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Updated October 11, 2018

Beginner's Guide to Airline Miles and Points

A guide for navigating the miles and points systems
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Learn how airline miles work and 10 steps that you should follow to start collecting travel rewards. Before long, you'll be well on your way to redeeming miles for free flights and hotel rooms.

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What is the best credit card for airline miles? For the most flexibility, our top pick is Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has a sign-up bonus and you can transfer points 1:1 to airline transfer partners including United and Southwest.

Not sure where to begin?

That's totally normal. Airline miles can be an intimidating concept at first. There's a lot of terminology, things to keep track of, and rules to learn. It can sometimes seem like it isn't even worth the hassle.

But if you are not using some sort of travel program to earn miles or points, you're missing out. Other people get to go on vacation for free because of their earned miles. Many travelers also love using miles to fly in premium cabins that they otherwise couldn't afford.

So, want to get started? We've broken it down as simply as possible. Spend just 15 minutes reading this step-by-step beginner's guide and you'll be ready to start earning miles for your own free travel.

Bonus: Don't have 15 minutes to read this guide right now? No worries. Join our FREE travel course to learn (at your own pace) how to travel the world with points.

Almost there! Please enter your email address and click the button below to gain instant access.

Free Self-Paced Course: How to Travel the World with Points


Join our FREE travel course that will show you how you can travel for next to nothing. Learn:
  • How to earn enough miles for your next vacation in just 90 days.
  • How to fly for as low as just $5.60 one-way.
  • How to earn thousands of airline miles while doing everyday things like eating out and shopping online.

INTRODUCTION TO AIRLINE MILES

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What Are Airline Miles?

Airline miles are also known as frequent flyer miles. Airlines have loyalty programs to reward their customers for flying with them frequently. The more you fly with them, the more miles you earn. You can later redeem these miles for a free flight or upgrade.

The amount of miles you earn is based on how much you've spent or how many miles you've flown on the airline. The miles do not represent the amount of physical miles you are able to redeem for. So for example, you may need to earn 25,000 "miles" for a round-trip flight that is 4,000 actual miles.

A lot of people assume that they can't take part in these programs if they don't fly often. But here's a secret:

You don't even have to fly at all to earn a ton of airline points! You can do all the normal things you usually do and still earn points for a free flight. So even if you're not traveling often, you can still earn points for a future vacation.

We'll tell you in detail how this is possible.

How many airline miles for a free flight?
Airlines have their own award charts. Usually, a round-trip domestic flight in Economy requires 25,000 miles. A round-trip flight to Europe costs around 50,000 miles, while to Asia costs around 70,000 miles.

How Do Airline Miles Work

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Once you have earned enough miles with an airline, you can redeem them in for a free flight. This is called an award seat.

Award seats are limited and their availability changes over time. On every flight, there are only a certain number of seats allocated for award fares. As flights fill up, or don't fill up, the availability and cost of award seats can fluctuate. When booking an award seat, it is always best if you have a flexible travel schedule and that you check award availability often.

It's also important to know that each airline works differently when it comes to miles. They usually work in a few ways:

  • Zone based: This is when there's a set number of miles required to go from one region to another, like from North America to Europe or domestically within a country, for example. It doesn't matter where your starting and end points are. All award fares in a zone cost the same amount of miles. The most expensive fare in the zone is the best value for your miles. For example, Hawaii is often grouped into a zone with the Caribbean. People who live in places with high cost fares to Hawaii can use this to their advantage and book a flight to Hawaii for the same number of miles as a flight to the Caribbean.

    United and American have zone-based award charts. Most airlines operate on this model.

  • Distance based: This is where the amount of miles needed for an award seat depends on the actual distance traveled between destinations. For example, New York to Europe would require fewer miles than Los Angeles to Europe would. This can be a good value depending on where you live (someone from New York going to London will be better off with a distance-based program than zone-based). This also works well for short haul flights.

    British Avios, Iberia Avios, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles use distance based charts.

  • Cost based: This is where the amount of miles needed for an award seat is directly related to the cost of the flight. This revenue-based model rewards travelers based on the amount of money they spend, instead of the miles they fly.

    Delta, JetBlue and Southwest have cost-based programs.

Keep reading to learn more ways to earn airline miles that you might not know about.

