Frequent flyer programs are genius point systems which aim to reward customers in the form of travel perks. For travel bugs who just recently started with such a program, it may seem confusing at first. So many questions will run through your mind. All you wanted was to be rewarded with free flights, yet you have to consider some basic things first. Like what’s the point system like, how many points do you need to earn miles, and how can you turn your purchases into miles? Luckily, you are on a mountain of resources called the internet so you don’t have to stay ignorant. Read on to learn about flight hacks you can use to fly for free using frequent flyer miles.
1. Understanding airline miles
Airline miles or travel points are earned by enrolling in a loyalty program offered by airlines and credit cards. By registering into an airline’s loyalty system, you can log your flights and earn miles along the way. Note that the term miles here don’t literally equate to the actual miles you can use on your next flight. When you fly 400 miles from Sydney to Melbourne, it doesn’t mean you’ve earned a free flight back because of the miles you just travelled. Think of the miles as points. When you hit a certain number of miles, the airline rewards you with a free domestic flight or a seat upgrade. Whichever is applicable to their catalogue.
Credit card systems work differently as most of them are not tied to just one airline. With credit cards, you earn points from every dollar you spend. These points can be converted to frequent flyer miles, but the rate depends on the credit card.
2. Flying using your frequent flyer miles
Now that you’ve learned how you can earn miles from an airline and credit card loyalty system, it’s time for you start collecting them. There are many ways to earn miles. If you have a credit card, the more you use it to pay your purchases, the more points you earn. Shopping and dining have lots of perks too. Watch out for your card’s partner establishments where they usually give double points for cardholders. The more points you earn, the more miles you can get.
If you’re part of an airline loyalty system, there are not many ways for you to get miles other than to fly frequently with them. It should be no problem if you’re a seasoned traveller and jet-setter. The more you fly, the more miles you accrue. The more you travel, the closer you are to getting free tickets to your next destination.
3. Earning free flights
Start racking up your miles to earn free flights eventually. If you’ve got friends who have miles that are expiring soon, you can politely ask them if they can transfer their miles to your account. You can also look for people who have too many miles to spare. Say you’ll appreciate it more than any kind of gift. It’s an easy way to earn miles for free, just don’t be too pushy about it!
A few airlines also allow you to purchase extra miles when you book a ticket with them. A simple trick would be to get a refundable ticket, buy the extra miles, then refund your ticket. If they process your extra miles as a separate transaction, it will still be credited to you even if you don’t take the flight. Be warned though that it may not work with some airlines!