How many times have you planned an exciting trip only to be faced with annoyingly expensive travel fares? For any frequent traveler, stacking up discount rates and loyalty offers are key to planning out the next big journey. If this is your first time travelling or your first attempt at opting for frequent flyer miles, the guide below will give you a better idea on how to go about it.
What are frequent flyer miles?
The term “frequent flyer miles” can be a little misleading, as it doesn’t directly mean you get free flights depending on your total distance travelled. Flyer miles are accumulated by earning loyalty points and cash bonuses, similar to your credit card points. You can either use an exclusive airline card or opt for third-party travel cards that have tie-ups with multiple airlines. Travelling long distances do add up on those points, but are restricted to a fixed limit, varying based on the airline you choose.
There are some things you can do to accumulate frequent flyer miles, for starters, let’s look at the easiest and most popular ways to do so.
Registering is the quickest way to become a member on an airline’s regular flyer list. These cards work straightforwardly; adding up your miles depending on the number of times you use the card while buying tickets and flying longer hours. Some loyalty programs on airline cards let you add up miles on any old flights you had taken before signing up. The system works best as long as you are using the card for all things flying related, the more you fly, the bigger the numbers get, letting you redeem the points on a chance of getting free flights next time.
Using your credit card
If you are a credit card user, you will be familiar with the concept of reward points. It works the same for accumulating frequent flyer miles; the more you purchase with your card, the more points you accumulate. Then again, your card must have a tie-up with a specific airline, so try to make the most out of that feature. Credit cards will only validate points once you pay off the annual fees, so if your scores are good, you have a better chance of accumulating maximum points.
Shopping in the airport
It’s a relieving thing for frequent travellers to get their shopping sorted out at the one place they are going to a lot: the airport. Most airlines integrate their membership cards with airports that they frequently take off from and land in, so shopping with those cards will chip in some extra miles on your account.
Browse through the loyalty list on your airline membership card, and you’re bound to find a list of restaurant that the airlines have close ties with. This means you get extra miles by simply gorging down on a fine meal. No surprise we see a whole host of food bloggers nowadays. Simply register for the airline dining programs through your credit card, and you’ll be eating your way through free flights in no time.
The “like” button on Facebook is a virtual currency. Connecting to the airline social media pages and any travel related content can help you stack up the points to fly free. Travel agencies are big on social media, so go ahead and get connected to the online travel space and watch out for every opportunity to boost those miles.
Registering on airline alliances means you get a bigger opportunity to win miles from multiple airlines. This saves a lot of time and money for travellers just looking to get the earliest and most affordable rates. There are three major alliances; Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam, with each alliance offering a range of bonuses and attractive deals that could positively affect the accumulation of your miles.
Now that you have a basic understanding on how to accumulate frequent flyer miles, there is still a way to use them. The basic procedure is as follows.
- Log in to your membership account on the airline’s website
- While booking tickets, opt for redeeming your reward points or accumulated miles instead of paying cash
- Confirm the booking
Tips on using your frequent flyer miles
- Browse carefully on the list of travel cards available. You can choose the type of card depending on your travel needs and areas of interest. Depending on how often you travel, each card has its perks, so choose wisely.
- Don’t just splash out your reward points and miles on free tickets. You can use miles also to upgrade your travel experience. Imagine upgrading to first class on your next flight, while still paying economy price
Travellers care as much about the journey as their destination, and miles make that journey all that better. Planning another journey? Check out our shortlist on travel experiences you cannot miss.