flights earn reward miles for travelers, but you can also gain valuable frequent
flyer miles without ever leaving the ground. You
can take advantage of almost unlimited potential to earn more frequent flyer miles.
Create your own vacation opportunities while also saving money:
Apply for frequent flyer accounts with any airline you fly on, plan to
fly on, or whose destinations appeal to you. Visit online web sites to see which
airlines offer the most attractive rewards, and the best terms. Mile redemption
requirements vary by airline. Don't assume a mile is a mile - it's not. Manage
as few or as many as you like, but try to group miles and card choices around
destinations you most prefer. Airline choices vary greatly and their mileage partners
will be listed on their web sites, along with current earning opportunities. Offers
and partners are diverse and change continuously. Delta Skymiles American Express
offers a 10,000 mile bonus for meeting a $25,000 annual spending limit, plus a
free companion ticket. Amex also offers its own point program for vacation packages.
Many cards offer sign-up bonuses. Some airlines grant bonus miles or free upgrades,
once you reach a specific annual mileage balance.
Obtain a credit card that offer miles. If you carry only one, make it the
one that offers the destinations most attractive to you. Most cards carry annual
fees and you won't get bargain interest rates. But if you manage your credit and
balances, this won't be an issue, and it will pay off. Down payments on new cars,
federal and state taxes, furniture, utility bills, groceries, and a multitude
of other payments and purchases can be paid. You'll be surprised at how much these
Finance your home using a lender that partners with a frequent flyer program.
Refinancing is another option to earn mileage. Reward miles often add up to enough
for a single round-trip domestic ticket. Typical offers return 1000 miles for
every $10,000 financed.
Buy or sell your home using a broker through airline frequent flyer programs.
Several offer them, and the mile awards are significant.
Always use a frequent flyer number when you purchase any airline ticket.
Present it at check-in to be sure it's recorded for every flight. Mail it in after-the-fact
if you forgot it, or didn't take advantage of a program partner.
6. Hotels offer miles for their own programs in major chains, and many allow
you to claim credit with your favorite airline instead. Choose your hotels
accordingly when it makes sense. Hotels big and small, economy and luxury are
all offered, but mostly within the big chains.
7. Car rentals offer miles either a one-time amount, or by the day. Check
with any car rental agency before you rent, and be sure to present the card number
when you make the reservation, and when you check-in. If you pay separately, present
it at payment time to be sure the mileage program is noted. Airline sites will
show their partners to see if they award miles for any program. Keep a recorded
list of your frequent flyer program numbers with you, in case you forget the card.
Most airlines, hotels, or rental agencies will accept a verbal number.
8. Hotels offer their own promotional programs in major chains, for points collected
toward free nights and vacations. Many allow you to claim credit with your
favorite airline instead. Choose your hotels accordingly when it makes sense.
If you don't know if the hotel offers miles, visit the web site, or ask them.
9. Follow-up on mileage awards to make sure you receive them. Save copies
of documentation to prove your claim if you have to request credit. Boarding passes,
hotel receipts, and cruise itineraries are examples. Put your frequent flyer program
in writing to a mortgage lender or real estate agent when contracting on a mileage
referral. If it is not part of the application, include a memo stating the referral
and frequent flyer account number with the application or contract submission,
and write it on the form. Keep a copy and record good notes regarding discrepancies
and your follow-up.
10. Watch for special promotions in the mail or in your statements and take
advantage of them. Examples include double miles for credit card purchases for
a specific timeline or establishments, or in combination for a flight and automobile
rental. Long distance telephone or cellular service providers award miles for
some markets. Cruise lines and chain destination resorts are other examples. Airlines
flying international routes will offer mileage bonuses for specific destinations,
class of service. Plan carefully to get the most mileage. Some airlines honor
only specific parts of a flight and not every segment. Only the fine print will
spell out the restrictions and details.
11. Read your statements and know exactly what your frequent flyer program
offers, and watch for changes and special promotions. Without monthly activity,
you must check the online web site in person for most programs. Sign-up for online
mileage statements to help you remember.
12. Sign-up for one of the programs that help you manage your miles. Time spent
up front to provide the details on your accounts will be worth the time and trouble
for the small fee. Sharing the duty with an employee or home partner who is better
at details, or who has more time, is another option.
the business traveler, finding time or coordinating schedules and destinations
can be difficult when you want to mix business with pleasure, friends, and family.
Vacations are important though, for rejuvenation, and to build and maintain relationships.
Besides benefiting directly from miles, they can also bring family and friends
to you-at home, or along on trips. Mileage makes it easier to take time for you,
your family and friends. Even if you aren't able to use them today, frequent flyer
miles come in handy at different periods of life and times, sometimes unexpectedly.
of my rewards, which you too could enjoy, from banked miles: My husband and I
married in Jamaica via first class no-cost air transportation. We traveled to
Australia in business class for a 3-week vacation. A Budapest, Hungary visit became
reality when I replaced high-priced fares with accumulated frequent flyer miles.
My sister & I skied in Colorado with free airfare. A Richmond, Virginia land
investment visit netted an airline ticket at no charge by redeeming miles. To
San Francisco, I spent miles for a ticket where I spoke at a trade conference.
My brother's family vacationed with us over Easter on my earned miles. A friend
visited his Vermont hometown with friends he wouldn't have seen otherwise, with
my miles paying the airfare. My Grandmother spent a month in Ohio compliments
of my "paid for" air miles.
opportunities are endless. Start today to earn all the miles and vacation you