Earning frequent flyer points is one of the best ways to save money on travel. All major airlines and travel sites have some type of frequent flyer or traveller reward program. Yet, most people don’t make the most out of these programs. Let’s look at 5 of the best hacks to help you earn as many extra miles as possible.
1. Remember to Earn Points When You Shop
Keep in mind that many frequent flyer programs allow you to earn miles when you shop at popular retail stores and websites. Don’t spend money just to earn points, but if you’re going to buy something anyway, you may as well accumulate miles. For example, you can earn miles by shopping for everyday items at places like Target or Safeway.
2. Look For Signup Bonuses
Many companies and services offer generous travel points if you sign up for certain services. For example, American Airlines partners with companies such as Fidelity, LifeLock, BankDirect, Network Solutions and others, allowing you to earn 1,000 or more miles by signing up. This is another instance where you can earn free miles for making purchases you would be making anyway. Some of these programs allow you to earn travel miles when you invest.
3. Earn Miles When You Eat Out
Most people eat out on a regular basis, and many airlines offer you the chance to earn frequent flyer miles when you do so. The only catch is that you have to eat at participating restaurants. If you enjoy dining out, find an airline that has a dining program that includes restaurants you like.
4. Spend Your Miles Wisely
When you start accumulating travel miles, it can be tempting to use them whenever you can. You should, however, be very cautious about spending your frequent flyer miles. You should consider them a valuable type of currency and use them only when it makes sense. For example, if you can find an exceptional bargain for a flight, you may as well pay cash and save your miles for when you really need them.
5. Search for the Best Opportunities
If you want to get the best value for your flyer miles, you have to be willing to do research. Very often, you can get better deals based on factors such as the day of the week you travel. You will have generally do better travelling mid-week rather than weekends. You should also check different destinations and airports. Sometimes you are only allowed to redeem reward points flying one-way or from specific airports. In such cases, you may be able to get the best deal by flying one-way to one airport but returning from a different airport in the same city or region.