How much is one air mile worth? In general, we estimate that one air mile is worth between 1.0 - 2.0 cents per mile. This means 10,000 miles can be worth a flight $100 - $200. The value varies depending on the airline, whether you're flying domestic or international, the season, and cabin class. Miles used for premium cabins can be worth over 4.0 cents even.

How to Earn Airline Miles

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There are a two main ways to get airline miles:

  1. Directly joining the airline's loyalty program and flying with them: If you have a favorite airline you always fly with, you can just join the airline's loyalty program. This is completely free and you don't need any special credit cards.

    Every time you book a flight with the airline (and participating partners), you earn miles. Some airlines give you one mile credit per actual mile flown. Some airlines give you 5-6X the miles per dollar spent. If you fly enough with an airline, someday you'll have enough points for a free flight.

    This method works best for those who mostly fly with one particular airline because you will be limited to redeeming your miles for flights only with that airline (and its partners).

  2. Earn miles with travel rewards credit cards: This is the fastest way to earn miles. You don't even need to fly to earn miles. There are many travel rewards cards that allow you to earn general travel points. You get "miles" in exchange for everyday spending, so your daily purchases are helping you earn free flights. Plus, many travel reward cards offer generous sign-up bonuses with some being over 50,000 miles.

    After you have accumulated enough miles, you can redeem them for flights. This method also gives you more flexibility because you're not just limited to one airline. We'll explain more in detail in the next section.

    A few things to note are that you'll usually need excellent credit to qualify for one of these cards and that these cards usually come with annual fees.

There are other ways to earn a ton of airline points without flying, including shopping in online portals, taking advantage of dining reward programs, and more. We will go over all these later.

Tip: Are you close to having enough miles to book your reward flight, but you are only a few miles short? One way get those last few miles is to purchase them from the airline. This is usually an expensive method to acquire miles, but it may be worth considering in certain situations.

How Do Credit Card Miles Work?

As we mentioned above, a travel credit card is the fastest way to earn miles because you earn miles on all your credit card purchases. Most cards also offer bonus miles for special spending categories. There are a few different types:

  • Transferrable credit card miles to airlines: Some credit cards (such as Chase Sapphire Preferred) allow you to transfer your points to the credit card's airline and hotel partners. This gives you flexibility to redeem with different airlines. This also lets you use your points for the most value, if you are willing to do some simple research.

    If you don't want to transfer the points to travel partners, you can also use them as a credit to book travel on the credit card company's travel portal.

    For more info on our favorite travel rewards programs, check out our detailed reviews:

    For quick reference: Chase's travel partners include United and Southwest; AMEX's travel partners include Delta, JetBlue, and Hawaiian; SPG's travel partners include American Airlines, Delta, Alaska, and Hawaiian.

  • General travel reward credit cards: These cards give you travel "points". With these cards (such as Capital One Venture), you earn points on purchases and apply them toward statement credit for travel-related expenses. This is great if you're looking for something simple. You don't have to worry about seat availability or blackout dates.

    These cards are also good for those who travel, but may not necessarily fly. Because you can redeem for purchases such as hotels, car rentals, and cruises.

    Another good thing about this type of card is that you can start redeeming points at a much lower amount. You can basically choose to "erase" $100 worth of travel purchases if you want. With transferrable miles, you usually have to wait until you have enough miles to redeem a particular award.

  • Airline co-branded credit cards: A third type of travel card is an airline co-branded card (like JetBlue). You still earn miles on all purchases, but you can only redeem them on that particular airline and its partners. But you often get airline-specific perks, such as free checked bags and priority boarding. These cards are better for those who often fly with a certain airline.

Why not just get cash back? You may be wondering why it's worth the bother to collect airline miles if you can just use a credit card with cash back. Cash back is always a fixed value, but if you transfer points to a travel partner you can get a lot more value. For example, 50,000 points with a cash back card will typically equal $500, but with the right travel credit card, 50,000 points can get you two round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Hawaii, which can be as much as $800 per ticket during peak season.

How Many Airline Miles for a Free Flight?

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You're probably wondering exactly how many miles you need for a free flight.

