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It sometimes seems impossible to acquire enough airline miles to actually get a reward flight, but rest assured that it's much easier than it seems. While certain airlines have more reasonable programs than others, scoring a free flight comes down to a few key tips that will maximize your chances with whichever airline you patronize with most frequently. Strategy is required in the world of airline miles programs and it should be approached as if it were a game.
Here are some extra measures to boost your airline miles and take advantage of a few free flights.
Get the right credit card and book a trip for two
There's no point in having a credit card that is not a part of a points program. Many cards, not only airline specific cards, offer points for airline miles. All airfare should be booked with one of these cards because tickets tend to be a high-price item (and, in turn, provide more points). If you really want to make the purchase worthwhile, offer to charge your travel companions' tickets as well and have them repay you by Venmo.
Be aware of extra point opportunities
Many credit cards will offer double, triple or other bonus points for certain types of purchases or during specified promotional periods. Meals in restaurants, for example, are a common charge that earn at least two times the points for every dollar used, and if you have the right card, this translates directly into airline miles. Some companies participate in survey programs where points can be earned by filling out occasional questionnaires by email.
Car rentals and hotels
Many airlines have a partnership with a car rental agency or hotel chain, so being aware of your preferred airline's partners can also make the miles add up. There are occasional bonus miles awarded when booking a car rental or hotel at the same time as a flight, which is a way to ensure that your miles are accumulating. Joining partner mailing lists can also offer a heads up when companies are in a promotional period that may benefit upcoming travels.
Be loyal to one airline
Looking for the cheapest flight makes sense, but this could mean always taking a different airline, which isn't very effective if you're trying to earn enough points to actually get a free flight. Sometimes the difference is only a few dollars between the cheapest flight and a flight on an airline where you're actually getting somewhere with your air miles.
Use air miles only during a sale
The best way to make your air miles worth the effort is to use them strategically to book flights during the time of sales. When flights are cheap or on sale, you earn fewer points towards free flights, but flights can also be booked using a lower amount of your hard-earned points during sale time. Use the points to purchase sale tickets that you wouldn't earn very many points on anyway. Besides, some airline miles expire and you wouldn't want to lose out!
This post was originally published on ClassPass's blog, The Warm Up by Danielle Page. ClassPass is a monthly membership that connects you to more than 8,500 of the best fitness studios worldwide. Learn more here.