This article first appeared on Skyscanner's 7 ways to accumulate air miles rewards
The only way to earn air miles in the past was to get on an actual flight but nowadays it gets easier - you can now earn air miles with your day to day expenditure so long you use the right cards. Air miles offer you to redeem for flights at close to no cost at all.
In fact, if you earn and use it correctly, you could be jetting off in style seated in Business or even First Class in no time!
Let Skyscanner show you 7 different ways to accumulate air miles rewards, some of which may surprise you.
1. Get on an actual plane
Obviously, the easiest way to earn air miles is to actually take more flights. With that being said, it is always important to check the fare class of your ticket type. If you are flying on a heavily discounted flight with Singapore Airlines, chances are you will only earn 10 per cent of the miles travelled.
For example, a direct flight from Changi Airport to Heathrow Airport is approximately 6,376 miles and therefore, travelling in a flexi ticket on economy will earn you that many miles. When traveling on a discounted fare, however, you may only be earning 10 per cent (638 miles) of the distance travelled so be sure to check and weigh your options!
2. Using the right credit card
With the increasingly competitive credit card landscape in Singapore, there is no lack of credit cards to use. What is important, however, is to find out which card is best for which category of spending.
Our tip for you? Find out the category that you charge (or can charge) to your credit card the most and then find a card that best suits that. If you tend to shop a lot, the Citibank Rewards Card gives you 4 miles per S$1 spent.
If you tend to favour contactless payments, the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Credit Card gives you 20 miles per S$5 spent.
3. Get yourself a PAssion Card (no, seriously!) for groceries
Contrary to popular belief, the PAssion Card from the People's Association (PA) is not just for older folks. In fact, if you (or your family) tend to buy a lot of groceries from Cold Storage, Market Place, Giant or Jasons, you should definitely get this card since it will pay for itself in no time.
Membership generally costs S$12 for 5 years and each dollar you spend in a participating supermarket above will earn you a bonus of 0.4 miles - this is on top of what you earn with your credit card.
From time to time, you may earn up to 30X points on bonus items - this is 12 miles per S$1 on top of your credit card earning rate!
4. Pay your income tax on time
Paying your income tax may not be such a painful experience if you knew that you would be getting some miles out of it. If you opt to pay using the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card, you will earn an equivalent of 0.5 miles per dollar. The only catch is that there is a one-time processing fee of 1 per cent.
For example, if you were required to pay S$1,000 worth of income tax for a given financial year, you will potentially be earning 500 miles for a fee of S$10.
5. Shop online using KrisFlyer Spree
The relatively new shopping portal by Singapore Airlines, KrisFlyer Spree is an amazing way to rack up miles when you shop online.
For example, if you wish to purchase something on Muji online, all you have to do is to go to KrisFlyer Spree first, login to your KrisFlyer account, search for Muji and proceed to purchase as normal.
At the time of writing, every US$10 spent on Muji online via the portal will earn you 46 bonus KrisFlyer Miles (on top of your credit card!).
If you were to charge US$1,000 to your Citibank Rewards Card, you can expect to earn approximately 5,391 miles with your credit card and 3,200 miles with KrisFlyer Spree - totaling 8,591 miles!
6. Enjoy a staycation or two
Get more from what you pay at hotels! Photo credit: The Shutterwhale
Staying in an international chain hotel can earn you points and loyalty statuses along with a huge range of perks.
What most people do not know however is that many of such hotels provide the opportunity to earn miles on top of the points that they award. Just to name a few, Langham hotels worldwide provide 500 bonus miles with each qualifying stay; Pan Pacific Hotels also provide 500 to 1,000 bonus miles, depending on the program, for each qualifying stay.
Make sure you sign-up for a loyalty reward membership before your stay to fully maximise your earnings.
7. Convert hotel points into miles
While points accrued in a hotel program can be good for free nights and other perks, it is sometimes wise to exchange them for miles instead. For example, converting 20,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints into KrisFlyer at a 1:1 exchange rate would trigger a 5,000-mile bonus.
This means that whenever you convert your Starpoints in 20,000 blocks, you will be getting a 25 per cent boost to the miles converted.
We can't promise you that accumulating air miles is going to be easy but what we can tell you though, is that the reward is extremely satisfying.
Start making small shifts in your spending habits and you will be on your way to redeeming that (complimentary) business flight to New York in no time.