In today's highly competitive and globalized marketplace, customer is the de facto king, with multiple brands and businesses out to woo him with special offers and competitive prices. Air travel is in general, an expensive proposition compared to other means of transport, but thanks to competition in this sector too, there are ways in which you can get cheap airline tickets or practically travel free using points earned through frequent flyer programs! In this Buzzle article, I provide you with some essential tips on earning frequent flyer miles to sponsor your free air travel.
About Frequent Flyer Programs
Air travel is expensive and one of the ways in which domestic and international airlines provide incentives to their customers to continue using their service is by enrolling them for 'Frequent Flyer Programs'. Once a traveler has signed up for such a program, he receives free air travel miles in proportion to the number of miles he travels through a flight.
These 'Air miles', 'Points' or 'Frequent Flyer Miles' keep getting registered and accumulating in the customer's account for every flight. When a sufficient number of points get accumulated, they can be used to buy a free air ticket of proportional value eventually. There are more than one ways in which you can earn extra points and I will talk about some of them, in the following lines.
Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles
At the beginning, the only way you could get hold of air miles or points was through flying, but when more allied businesses got on the bandwagon, opportunities for earning miles multiplied. Here are some smart ways of maximizing your share of frequent flyer miles.
Keep Flying First-Class or Business Class
First and foremost, the best way to keep earning points is to keep flying in first-class or business class whenever possible. That's because, traveling in these classes can earn you fractionally more miles, compared to economy class. When you pay more for the flight, you also arrange for your future free flights by earning frequent flyer miles.
Sign Up For More than One Frequent Flyer Programs
Study which air lines operate in the regions in the US or abroad that you frequently travel to. Sign up for frequent flyer programs offered by domestic, as well as international flights, which you are bound to use regularly. As you travel, you will accumulate points in both accounts, which you can use later.
Use Hotel Services Affiliated to the Airlines
Look into the details of your frequent flyer program to look for hotel chains and restaurants that are affiliated with it. By staying in affiliated hotels and eating in connected restaurants, you can earn bonus air miles for yourself. Using the services of car rental companies, affiliated with airlines, can also help you earn frequent flyer miles.
Earn Points Through Credit Card Purchases
Certain credit card companies have deals with major airlines. They reward you with air miles for usage of the credit card for purchases. There is no point in going for an extra credit card with a high interest rate, just for the frequent flyer miles. See if your existing credit card company offers this facility.
Buy Points Directly
If you are very close to making that dream total of frequent flyer miles that you require for your much awaited vacation, you can directly buy those points from the airline, by paying in cash or through a credit card.
You don't want to end up with a high credit card debt, in going overboard to get those extra miles. Making extravagant purchases that cost more than airline tickets to get frequent flyer miles defies common sense. Don't fall into the trap of high interest credit cards that promise you air miles, while crash landing your finances! The points that you accumulate through your regular air travel and necessary purchases, besides stays in hotels and use of car rentals will eventually accumulate to provide you with a decent pile of air miles, which you can capitalize upon at a future date, for your dream vacation plans.