This question isn't easy to answer because all airlines organize their award charts differently. Here is a general idea:

From the Continental US to (one-way, Economy):

  • Domestic: around 12,500 points
  • Hawaii: 15,000 - 22,500 points
  • Mexico/Central America/Caribbean: 12,500 - 17,500 points
  • Europe: 25,000 - 30,000 points
  • Asia: 35,000 - 40,000 points
  • South America: 20,000 - 30,000 points
  • Oceania/Australia/New Zealand: 40,000 points

Note that the numbers are approximate to give you a rough idea of how many miles each award requires.

The best award strategy will depend on your destination and which airlines (and their partners) service that route.

For example, Southwest's point system is directed correlated to how much the fare costs. So, if you live in Florida and want to go to the Bahamas, you can go for a little as 4,320 points (one-way). In that case, it wouldn't make sense for you to transfer to another program. However, if you live in California and want to take a Caribbean vacation, you may want to use 15,000 miles with Air France or American Airlines.

In general, distance-based and fare-based awards are better for short distance travel. Zone-based awards are better for long distance.

For your convenience, here is a list of quick links to popular airlines' award charts:

Tip: Many travelers love using miles to book business class or first class flights that they otherwise couldn't afford. These cabins offer amazing redemption value. For example, on United you can go from the continental U.S. to Europe for 57,500 points one-way in business class. The fare could cost as much as $4,000.

For the ultimate example: The Singapore to Los Angeles (via Tokyo) route in the luxurious Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite. This is 18 hours of airtime in the first double bed in the sky. It can cost up to $8,000 but only 91,375 points. This makes each point worth 8.75 cents.

Now that you understand a little about what airline miles are and how they work, let's go into detail on how to earn and use rewards.

BEFORE WE CONTINUE: BEWARE

Credit cards are the fastest way to save on travel, but they do come with a caveat.

If you have trouble paying your credit card balance off every month, you're better off focusing on paying off debt. You don't want to rack up credit card debt by going overboard with rewards programs. Also, the interest charged on these reward credit cards tends to be high. Interest charged for carrying a balance will start to wipe out any benefit that you gain from the rewards.

Ideally, these programs are for people with good or excellent credit who pay off their balances each month. You also need to be organized enough to keep track of details like when introductory offers end, when annual fees are due, and what the minimum spending requirements are.

10 STEPS TO GETTING STARTED WITH TRAVEL REWARDS

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1. DETERMINE YOUR TRAVEL PROFILE

First you need to figure out what kind of traveler you are. Figure out how often do you fly in a year and why. Are you an occasional vacationer, or do you travel often for a mix of business and pleasure?

  • Figure out what you're comfortable with. Do you just want a card that's easy to use, or do you want to do some research to get the max value? Are you okay with flexible plans and letting award seat availability determine your travel dates, or you want to be able to book flights on your terms?

  • Think about your goals. Do you have a specific holiday in mind (like going to Germany for Oktoberfest), or you just want to go on a tropical vacation at some point in the next year? Consider which airlines take you to your preferred destination if there are blackout dates around your trip.

    Keep in mind that the earlier you book, the easier it is to find award seats. So, it's best to have plans about a year in advance. Also, check award sites often as availability changes over time.

2. SIGN UP FOR LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Loyalty programs are free to join. You can take the shotgun approach and join them all, but you'll just end up with a scattered mix of points, miles, and lots of junk e-mail.

Instead, try a simpler strategy. Look at your closest airports and check out your best airline options. Sign up with the airlines and hotels that you think you'll actually use. Ideally, the ones you choose will be part of a travel alliance that can give you access to a bunch of airlines.

As an example of how you can get access to many airlines through one program is signing up for United's MileagePlus. This means that you'll be part of the Star Alliance family and be able to get partner flights on any Star Alliance airline.

For quick reference, here are the alliances and major airlines within them:

  • Star Alliance: United, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, ANA, Lufthansa, Air China, and 22 more
  • Oneworld: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and 11 more
  • Sky Team: Delta, Air France, Alitalia, Korean Air, and 16 more

If you've already flown this year, there's a chance you can still get credit for these flights on your new account. Some airlines have a grace period, but it differs from airline to airline.

Tip: If you have not already signed up for your favorite airline's frequent flyer program, here are the links for your convenience:

  • (AMEX MR): American Express Gold Card American Express Membership Rewards (Amex MR) points can be transferred to over a dozen frequent travel programs, including popular carriers like Delta and JetBlue, or hotel chains like Hilton, Best Western, and Starwood.

