Paying for airfare with Citi ThankYou points is can be a good deal on cheaper flights. Usually, domestic round-trip awards cost 25, miles. But redeeming 50, points at 1. I prefer to use my valuable flexible points with their transfer partners. So whenever possible I would pay with these other credit card points first, because they have a set value and you can NOT transfer them to airlines for award flights. Folks love getting free flights with points and miles.
However, many banks offer the option to pay for your flights with points or cash back. Each bank has different values for redeeming their points, and there are certain situations where paying with points is NOT the best option.
For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter. More Info. E-mail is already registered on the site. Alina Comoreanu, a research analyst with the finance website WalletHub. Bear in mind that they often have hefty interest rates— So, unless you pay your bill off each month, you need to weigh the value of your bonus against the interest charges. Using a rewards credit card for all of your purchases and paying it off each month can be another way to rack up enough miles for a reward.
There are two basic types of cards to consider: the co-branded cards affiliated with an airline and more general rewards cards that offer an assortment of awards, including airline miles. For example, the more general rewards cards typically allow you to use your miles on a variety of airlines, rather than just one.
Many airlines also have shopping portals on their frequent-flyer websites. By going to that page first and clicking through to a participating merchant, you can earn points on your purchases. Yes, you can still earn miles by flying , a fact easily overlooked among all the other ways to earn them.
That makes it pretty easy to compare fares and do the math. Frequent flyer programs are changing to reward high rollers, but there are still ways to earn miles without overpaying for them. You can earn frequent flyer miles in several ways, including through an airline credit card. Also be aware that award seats might not be available for the flight you want. There has to be a seat available that the airline has designated as one that can be paid for with miles. Southwest Airlines is an exception, basically allowing you to book any available seat.
The primary reasons to join a frequent flyer program are to earn:. Free flights. Seat upgrades. Elite status. A typical decision for frequent flyer members is whether to use miles on luxury rides or more trips.
For example, flying business class may cost as many points as two trips in economy class. Here are names and reviews of frequent flyer programs for a few of the major airlines:. American Airlines: AAdvantage. Delta Air Lines: SkyMiles. United Airlines: MileagePlus.
Southwest Airlines: Rapid Rewards. If you want to fly first class to a far-off destination using reward miles alone, getting an airline credit card is among the best ways to do it. Airline cards often require you to have good or excellent credit for approval. The question is whether the card offers enough value to justify the fee.
And airline cards typically carry high interest rates, so you'll want to pay your credit card bill in full every month. Another disadvantage is an airline card will have its own features and rules, aside from the airline's frequent flyer program, adding a layer of complexity. College tuition? Think of all the miles! Just be wary of any additional processing fees if you pay by credit card.
Read the fine print. Grayson Bell of DebtRoundUp. Most big airlines offer shopping portals that allow you to earn additional miles just for clicking though. The Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, for example, offers anywhere from miles per dollar spent on any purchases you make through the portal. Most of the time, you can earn anywhere from a few hundreds to a few thousands airline miles just by renting your car — or booking a hotel stay — through their website.
Those who would rather have more flexibility in where — and with what carrier — they fly should check out our top-rated travel rewards cards. These programs have no brand restrictions or blackout dates to limit your travel options. An important — yet often over-looked — cost to be wary of in a travel card is that due to foreign transaction fees.
When charged, these fees will apply to any purchase you make that involves a conversion between US and foreign currencies. Many travel credit cards will come without foreign transaction fees — but not all. Although unknown to many, one way to add to your stash of frequent flyer miles without dealing with airplane food is to simply purchase them from the airline.
Additionally, many programs regularly offer discounts on miles purchases that can increase the value. Of course, the best way to get great value is to buy those miles with free money — like cash back rewards from your everyday credit card. With a great cash back card, such as our top picks, you can earn rewards on everything you buy, including gas and groceries, then redeem your cash back for a statement credit to cover your miles purchases.
To maximize the amount of cash back you can earn — and, thus, put toward your temporary ticket out of the rat race — you should seek out the cash back program that will make the most of your spending. If you make purchases just about everywhere, a simple, flat-rate unlimited program may be best. However, if the bulk of your buys fall into a variety of common categories, you can often bag bonus cash back rewards.This page includes analysis how to get frequent flyer miles for free our favorite cards from The Simple Dollar's advertisers and the marketplace. Visit our advertiser disclosure to learn more. Think you need to fly to earn airline miles? Think again. For people who fly only a few times per year, earning enough miles for a free flight would take so long — or cost so much — it would barely be worth it. To see what I mean, take a look at the Southwest Rapid Rewards program while keeping in mind that all airlines award airline miles to consumers differently. Which strategy sounds better? More on that in how to get frequent flyer miles for free minute. Here are a few of the best and easiest ways to earn miles without leaving town:. By signing up for a co-branded airline credit card and meeting a minimum spending requirement, you can usually earn enough miles for at how to get frequent flyer miles for free one free flight. Before you get major lazer get free ft amber coffman andy c remix new airline credit card, you how to get frequent flyer miles for free ask yourself a few questions right away, including: Which airlines operate in my area? And will I be able to meet the minimum spending requirement without buying anything out of the ordinary? Remember, you want a card that offers miles you can actually use — and you want to avoid harming your financial health in the process. Brad Barrett of TravelMiles In some cases, you can earn more frequent flyer miles on the ground than in the air. Photo: Mr. To maximize your miles, you should use your card as much as you can for ordinary purchases. College tuition? Think of all the miles! Just be wary of any additional processing fees if you pay by credit card. Read the fine print. Grayson Bell of DebtRoundUp. Consider a flexible rewards credit card. Use your card for everyday spending. Take advantage of online shopping portals. I have sought free frequent flyer miles for about 30 years. I have traveled much of the world. For years my international round trip tickets have been in business. Earning frequent flyer miles can land you free flights, upgrades, and You're most likely to earn enough points to actually get something in. How To Earn Miles for Free Flights & Hotels; Is Travel Hacking Really a Scam? GET THE FREE GUIDE. Step 4 – Rinse and repeat on the. How to start travel hacking (Level 2): Collect and use frequent flyer miles. This. Signing up for credit cards isn't the only way to earn points and travel for free. Here's how to get frequent flyer miles -- no card applications required. When you pay with points, you'll get a free flight, and frequent flyer miles! Airline miles, also known as frequent flyer miles or just miles, are a type of travel With most airlines, you can redeem your miles for a free flight by To earn miles directly through an airline, you have to sign up for its loyalty. Contact Info. You may also complete your purchase and upgrade your itinerary in My Trips at a later date. Abigail: That certainly sets United apart from others. What do you think is going to happen with the United and Continental merger? United Airlines almost immediately debuted their Mileage Plus program and upped the ante by offering an "enrollment bonus" of 5, miles! What is the name of your childhood best friend? I confirm I am the parent or guardian of the child under the age of Your email address will not be published. How do you go about combining United and Delta miles? These are free, and you can accumulate miles by flying with that airline. American Airlines and United Airlines recently added bonus categories that make a couple of their co-branded cards more attractive for everyday spending, offering double points on certain categories, such as restaurants.