How to Enroll in a Frequent Flier Program

If you enroll in a frequent-flier program, you can begin to earn mileage that can be used to purchase free airline tickets or upgrade to a higher class seat at a future time. Joining a frequent-flier program is free and easy to do, but first you must decide which airline's program is the best one for you.


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    Select an airline that offers numerous flights out of your nearest airport. It's best to use a single airline for most of your flights so you want accrue mileage faster. It also will be easier to redeem miles if there are many flights to choose from.
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    Look at how many miles you must fly before you can redeem them for a free flight. Choose an airline that doesn't require flying more miles than other airlines.
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    Determine how easy it is to redeem earned frequent-flier miles for a ticket.
    • Some airlines allow you to book award travel for any unsold seat.
    • Other airlines block out dates around holidays or limit the number of seats on flights that can be booked with frequent-flier miles. In this scenario, you want to book flights are far in advance as possible, so you are more likely to get one of those seats before they sell out.
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    Evaluate what companies have partnered with the airline and award miles for using their services or buying products from them. Pick an airline that is partnered with companies you might use.
    • Most airlines have partnered with travel partners like hotels and rental car companies.
    • Many airlines have partnered with restaurants, stores, financial services, charities and other types of companies.
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    Read the terms and conditions before you enroll in a frequent-flier program to make sure you understand restrictions for redeeming mileage, expiration clauses and other factors. If you only travel during the holidays and you cannot redeem miles during that time, you may want to enroll in a frequent-flier program with another airline.
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    Enroll in a frequent-flier program online, by phone or at any time or when you book a flight with that airline. Sign up each family member that is old enough to have a purchased ticket. Family members accrue their own frequent-flier mileage.
    • When you sign up, you'll need to provide your name, address, phone number and email.
    • If you enroll online or want tracking mileage online, you'll need to create a log-in password.


  • Most airlines allow you to redeem accrued miles for other types of goods and services besides airline tickets, such as store gift cards.
  • Check whether the airline will allow you to transfer frequent-flier miles to other family members or friends.


  • Some airlines require you to fly with some regularity, such as within an 18-month period, or you will lose your accrued frequent-flier miles.

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Categories: Travel