Boost Your Flyer Points
If you're a keen traveller then you may be keen to help fund your travel with frequent flyer points. If you're just earning points when you fly it can take a long time for them to add up so here are some tips to boost your points and earning free flights faster.
If you were looking to earn free flights through a frequent flyer points scheme then flying used to be the only way to do it. Things have moved on and now the majority of points are earned without taking to the air. Airlines have partnered with retailers, credit card issuers, utility companies, attractions and more making it easier than ever to earn points.
Below are a number of ideas to earn frequent flyer points without paying for a flight:
Credit cards: Apply for a co-branded airline credit card / affinity card and use it as your main card to pay for everything. This is the easiest and probably the fastest way to earn frequent flyer points and miles while staying on the ground. All airlines with frequent travel schemes have linked up with a bank to set up co-branded frequent flyer credit cards or have partnered with American Express Membership Rewards or Diners Club Rewards. Mileage earning power and perks vary according to the type of card (Classic, Gold, Silver, or Platinum), your frequent flyer program and your status in it.
Financial services: Investing not spending anything is a really productive way to grow your miles. Check your frequent flyer credit card rewards program for participating mutual funds, stocks and investments that offer mileage points. For example, American Express Membership Rewards program offers bonus frequent flyer points from Fidelity. Ameritrade gives 25,000 bonus miles (if your frequent travel program is a partner) when you set up a trading account.
Real estate: Your house or any other property you own can be a rich source of frequent flyer points. Take a look at your frequent flyer or membership rewards program for participating real estate firms that offer bonus points. Real estate transaction amounts are big, which means a lot of frequent flyer points. These points can come from various types of transactions: when you take out a new mortgage, refinance your house, or list it for sale. You could even earn points from the moving company when you move to your new home.
Dining: A number of airline travel schemes offer frequent flyer points on dining programs. You can sign up for free with Rewards Network, which coordinates all of these programs. The amount of points you earn will depend on your membership level in Rewards Network: elite members get 5 miles on every dollar; engaged members get 3 miles; active members get 1 mile; and all levels receive periodic bonuses. The membership level is determined by how many times you dine out at restaurants in the scheme each year; the higher the level, the more restaurant choices.
Shopping: Virtually all airline programs have online shopping malls with mileage earning offers. Next to flying, this is increasingly becoming the fastest way to earn frequent flyer points. These online malls feature dozens of online merchants offering anywhere from 1 to 10 miles per dollar of spending charged to your frequent flyer credit card. Your not paying extra in order to earn the miles so the value of the flyer points really is a bonus. One caveat: ensure you shop around for the best deal rather than spending much more for the sake of an extra hundred points.
There are more ways coming out every day to earn frequent flyer points. Just responding to a survey online can earn points. Keep an eye out for these types of opportunities.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Article on free air travel by Richard Greenwood of the Click 4 Group and MakeMyStay. The companies help people save money with online savings account products as well as holiday accommodation rentals in Australia.