!

Unknown said...

I really should start collecting miles. It always was like a mystery to me how people get so many that they can have free flights (because I don't fly so often). But it's great to know that you can collect the miles even if you don't fly!

Unknown said...

After racking up a ridiculous amount of debt on credit cards I really can't even imagine owning one again. if in the future I can be more responsible about it I will try your tips!

Unknown said...

Nice piece of informaton. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Its good to know all the benefits of the credit card. I should do the linking of credit card to dining options

Jennifer Ryder said...

I used credit card miles for free flights when I lived in the US, but now that we are living in Asia I rarely use my cards so it's hard to rack up enough miles for flights. Might be time to start looking for a new card with great sign-up bonuses, doing surveys and checking out social media for miles! Thanks for the inspiration!

Beverly Burmeier said...

Thanks for all the comments. If you have extra time, check out some of the travel hackers who manage to work the system in their favor to accrue mega-points. I may never be that savvy.

Girl Chasing Sunshine said...

I've read so many travel hacking posts and they're really incredible! Your post is an additional insight. Can't wait to earn miles! :)

Unknown said...

Indeed the best and almost only way to get relevant miles