Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tips on Using Frequent Flyer Programs

Frequent flyer programs are offered by airlines companies to customers who fly more than the average flyer. Some programs offer points, upgrades, priority seating, discounts on products, credit for purchasing products from partners and more.

Some frequent flyers obtain miles for personal and business travel. Avoid confusing business travel with personal travel miles. Open a separate account for your business travel miles if you can. If not, be sure to keep track of your personal miles. Some frequent flyers have been prosecuted and convicted for redeeming business frequent flyer benefits that were used for personal travel.

Frequent flyer programs can be tricky and can prove difficult to get due to all of the restrictions. Some programs you have to travel at least 25,000 miles before you can start redeeming benefits. When looking for a frequent flyer program to participate in consider the following:

1. Perks
2. Do their fly to your home airport or preferred airport
3. Do your points expire or have to be used within a certain time period
4. Do they provide other options for using points that will soon expire
5. What are the restrictions and guidelines
6. Do they offer points for partner company purchases
7. Does the program match your travel habits

Here are some tricks frequent flyer programs use
1. The number of seats are limited
2. Increased the number of points needed and offer fewer flights
3. May have to book months in advance and settle for an inconvenient flight time

Here are some perks of frequent flyer programs
1. If you can’t use your miles before they expire use alternatives such as using them for magazine subscriptions, making purchases at airline websites or sites such as, renting cars, gift cards or giving them away.
2. Trade frequent flier miles or buy miles at another airline using Ask friends or family to share miles with you.
3. Sign up for a frequent flyer miles check card. You may be charged an annual fee but if used frequently you can get a free airline ticket.
4. Look for partners that offer miles for your frequent flier program. Find airlines which are compatible.
5. Sign up for email promotions and use them to earn bonus miles. You will get email invitations to take surveys to try out new products which helps you earn bonus miles.
6. Sign up for dining rewards.
7. Open a credit card which is usually free the first year. Make sure you meet the minimum spending requirements. After your miles post plan your next trip. This method works best when you use the miles quickly. You can cancel the card after the first year to avoid the fee charged the second year.
8. Purchase layover flights instead of non-stop flights.

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