Increase Font Size Option 5 Reset Font Size Option 5 Decrease Font Size Option 5
Home | Travel | Transportation | 6 Steps to Maximizing Your Frequent Flyer Miles
Got Opinions? facebook_16 Facebook twitter_16 Twitter RSSRSS
6 Steps to Maximizing Your Frequent Flyer Miles Print E-mail
(6 votes, average 4.67 out of 5)
Travel - Getting There
Written by HVAC Doc   
Article Index
6 Steps to Maximizing Your Frequent Flyer Miles
Bonus Miles
All Pages

I normally don’t recommend using credit cards, but if you have the discipline to use them only to buy the essentials and pay them off each month, then they are a great way to get free airline tickets. But maximizing airline mileage is critically important. These 6 points give you the basics on how to maximize your earnings.

I carry the Delta Airlines American Express card and Delta Frequent Flyer membership. I also carry the American Airlines Citibank Visa card for the instances where merchants don't accept AMEX. Over the last 4 years, I have cashed in over 300,000 Frequent Flyer miles that paid for four Trans Atlantic round trips tickets. Those tickets would have cost me more than $5,000 and I got them for free. Here are a few easy steps to get free tickets and maximize your mileage earned.

First look at the airline with the most frequent flights and destinations from your hometown. Earning tickets on an airline with few flights from your home is an exercise in futility. Live in Chicago, choose United or American. Dallas: choose American. Houston: Continental is your pick. Atlanta: Delta. New York: Lucky you, almost every airline has a ton of flights, especially for international flights. Factor in airline alliances in your decision. Have family in Eastern Europe? Match up that region's airlines with your domestic airline partners.

Second, shop around for a special credit card offer from a major bank offering 20-30,000 miles just for signing up with a waiver of first year’s annual fee then sign up for the airlines frequent flyer plan.

Third, look for special mile programs that will double or triple your miles for flying routes that you are likely to go on. Many of these specials require registration so visit your airline's web page often.

Fourth, get airline miles every time you check in to hotel rooms. Find out all the partner hotel chains for your frequent flyer program and note how you earn miles. Many have 500 or 1,000 miles per stay. Pay with your frequent flyer credit card and you'll double up by getting a dollar per dollar spent and the per stay mileage. Check for double or triple mile deals that may get you up to 1,500 miles per stay. Really want to earn miles? Check in and out of your hotel each day. It might be too much of an inconvenience for many, but hardcore mileage earners use this technique often. Do the same thing for your work rental cars.

Add New RSS
Write comment
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
Johnny  - overseas |2011-11-28 03:54:51
i have the basic "green" colored American express.
I live in China but I am from Holland.
I applied for the card in Holland.
This now gives me automatically double points for all purchases.
I often also pre-pay tickets for our company and pay then large amounts.....many points!!!
I just get refunded in cash straight away.
flamaest |2010-08-25 11:33:55
""But tickets to destinations like Raleigh or Montreal tend to cost quite a bit more. So save your miles for exotic destinations like Omaha. ""

This may not always work. Most mileage credit cards now have ticket-cost-limits so you cannot just fly anywhere you want anymore without paying an airfare dollar diffrence [even if they say there is no fee, check the finer fine print]. Usually this limit is about $400 per round-trip flight, based on a full-fare fee schedule.

Also, after you factor in the costs of baggage fess and other lame fees not covered by the frequent flier miles, your price gets very close to not being worth it; even through a mileage program. $25 bucks per bag each way is a big deal when shopping online for better rates.

""Pass on offers to buy electronics or other products from the airlines.""

Sometimes it's better to convert your miles to merchandise, and book your fare online on your own dime. The savings can sometimes be a lot. Especially if the item you are getting is in high demand and was just released; to sell online.
Gerard |2011-06-17 13:19:49
This is why I think you're better off with a card that gives you points in the airline's own programme, rather than the bank's points. There may be limits on the number of seats available for purchase with points, but the prices are clearly defined.

One more tip: if you fly for business, see if your employer will reimburse you for trips where you fly the long way around, as long as you get the ticket for the same price as a direct route. Then look into booking via a popular, competitive destination. Halifax-Miami-Baltimore will almost always cost less than Halifax-Baltimore direct. And you'll earn an extra 2000 miles or so in each direction.

Show Other Articles Of This Author

Joomla Templates by Joomlashack