There are a number of ways fliers can maximise their frequent flier miles. These include:
1. Pick one frequent flier programme and stick with it. Focusing on building your miles and corresponding benefits within one programme is more effective than accruing miles with many programmes.
2. Use a credit card which partners your preferred airline. Making purchases and paying bills with the credit card will earn you miles which you can use for future flights.
3. Keep up to date with promotions offered on your frequent flier programme. For example, till Dec 31, KrisFlyer members can receive up to 12,000 KrisFlyer miles when they buy a premium subscription of The Economist.
4. In most cases, programme members will have to enter a promotion code or their membership number upon purchase. Purchases at partner companies, such as car rental firms, restaurants and shops, can earn you points too.
5. Do not redeem your points for material goods such as toasters or vacuum cleaners. They offer a lower value per mile because the airline has to first purchase the goods before offloading them on programme members.
6. Redeem your flights online as you may enjoy mileage discounts. KrisFlyer members redeeming their flights online receive a 15 per cent discount off the miles needed, for example.
7. When making a booking, remember to check which booking class your ticket purchase is in. You will be able to accrue only a portion of your miles in some booking classes, while you can maximise it in others. For example, booking a Business Class or First Class ticket can often earn you 150 to 300 per cent of your base miles for that flight.
8. Some airlines allow you to purchase extra miles or boost your miles. For example, Virgin Atlantic allows passengers to double the miles they earn by paying an additional US$0.016 (S$0.02) per base mile of the flight. This means programme members can earn an additional 6,916 miles for just an extra US$110.66.
9. The best part is that Virgin Atlantic allows you to retrospectively boost your miles for flights you have flown within the past six months.
10. Singapore Airlines allows members to purchase additional miles using their credit card at US$40 per 1,000 miles, as long as the members have at least 50 per cent of the KrisFlyer miles required to redeem the award ticket.
11. Ask to extend the lifetime of your miles before they expire. Once they are gone, they are gone.
This article was first published on Oct 19, 2014.
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