Serious air miles hackers can get very serious about their passion and following the tips from these people can get your head turning, so if you aren’t going to make earning air miles a priority in life, here are some easy to follow ways that can help you accumulate your air miles fast!
First, you should always try to fly with partner airlines. When looking for a frequent flyer programme, consider their partner airlines and whether you are likely to fly with them. For instance, many Singaporeans love the KrisFlyer programme (perhaps for patriotism) but if you love to travel around Southeast Asia and budget is a concern, you may end up using more budget airlines instead of flying with SIA.
Not only that, you might want to consider if you will be flying frequently with other Star Alliance members like Air China, Croatia Airlines or United. The point is to choose a programme where you’d utilise the partner airlines frequently as well so that you can make use of each trip to earn air miles.
Secondly, you should always remember to claim missing miles. You probably don’t always carry your frequent flyer card with you. But even when you forgot to provide your frequent flyer number, you can still earn your missing miles after your flight if you claim them with the airline as soon as possible. Don’t waste your miles!
Use co-branded credit cards – travel credit cards are rather popular in Singapore and needs no introduction. There are quite a number of credit cards here that lets you accumulate air miles with your credit card spend. The trick is to use the card as much as possible – use it to pay for your grocery, your daily coffee, and volunteer to pay at any of your social gatherings and ask your friends to pay you in cash.
There are many credit cards that come with Paywave and PayPass that you can use on a daily basis to pay for small purchases. For instance, if you use the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card to pay for a $5 Starbucks coffee a day, you get to earn 10X rewards points which you can then redeem for miles. That will earn you an extra 1,200 miles per year!
Use your credit card overseas – most travel credit cards reward more miles when you spend overseas. A case in point – the UOB PRVI Miles card gives you 2.4 miles for S$1 spent overseas as compared to 1.4 miles when you spend locally; or how about the DBS Altitude card that rewards you with double the miles with overseas spend?
Pay the credit card annual fees – It is an open secret that for most local credit cards, you can always call the bank to ask for an annual fee waiver provided you’ve used your card on a regular basis. However, we’ll skip that advice and ask you to pay your annual card fees for your travel card.
This is because you get to earn air miles when you do that, which means you are indirectly purchasing your miles when you pay for your card fees. And the good news, your earn rate when you pay for them is much much higher using your credit card spend – with both the Citi PremierMiles Visa and ANZ Travel Visa Signature card earning you about 50 miles per $1 paid for your annual card fees.
Make use of sign-up and bonus promotions – Some of these air miles credit card run special bonus programmes when you first sign up for the card or spend a certain amount within a given period. These are the best times to optimise your card spend to earn air miles. For example, the AMEX Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit card awards you with a bonus of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the first time you charge to your card and enjoy 500 bonus Krisflyer miles on your first Grab booking using the card as well.
Shopping online can be a great way to accumulate miles. While some credit cards let you earn air miles when you spend online, the Singapore Airlines has recently set up a new shopping portal that lets you earn bonus Krisflyer miles when making your purchases through their portal.
To use Krisflyer Spree, all you need to do is to log in to the site and browse for the merchants you’d like to buy from. You’d be linked from the Krisflyer Spree site to the merchant’s site and as you pay on the latter’s site, your purchases will be tracked and viola! You’ve earned some Krisflyer miles for yourself! Familiar merchants include Sephora, Apple, Ted Baker and Groupon Singapore.
As you can see from the above 7 tips, earning air miles is as easy as spending using the right credit cards and channels. For the most part, you might already be using these methods and if not, start making some changes in how you spend and you’ll be on your way to redeeming your free flight.
Written by Lynette Tan
This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin