For the majority of the time, credit card companies will offer reward points that can be redeemed for frequent flyer miles. Depending on your terms with the company when you signed up, the conversion process may be different for everyone. Good research and preparation it is possible to obtain free flights to any destination or at the very least, earn a very discounted flight.
Part 1: Earning Credit Card Points
Look back at that old credit card paperwork you filled out or filed away once it came in the mail. What kind of reward’s program do they offer? You can always check online to see if your credit card offers a program. A points reward program is a way to earn points every time you make a purchase with your card. Sometimes there are cash offers, travel offers, or gift cards! If all else fails, contact the company over the phone and ask them.
If you find out there isn’t a rewards program on your current credit card, you’ll want to find another card company who does. Almost all credit cards off a point reward system of some kind. Some options are better than others. You can search online to help transfer point to miles at a decent rate! Here are some programs allowing point to mile transfers:
- American Express Member Rewards
- Citi Thank You
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
Think about yourself and what would be a good fit for you! Be sure to do your own research before starting a new credit card. And of course, you can always contact The Points King, a reliable airline mileage broker with online services.
Look for things like a signup bonus. These are things you want to take advantage of. There are some signup bonuses that will give you a lot of points once you hit a certain amount of points in a specific timeframe. This may be cause you to overspend, so be careful!
Check to see what the qualifications are for a qualified purchase. This will vary depending on the card issuers. This is how points are built up, so be sure you know all the qualifiers. As an example, some point rewards programs offer more points for certain things you buy, they may offer a flat rate for some purchases, or rotate throughout the month. Doing this will help you obtain points without changing your spending habits.
Building up a good amount points takes time no matter how often you use it. Flights will be a large amount of points. For example, a flight to Europe may be 30,000 miles, so your points may be in the range of fifty to sixty thousand points. This may take a while, so brace yourself!
Part 2: Determining Conversion Eligibility
You can look online as an option, but by calling the support team of your credit card company, you can request a copy of your reward program details. You always want to know these details because there are different guidelines and restrictions for each program. The information you obtain will tell you how to convert your points.
It’s always good to speak to a person rather than an automated phone call. Speaking with a representative of your credit card will help you clarify any vague details or maybe help you learn something you didn’t know. If you think you know, it’s always good to call and confirm. Changes may have happened since the last time you researched. These can happen with no notice.
Before you make your final decision, make sure you are completely aware of the miles to points conversion. Some programs will say that 20,000 points are equal to 20,000 miles, while others may say that 1,000 points are equal to 750 miles. You’ll want to be sure that you get the best conversion rates!
It would be a good thing to know if you have an expiration date to obtain your points or miles. Many points will expire if they go unused. A nice idea would be to give them to a friend if you know you can’t use them. Check on options like this just in case!
In your researching, have an understanding of the dates or times you are restricted from travelling. There could be blackout dates imposing on your miles. Check with airlines and with your rewards program.
Part 3: Booking Your Flight
Some programs will want you to create a frequent flyer account with an airline and others may just apply a travel credit to your card account. Check on this and make sure you are certain of the restrictions!
Trip prices are going to be different, so explore a variety of airlines to check for the best deal. One trip may be for 75,000 while another airline offers that same trip for 55,000.
Never assume converting point to cash or miles will take a few days or even a week! Be prepared and call your credit card company ahead of time. Some actually happen instantly, but some do not. Planning months in advance will prevent any lowered expectations. If you book trips during off-times, it will be less expensive! For example, you may go to a destination beach during the winter months instead of Spring Break or summer vacation.
It is a good idea to call your credit card company to see what airlines are approved. Some airlines won’t use your frequent flyer rewards. Having your points converted ahead of time and your travel credit ready to go will speed the process of booking your flight.
Pro Tip: Transfer miles to the airlines you have already transferred miles to or flown with in the past. If you do this, you have the potential to gain greater rewards.
Pro Tip: You can use miles on all airlines with the same alliance (group of airlines). Here are some of the main alliances:
- One World: American Airways, British Airways, Iberia, and others.
- Star Alliance: United, US Airways, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, and others.
- SkyTeam: Delta, Air France, Korean, and others.
These days, you can do just about anything online. Get hold of your frequent flyer account number and enter the information in while booking your flights. There should be a field provided for you to enter it. If you are confused, call the airlines and speak with their support team! They would be happy to help you find what you need!
The information is out there; you just have to seek it, research it, and jump in with both feet!