Have you heard friends or family members talking about how they got a flight for free because of their miles? Sounds too good to be true, right?
The reality is there are people flying around the country, and even the world, every day who are doing so on discounted or free tickets, thanks to their miles.
If you want to know how you can join this club, keep reading. Here, we’ve got a beginner’s guide to frequent flyer miles that will show you how you can get started with these programs too.
What Are Frequent Flier Miles?
First, start with the basics. Pretty much every airline out there offers a free program that allows people to generate frequent flier miles. All you have to do is go onto the website of the airline of your choice and sign up. Simple as that.
Programs and mile allotments vary depending on your airline. However, what happens is if you fly on that airline and log your frequent flier miles account, then the airline will keep track of them. If you fly frequently, you can really build up miles over time.
Eventually, you’ll have enough miles that you can put them toward a free or heavily discounted ticket.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Miles
There are some special tips and tricks the pros use to get the most out of these programs. So, let’s take a look at how they do it.
Your primary goal is to earn miles so you can use them. There are a couple of ways you can go about it. The most obvious is flying. Take a few cross country or long haul trips, and you’ll start building up your miles pretty quickly.
You can also look at credit cards as well. Many of the major airlines have their own cards. Some have special offers at signup that deposit a certain number of miles in your account, usually enough for one or two round trip tickets inside the U.S.
There are other credit cards you can use that are travel-focused as well. You pick which airline program you want to use, and you can generate miles when you go grocery shopping or dine out, for example.
We’ll note here that if you do choose to go the credit card route, it’s important to use them responsibly. Typically, travel-related cards call for a higher credit score, so that’s something to get in order too.
Once you’ve built up your miles haul, you can start using them. Exact numbers depend on which airline program you’re using, so be sure to check their website.
As a general rule of thumb, you can redeem as few as 10,000-15,000 miles for off-season or discounted flights. The range of miles goes up from there, depending on the flight, destination, and class of seat you want to use.
When you’re ready to redeem, all you have to do is go to the airline’s website. They will have an option where you can choose to fully or partially pay for your flight using your miles. From there, all you have to worry about are taxes and fees. The process is pretty simple.
Thinking about heading out on a vacation soon? Now is the perfect time to join the frequent flyer programs of your favorite airlines.