How To Make Your Airlines Miles Work For You

Airlines Miles are a thing of luxury…your passport to the world for free, so obviously on Queen Cheap airmiles are a hot topic! I have been travelling internationally on the cheap for over 20 years, and I have seen the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to airmiles.

Your Guide To Cheap Airmiles

1. Loyalty To One Airline WITH NO EXPIRATION DATE On Miles

Loyalty is a key factor to making your airmiles longevity last throughout your lifetime. I learned this the hard way, so please learn from my mistakes. You need to be loyal to one airline to really make this airmile thing work. Now I know sometimes you’re flying to Mendoza, Argentina and well only one airline will get you there, then it’s fine cheat on your airline, however let’s not make it a regular thing.

Please choose who you are loyal to wisely!! You see, many airmiles expire after 1-2 years. I cannot tell you how devastating it is when your family has 3 free round trip tickets on Jetblue, you go to book, and Kaboom they expired 3 weeks ago. This happened to me, please learn from my mistakes…no one needs such heartache perpetuated. **Update as of 6/17/2013 Jetblue now has no expiration on the airmiles. They will not grandfather in any miles that expired – I already called and tried. Due to this factor, I still will not use Jetblue as I think they should have grandfathered some old expired miles in under certain conditions: i.e. within one year of the new rules you get half the miles, etc.

At this point in time, Delta and most recently JetBlue are the ONLY airlines who have no expiration on their skymiles. There are some airlines with 3 year expiration which is pretty good. Stay away from loyalty to one year programs – one year goes by pretty quickly.

Here is a handy little chart put together by the ever informative “Points Guy”
Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 10.42.03 AM

again, please note, the Jetblue section is out of date.

2. Get An Airline Rewards Credit Card

Once you make your airline loyalty commitment, then you’re ready to get into bed with them. That’s right! Find a rewards credit card for that airline and start racking up more points. This is your key to future free first class trips around the world. Pay for everything with this card.

3. Look Out For Trading Airmiles Deals!

These deals are few and far between, but they do exist. For instance, right now US Airways is offering a killer deal on gifting airmiles thanks to the merger with American.According to their website:
No $30 processing fee for a limited time*

Share your miles to help friends and family reach award travel. It’s fast and easy!

Through June 30, 2013, when you share miles, you won’t pay the $30 processing fee and you’ll give 50% more miles – up to 25,000 bonus miles.

Share 10,000 miles, give 15,000 miles
Share 30,000 miles, give 45,000 miles
Share 50,000 miles, give 75,000 miles

4. Stay Organized and Trade Points

Points.com is your best bet for organizing all of your airmiles and getting rid of the ones you don’t need. I know I know if you’re loyal you shouldn’t have too many different accounts, but we’re not all perfect, we make mistakes, and sometimes we cheat (usually for a good reason).With Points.com you can trade airline points for other airlines, for gift cards, magazines, the list goes on.

The key to getting the most out of airlines miles, is to make the miles work FOR YOU! Take control, make a long lasting commitment, stay organized, and get ready for a long life full of flights around the world.