The idea of free travel is so enticing that airline miles are becoming a value-added incentive to many types of businesses. You used to get frequent flier points for taking to the skies, but now you can collect miles without even stepping on a plane. Hotels, rental car companies and credit cards all offer travel-related loyalty schemes, but so do a wide range of other businesses you might not be aware of. Granted, keeping up with the complex details, bonus promotions, restrictions, blackout dates and constant devaluation of these mileage programs can be a challenge, but it’s ultimately worth it if you work it right. Want to know how to get free airline miles without flying? Here are 14 easy tips, most of which take little time, effort or cost. Specifics change all the time, so consult the various websites for the latest details.
1. Get a Charge from Credit Cards
Learning the ins and outs of ever-changing travel credit card deals takes some work, but there are some “hackers” milking this system to the fullest and getting all sorts of upgrades, hotels stays and free flights. You have to read the fine print regarding annual fees, minimum spends, sign-up bonus requirements etc, but if you channel most of your expenses through a good card, the airline miles can really take off. Some flexible rewards cards like Chase Sapphire let you redeem points on multiple airline and hotel rewards programs. Other co-branded cards are affiliated with specific airlines. Be aware, these credit card companies aren’t gifting you points for nothing – they try to stick it to you with steep interest rates. Only partake in this strategy if you are disciplined enough to pay off your monthly balance in full or else the interest may negate any points accrued.