Airline miles are great perks to take advantage of while traveling. Below are three simple methods I use to collect miles that are both efficient and cost-effective.
I don’t travel to collect frequent flyer miles, I travel because I want to, and appreciate the ability to receive miles to use towards free travel down the road. There are dozens of tips and tricks that you can take advantage of to obtain miles, but I just stick to a few simple methods.
Whatever methods you do use, make sure to do these two things;
1) Always collect your miles!
2) Be strategic!
Sure, you might get more points for a more expensive flight, but in the end, I don’t think that makes a lot of sense.
My advice is to pick a few airlines that you like and try to stick with them or their partners. Most carriers have dozens of partners that you can easily transfer miles to.
For example, Delta and Air France are part of the same mileage program. I could collect miles for each airline, but if I have 2,000 points with six different carriers, it will take me forever to accumulate enough to travel for free. Instead, I think about which one I am more likely to fly on in the future – Air France or Delta? Since I live in the United States, it is better for me to pick Delta.
A couple of months ago I took six Aeroflot flights. I could have signed up for their rewards programs, but I wasn’t sure when I would fly with Aeroflot again. I found out that Aeroflot is a partner of Delta. I made sure to get my mileage credited to my Delta SkyMiles account.
Look at how many partners Delta has: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, GOL Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airways, Saudi Airlines, Seaborne Airlines, TAROM, Transavia, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Xiamen Air.
In the last year, I flew on the following airlines: Delta, Korean Air, Aeroflot, Garuda Indonesia, and KLM. It’s unlikely that I will fly Garuda Indonesia or Aeroflot again anytime soon, so I decided to apply these miles towards my Delta SkyMiles account.
Delta’s policy for awarding miles could be more or less on partner flights, but I prefer to collect on the airline I fly on the most (even if I do get fewer points).
For more about how collecting points on partner flights work, visit the Delta website.
I have three airline rewards (Delta Skymile, Alaska, and ANA) program accounts and usually whatever airline I end up booking with is a partner of one of the three programs.
Method 2: Shop through Skymalls
Another easy way to collect airline points is shopping through an airline SkyMall. Recently I wanted to purchase something on Groupon. Before making the purchase directly through Groupon, I remembered that the Delta SkyMall had a partnership with Groupon. So I logged into my SkyMiles account to access Delta’s SkyMall to make the purchase. I received 600 miles for the purchase. That’s not a tremendous amount, but since I was going to make the purchase anyway, it made sense to buy through their SkyMall.
For smaller purchases, I don’t bother shopping through a SkyMall. For purchases above $100, I like to check the SkyMall. Always shop around before deciding to purchase at a SkyMall – you might find a better deal elsewhere. I prefer saving money over receiving a few hundred points.
- Spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months and get 20,000 points. Earning the 20,000 was easy for me! I got the 20,000 right away. I used the card to book my upcoming vacation. It was money that I was planning on spending anyways.
- 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. I’m using this card as my primary card to pay for everything now. I just transfer money at the end of each month from my debit card. The points add up quickly! I should have enough points for a $500 credit within a year.
- No annual fee.
- 0% interest on purchases for the first 12 months. This was awesome because I signed up in conjunction with a trip I was planning. I put everything on the card and then took a couple of months to pay it off. It helped me get those 20,000 points faster.
- No foreign transaction fees!
I have quite a few cards, but this one has some real benefits for the avid traveler. Visit the website to learn about the VentureOne card.
Like I said above, I travel to travel. I don’t get too concerned about collecting miles. Still, it is a welcome perk, and I like to find the most hassle-free ways to earn.