  • (Chase UR): Chase Sapphire Preferred With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR) points to participating frequent flyer programs at full 1:1 value (1,000 Chase UR points = 1,000 partner miles/points). Travel programs include United MileagePlus®, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, JetBlue TrueBlue, British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, World of Hyatt, Marriott Rewards®, IHG Rewards Club®, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.

  • (SPG): Starwood Preferred Guest With the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (a CreditDonkey partner), you can transfer points to more than 30 airline frequent flyer programs. Plus, if you transfer 60,000 points to a frequent flyer program, you get 15,000 bonus points.

Did you know: Most major hotel chains let you earn airline miles from your eligible hotel stays with their participating partner airlines. You may want to sign up for hotel and car rental loyalty programs too. Here are some links for your convenience:

3. DECIDE WHICH CREDIT CARDS TO APPLY FOR

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Applying for a travel rewards card is the fastest way to earn airline miles. But with the dozens of options, how do you decide which is best for you?

  • If you frequently fly with one airline (such as Delta or American Airlines), you will benefit from an airline co-branded credit card. You'll receive special perks such as free checked luggage and priority boarding.

  • If you like choices and getting the maximum value, then go for a hybrid rewards card (like Chase Sapphire Preferred) that allows you to transfer points to multiple airline and hotel partners. You just need to be willing to do some research to find the best transfer strategies.

  • If you value flexibility and simplicity, you'll like the ease of general travel rewards cards (like Capital One Venture) where you use the card and later redeem points toward statement credits against recent travel purchases. You don't have to worry about blackout dates or seat availability.

  • If you don't fly often, there are some travel reward cards with no annual fee. BankAmericard Travel Rewards and Discover It Miles both have no annual fee and give you 1.5X the miles on all purchases. You can then use the points as statement credit towards travel expenses.

Check out this article for our list of the best airline miles rewards cards

Tip: Truly savvy travelers apply for more than one travel credit card to get the maximum rewards possible. For example, some have a card to transfer miles to different airlines and also use a general travel rewards card toward hotel night stays.

We recommend starting out with one and get used to seeing how the system works. If you decide to apply for more, be aware that multiple credit inquiries can affect your credit score. You'll want to be especially careful if you are about to apply for a loan around the same time.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a card:

  • Restrictions: Are there blackout dates or peak periods when points cannot be applied towards air travel?
  • Point values: Are the point values consistent throughout the system, or do they vary by destination and travel dates?
  • Expiration: Will you lose the points if you don't use them within a certain timeframe?
  • Limited seating availability: Is there limited seating for those booking an award seat?
  • Cancellation policy: Do you forfeit points for canceled flights, or are they automatically credited back to your account?
  • Perks: Will you have access to additional benefits as a cardholder, such as lounge entry, pre-boarding, waived baggage fees or complimentary beverages?
  • Annual fee: How much is the annual fee? Will you earn enough rewards to justify the fee?
  • Redemption options: Are you limited to using your points towards airfare, or can airline miles be redeemed for cash back and gift cards?

4. MEET THE MINIMUM SPEND REQUIREMENT

Most travel rewards cards offer huge bonuses.

For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

However, this is not an excuse to go on a $4,000 spending spree just to earn the points. The trick is to use the card to cover existing expenses , not to create new ones. We're talking about costs like mortgage, utilities, groceries and gas. You can even get ahead on your holiday shopping or do a home repair. There are lots of smart ways to meet the minimum spend.

Related: 23 Ways to Meet Your Credit Card Minimum Spending Requirements

5. USE YOUR CREDIT CARD RESPONSIBLY

Travel reward cards give you points on all purchases. So, you'll be able to rack up points faster by using it as your primary card.

Check out these current promotions:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Sapphire Reserve lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card offers a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.

    This card earns 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. The points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. The card has $0 foreign transaction fees. The card comes with access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select. There is a $450 annual fee.

  • Capital One Venture offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. 50,000 miles is equal to $500 in travel. This card earns 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. You can redeem miles toward travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental. There are no foreign transaction fees. You get up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year).

Remember to pay the card off as soon as possible. Travel reward cards tend to have high interest rates, so you don't want to carry a balance. Credit card interest on your balance can offset any travel reward that you receive.

Plus, being organized will pay off. Staying on top of your balance will save you on interest as well as maximize your rewards.

