Earning Miles 101

Whether you are a college student planning your summer travels or a well established professional planning your family vacation, the first step you should take is making a frequent flier account for the U.S. legacy carriers (American, United, Delta, Southwest) as well carriers such as JetBlue and Alaska. Remember, to make a frequent flier account with any of these airlines is free. And if you happen to fly on any of them, all you have to do is plug in your frequent flier number and you earn miles for that trip. With all of these frequent flier programs, you don’t even need to fly to earn miles. Your routine spending habits might assist you and I will get to that in a future post.

Once you have accumulated enough miles, you can redeem them for a free flight.  Sometimes when I make this suggestion to friends,  they might respond by saying “that airline does not fly to my home airport so I won’t need it.” Never say never.  Over the last 16 years, mergers and acquisitions have resulted in airlines serving a locality which they may have not served before. For example, if you live in Minneapolis, a city not currently served by JetBlue,you might not give much thought into opening a frequent flier account with JetBlue. However, it might be just a matter of time before a larger airline such as American, Delta, or United becomes fixated with JetBlue and decides to acquire them. Or JetBlue might decide to expand to Minneapolis and if you are equipped with miles, you have a head start in accessing their network to different destinations.

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