Each airline offers a rewards program based on how much you fly.  The majority give you points based on miles flown and have done away with flying segments.  So how do you get the most from your rewards airline program?  Below are a few tips to get your free flights faster!
1.       Sign Up For Every Airline You Fly:  It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up for an airline’s rewards program so why wouldn’t you?  If you are worried about to many marketing emails, then set up a free email account just to receive travel offers.  Plus, many email offers are only available to subscribers where you may get a better deal than other customers.
2.       Airline Credit Card:  Once you’ve joined an airline’s rewards program, you’ll probably receive a credit card offer associated with that airline.  Typically, they offer no annual fee for the first year plus significant airline points that may be enough for a free round trip flight.  Plus, with an airline credit card, you may earn double points on certain purchases getting you to the next free flight faster.
3.       Negotiate:  When your first year is up with your airline credit card and don’t feel the annual fee is worth the points you’ve added, then call the credit card company and negotiate.  Let them know that you are about to cancel the card and see what they offer.  Credit card companies spend a lot of money to get new customers and they certainly don’t want to lose existing customers.  They may offer you another year with no fee or give  you extra points to keep you on.  You have nothing to lose – just ask!
4.       Special Offers:  Pay attention to special offers when they come in either through the mail or email.  For example, one airline credit card may offer significant bonus points if you charge a certain amount on their card over a specific timeframe.  If you think you will charge enough to get the points without overspending, then concentrate all your charges on that specific card.
5.       Freebies or Upgrades:  Check to see what benefits you receive by enrolling with an airline’s rewards program as well as signing up for the credit card.  If you fly frequently enough, the included benefits or upgrades will bring added value with membership.  For example, if you are travelling as a family of four and need to check bags, most airlines will let you check them for free for each leg of the flight.  This alone may save you hundreds of dollars in baggage fees.  Also, with certain airline credit cards, you are bumped up to a better level which often allows you priority boarding.  Big benefit to board early and claim overhead bin space which can reach maximum capacity quickly on most flights these days.
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