Tip: You generally need excellent credit to quality for travel reward cards. If your application is denied, then you'll probably need to build up your credit before trying for another rewards card.

Related: How to Pay Off Credit Cards

6. KEEP TABS ON ONLINE SHOPPING PORTALS

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Online shopping portals are a great way to earn points without flying. A lot of airline or travel cards have an online shopping portal where you can earn bonus points at partner merchants.

These partner retailers provide special deals to members. All you have to do is shop through an online shopping portal (versus going straight to their homepage or shopping in a physical store). The deals on these portals change frequently, so check them often.

Before buying anything, always check your card's (or airline's) shopping portal to see if your store (or a similar one) is on it. For example, one of Chase's shopping partners is RiteAid, who offers extra points per dollar for Ultimate Reward members. So if you need stuff from the drugstore, why not shop at RiteAid online through Chase and earn even more for what you were already going to buy?

Here are popular online shopping portals from airlines to check the next time you make a purchase:

Credit card issuers also offer online shopping portals:

Tip: If you've joined more than one airline or credit card program, the portals may offer different bonuses for the same retailer.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping

7. GO ONLINE BEFORE YOU EAT

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You can also earn airline miles for dining out. Here's how it works:

A lot of airlines have a dining program that gives you points for eating at participating restaurants. You simply join their dining program with your frequent flyer number and register a credit card. Then when you eat at one of the restaurants, just pay with your credit card on the account and you'll earn miles.

See which restaurants are participating in your program. It's a great chance to try out new restaurants.

Here are some quick links to check out:

Tip: Some credit cards also offer bonus points for dining purchases, so it's best to register with a card that will give you the most rewards and compare credit cards with restaurant rewards.

8. OTHER WAYS TO EARN MILES WITHOUT FLYING

There are even more ways to earn miles without ever leaving the ground, including:

Read 23 ways to earn airline miles without flying.

Keep in mind: When you earn miles through any of these methods, you can ONLY use them for that specific airline (or their partners). So, make sure it is an airline you will actually fly with, or else the points will be useless.

9. REDEEMING YOUR MILES FOR FREE TRAVEL

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Once you've accumulated a decent amount of miles (either directly through the airline's loyalty program or through a credit card), you'll want to use them. Cashing in those miles is where beginners tend to get stuck. It just requires some homework.

Here are some tips:

  • Be flexible: Award seats have limited availability and sell out fast. Your ideal travel date may not work, but there could be something available a few days before or after. Also, you may have to be willing to make a stop or fly with a partner airline.

  • Plan ahead: If you're planning a year in advance, you'll likely find available award seats. If you don't find seats, remember that award seats continuously get released based on flight demand and one could always pop up later. If you start planning early, you can afford to wait and continuously check for availability.

  • Travel with less people: It is also easier to book an award flight if you're traveling solo or with just one other person. Finding four award seats on the same flight can be very difficult, but you might be able to book two award seats and pay regular price for the other two.

How can to redeem your miles?

Head to your airline's site and enter in your membership number. Search for your flight. You will see a list of options, how many miles they'll cost, and whether they're available or not. If you prefer for an agent to search dates and book the flight for you, you can call the airline (but note that many airlines charge a small fee for this).

Tip: Some airlines offer reward fares through their alliance partners that are not shown on their sites. It takes some additional time to research and understand these, but they can be very lucrative. To book these rewards fares, call the airline and they will be able to help you book the fare over the phone (some fees may apply).

Keep in mind: You may still have to pay taxes and fees on the award flight, so it's not completely free. Some airlines also tack on heavy fuel surcharges, especially when flying internationally. Sometimes the surcharge can be so much that it negates the purpose of a "free" award flight. We like United Airlines because it never imposes a fuel surcharge on award flights (though the award chart may be a bit more expensive than others).

Tip: Cost-based awards like Southwest and JetBlue have no restrictions. You just use your miles instead of cash to book the flight.

10. KEEP EARNING MILES AND STAY ORGANIZED

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The easiest way to keep earning miles? Just keep using your credit card. Don't shop in a store if you can use an online portal that will give you more back in rewards. If a large purchase comes up, use your card for it but be sure you can pay off the balance as soon as you get the bill.

Don't forget to dine with your airline's restaurant partners. It's fun to discover new restaurants while earning miles.

The most important thing is to stay organized, especially if you have more than one reward card and have joined a few loyalty programs.

