Earn Free Travel Sooner With These Frequent Flyer Mileage Secrets


One of the biggest costs you will encounter when planning for travel is the transportation: airfare to and from your destination. That's where frequent flyer miles come in — an easy way to travel more and spend less. (See also: Little Known Trick to Getting Exclusive Travel Discounts and Rewards)

An Intro to Frequent Flyer Miles

Frequent flyer programs are nothing new. The first airline loyalty program of this type debuted in 1981, offered by American Airlines. Ever since, these programs have been gaining in popularity. Now nearly every major airline offers a frequent flyer program.

Each program has its own set of rules but generally, if you sign up for their loyalty program, you can get points for purchases or other activities that you can then redeem for free flights. However, accruing enough points to get those free flights can take a long time, unless you know some of the secrets to getting more points, faster, so you can be on your way to your next vacation.

1. Loyalty Can Get You More

These programs aren't called loyalty programs for nothing. If you consistently fly with the same airline, you'll earn points and rewards toward a free flight faster than spreading your points across various airline programs. Rather than having 200 points with three different airline programs, you can have 600 with one, which should be enough for a free domestic flight.

2. Use a Co-Branded Credit Card

Once you've decided on your favorite airline, check their credit card options. Getting a co-branded airline credit card will allow you to get points for everyday shopping, not just when you book a flight. These credit cards usually come with great perks, like priority boarding, free checked bags, and discounts on in-flight purchases.

3. Make Your Frequent Flyer Miles Go Farther

Now that you've accumulated enough points, it's time for the fun part: redeeming them for free travel.

Pay attention to how you redeem your points, to make them worth as much as possible. This means making a high-value trade-in for your points. Simply put, this means don't waste your points on something that would cost you a small amount in dollars. For example, a $300 round trip economy flight might cost 500 points. That's a $0.60 value you're getting from each point. But a $1,200 international flight might only cost 1,000 points. That would get you a $1.20 value for each point! So it could be worth your while to hold on to those points until you can get a large ticket item.

What are some other ways to score free travel fast? Share with us!

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