What is the best way to earn airline miles?
Posted in the Cumberland Forum
#1 Nov 29, 2013
What is the best way to earn airline miles?Try signing up for a credit card affliliated with an airline. Just do a little research beforehand to find out which airline has a hub closest to you so you will have more opportunities to use your miles. If there are certain routes you fly frequently, make sure the airline services those cities.
I use the American Airlines Aadvantage Mastercard. Most of these cards will give you a 15,000 - 20,000 mile bonus once you make a few purchases. My husband and I put everything on the card and pay it off each month (groceries, gas, dinners out, shopping, etc.). This is a great way to earn miles. Between the 20,000 free miles we got signing up for the card and putting all of our expenses on the card, we had over 60,000 miles in just nine months. That gave us enough to upgrade our economy seats to first class for an upcoming vacation.
Just be careful you pay off your balance in full each month because most of the airline cards have extremely high interest rates, like above 18% APR. If you cannot pay off your balance, then you will likely spend more in interest charges than you would have buying the airfare on your own.
Another good way to earn miles is to do your shopping through "partner" websites. For example, I get 10 American Airlines miles for every $1 I spend at FTD.com or 1-800-FLOWERS.com . Some airline programs also have programs with restaurants. You register all your credit card numbers and any time you eat at a member restaurant, you get airline miles. You can also ask friends and family to buy airline miles for you as a gift.
Just one final tip...ask around to see which program your friends and family like. We like American's and haven't had problems getting upgrades or booking free travel. However, we have a friend who uses Continental and she says every time she goes to book a reward trip, it's either blacked out or all the frequent flyer seats are gone. According to Consumer Reports, the best programs (in order) are American, Northwest, Alaska, Delta, US Airways, Continental, United, and America West.
Regardless of which airline you choose, make your reservations as far ahead as possible to ensure there are still frequent flyer seats left. Good luck and happy travels!
#2 Nov 29, 2013
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