  • Don't apply to more than one card at the same time unless you can meet the combined minimum spending requirements AND pay them off.
  • If you have transferable credit card miles, don't transfer them until you're ready to use them. While credit card miles usually never expire (as long as your account is active and in good standing), miles can expire once you have transferred them into a loyalty program.
  • Keep track of all your loyalty programs and miles expiration dates. Most airline miles expire if the account has been dormant for a certain amount of time.
  • If it takes you a while to accumulate enough points for a free flight, makes sure you know what it takes to keep the account active. Some programs only require a certain kind of activity, like a shopping portal purchase. But for some programs, you actually need to take a qualifying flight.

For your reference, here are some popular loyalty programs and their expiration info:

  • Delta: Miles never expire
  • United: After 18 months of inactivity
  • American: After 18 months of inactivity
  • JetBlue: Miles never expire
  • Southwest: After 24 months of inactivity
  • Air France: Must take qualifying flight once every 24 months
  • British Airways: After 36 months of inactivity
  • Singapore Airlines: After 36 months of inactivity

Bottom Line

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To recap, here are the main highlights for earning and using airline miles:

  • Sign up for your favorite airlines' loyalty programs. They're free.
  • Apply for travel reward cards. You get big sign-up bonuses and earn miles on everyday spending.
  • Meet the minimum spending requirements in a responsible way.
  • Continue to use the reward credit cards and pay them off each month.
  • Use shopping portals and dining programs to earn even more miles.
  • If you have cards with transferable miles, only transfer them when you're ready to book an award flight
  • Plan ahead (like a year in advance) for best chances of getting award seats.
  • Be flexible with your travel dates.
  • Check reward booking sites often as availability can change.
  • Keep your credit cards and miles organized.

This guide is intended to help you get started with airline miles. How deep far you want to take this depends on how much time and energy you're willing to spend. But for most people, a basic points strategy will be plenty to get that free trip you've always wanted.

Ross Frasier is a research analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Ross Frasier at ross@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Discover it® Miles, and Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

More from CreditDonkey:


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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
How to land great flights for cheap

Cheap Flights How to Get

Finding the best priced airfare can be a stressful task – especially when you're trying to stick to a strict travel budget. Thankfully, there are some tips you can follow to cut down on the financial investment of your next flight.

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    Looking for a new credit card? Earn extra cash, reward points, and airline miles with these bonus offers for new customers.

    Dining Rewards

    If you're usually eating out rather than slaving over a hot stove at home, make a point of using a rewards credit card every time you pick up the tab and save up some serious cash.

    Best Credit Cards

    Here are the CreditDonkey picks for "Best Credit Cards" from our partners in the following categories ...

    Credit Card Rewards

    So you've decided you want to earn rewards for your spending but aren’t sure how to pick the right card?

    Best Short Term Investment Options

    The best short term investment options provide good returns with low risk. Here are the top 10 strategies for your short term goals.

    Credit Card Deals for People with Excellent Credit

    If you have excellent credit, now is the time to take advantage of it.

    No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

    Most credit cards tack on a 3% charge, or foreign transaction fee, on purchases made outside the United States. If you travel internationally with a no foreign transaction fee credit card, you'll save money on your purchases.

    Study: Hotel Credit Cards for Free Nights

    Must-read list of hotel credit card promotions. Check out this essential list of credit card offers before your next hotel stay.

    Study: Credit Card for European Travel

    Traveling to Europe? Look for a card with chip technology and no foreign transaction fees. Here are our favorite cards for international travel.

    Best Credit Card for First-Time Applicants

    Learn how to get a credit card for the first time. Read this guide to find out which cards are the best and how to avoid common mistakes beginners make.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture

    Which travel credit card is better for you? Read this in-depth comparison of Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture, two popular travel rewards cards.

    Victoria's Secret Credit Card: What to Know Before You Apply

    Do most of your mall visits include a must-have stop Victoria's Secret? Do you have enough VS totes stored away that you could pack your lunch in one every day for a month? If so, the luxury lingerie retailer's Angel credit card might be worth a look.

    Best Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

    Find the best way to use each Chase transfer partner. Read this to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points.

    23 Best Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards

    Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the most value. This guide highlights some of the best redemption opportunities with Chase points and airline transfer partners.
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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.