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A Word to The Wise: Hacking Frequent Flyer Miles

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A Word to The Wise: Hacking Frequent Flyer Miles

Savvy airline patrons know all the insider tricks, including the best ways to take advantage of frequent flyer programs. They’re knowledgeable in the art of hacking frequent flyer miles. Are you part of this informed group of travelers? If not, you might find the following hacks, well, intimidating.

Let’s demystify the program, then you can take the next step forward with confidence. By educating yourself, you’ll quickly find the wherewithal to unlock some of the more profitable program secrets. Come on, quickly now, you’re starting at the beginning.

What are Airline Miles?

This points-based system gifts you with miles everytime you fly with an airline. You sign up for frequent flyer miles, accumulate points, then you redeem those points for a free flight or some other reward.

Tendered by airlines or included as part of a credit card’s bonus scheme, the signup process is painless and free. Once you have your new credit card or airline membership plan, you’ll earn miles everytime you fly with that same service. Better yet, bonus points can be collected everytime you use that credit card. This, then, is hacker tip number one: use that credit card whenever possible.

Grounding The Air Miles

Originally, when you signed up for a loyalty plan with an airline, the miles accumulated equaled the miles travled. The more often you flew with the airline, the more your loyalty was rewarded. Today, however, things aren’t so cut and dried. For starters, if you apply for the right credit card, you’ll be rewarded with more bonus points.

So, what does the current state of affairs tell you? Well, the route to air miles success is more about points acquiring, not miles traveled. The latter approach still works, but credit cards provide shortcuts. Of even more interest, there are ways to double down on the credit card points system. Look up car rental agencies and prequalified hotel chains for more information.

Release The Air Miles Hacks

A guide to hacking frequent flyer miles does seem intimidating, so let’s soothe your airport anxiety. Sign up for at least one program, then use a hotel that’s part of the same air miles accumulation scheme. For example, Southwest Airlines has a kiosk in Raleigh–Durham International Airport, and it only takes a minute to sign up for their VISA card.

Over at RDU Terminal 2, there’s an American Airlines desk. When flying with this carrier, know that you can redeem your AAdvantage air miles for a stay at many hotels in the area. Large carriers can afford perks like this, so do also look forward to an affordable car rental experience, again thanks to this program.

To really take advantage of this wily approach, look up every airline desk. Next, take note of the ones you know are reliable and affordable, then head on over to their websites. Chances are, they’ll have a rewards program or a bonus points collecting credit card.

Assorted Frequent Flying Musings

The really smart airline warriors know just what tricks to use and when they should be applied. They collect credit cards, cancel them, then renew the card halfway through the year. As a result, that’s right, the signup bonus can be claimed twice in one year.

Buyer beware, however, for you can’t use credit cards as toys. You’ll need a good-to-excellent credit score to employ some of these tips. Also, frequent flyer points are hard to accumulate, unless you’re willing to spend money first. After all, the points won’t start rolling in until your buying habits exceed a credit card’s predetermined spending limit minimum.