Hubby flies all the time. Sometimes every week, so he builds miles quickly. If you don't fly a lot, it can take awhile to collect enough miles to do you any good.
For example, hubby just went somewhere and I think he got 2,500 points. It takes a minimum of 25,000 points to get one free ticket.
If you only fly once a year, you can tell that these miles would expire before you could accumulate enough to do any good.
American Airlines has their points expiring every 18 months if there is no "activity"...which means you have to fly at least once every 18 months to keep the points from disappearing.
I'm a frequent flyer on several airlines. Dave's correct -- you sign up on the airline's Web site, or open a credit card affiliated with the airline. You can usually link to the credit card application directly from the airline's site. You earn miles by flying on the airline (or on one of its partners--see Web site for details), or by using the credit card.
Nearly every airline has a frequent flyer program. Some belong to the same network, so you can earn miles on one and redeem on another. For example, Delta, Continental, Northwest, and Air France are among those that are linked through a program called Sky Miles. (Many restrictions apply, though.)
As LHP said, redeeming miles has become far more difficult. Several airlines now expire those miles at 18 months since last activity, down from 36 months. Many will also restrict the number of freebies at the stated rate, and require you to use double miles. (In other words, if 25,000 miles is needed for a free flight, you can use them only on certain flights OR shell out 50,000 miles to go when you want.)
A secret to keeping those miles from expiring is to have some sort of activity, even if it's not flying. For instance, you can preserve miles on an airline by presenting your frequent flyer number when renting a car, for those rental companies that will accept them.
I redeemed miles for free airline tickets only once -- turned in 100,000 for a free flight for me and my son for our Arizona trip last year. (Yes, that's double miles.) I actually prefer to use my miles for first class upgrades on long flights. Not only does it make for a more comfortable flight, I still accrue some miles as I've paid for a coach ticket.
Thanks Dave for the info. It probably would't be worth it for me to sign up as I only fly 2 or 3 times a year. I just happened to read where this woman turned in her flyer miles for gifts, and I thought.....that was good.
Originally posted by brneyes:
Thanks for your input. I probably don't fly enough for it to be worth it.
You can also turn your miles in for magazine subscriptions. I know that may sound lame...but hubby had some miles on an airline he does not use very often and got the usual magazines he orders (Fortune, Money, Forbes) for free!!
brneyes - We have the Delta Sky Miles American Express Credit Card. For each dollar, you can earn a skymile. Also, every month they have promotions that you log onto and you can earn double miles. If you go to a stand alone gas station, you can earn double miles every time. Anyways, we use it for our monthly expenses and pay it off at the end of the month - we have no finance charge.
After doing that awhile, we just finished redeeming them for two first class tickets from Atlanta to Seattle.
This is exactly what we build the skymiles for.
Hope this help - alot of friends have picked up this card because we live in Georgia and the Hub of Delta is Atlanta. Delta takes us everywhere!