How to Negotiate Frequent Flyer Miles

Negotiating your way through the maze of possible options for frequent flyer miles might be a little daunting but once you have a better understanding of getting them and making the most of them, you will be able to use them most effectively. This article aims to improve your understanding of frequent flyer miles.


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    Recognize that frequent flyer miles are a marketing technique. That being said, you can use them to your advantage if you are careful about their usage. In short, always buy a ticket because of cost savings instead of the miles you would accumulate.
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    Calculate the value of a mile to you. Airlines sell miles to their marketing partners for $.01 - $.02 per mile - but this valuation can be deceptive. You can't necessarily trade in miles for money - so don't strictly think of miles as a monetary unit. ( You can sell your miles, but usually pay a transfer fee; you can also use your miles to buy another person a ticket via craigslist or a site that specializes in those transactions such as; however, it will involve overhead of both fees and your your time. Better to plan ahead and get miles you will use yourself. )
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    Realize that frequent flyer mile cards often have a very high interest rate - so do yourself a favor. Make a list of all the bills that you definitely pay off every week (electric bills, internet, mortgage, or any other bills that you pay in full). Make another list of bills that you usually pay off with credit cards or that you roll over. Now here is the trick - use a frequent flyer mile card to pay off the first list, and then never use that card for any other bills. This way, you accumulate miles for bills you were going to pay anyway, plus you don't get any high interest charges for not paying that credit card bill off.
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    Remember - while you should have a membership with all the mileage programs, make sure you focus your mileage earning efforts on one airline alliance. The best way to do this is to find the airlines that use the airport near you as a 'hub' - this way, you can focus your energies on earning miles (and thus rewards) on the airline that is most useful to you. Remember, the biggest mistake people do is to earn miles on a whole bunch of programs. 2,500 miles (4,000 km) in ten programs is of no use to you - 25,000 miles (40,000 km) in one program usually is a free domestic US ticket. ( You can swap miles between programs using,, or just meeting people via craigslist, but better to plan ahead and avoid the overhead of those transactions. )


  • Earn miles or points for a wide range of products and services from buying books to gas heating for your house. Most frequent flier programs offer a wide range of deals that can have you earning for the things you would have bought anyway. Check out your frequent flier program for more details.

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Categories: Buying Air Travel