Fly Free: Frequent-Flier Miles Secrets
Earn miles: Use that credit card
These days, fliers accrue more miles from non-travel-related purchases than from flying. Using a standard credit card to charge expenses is a good way to do it, because once you earn enough points for a ticket, you can buy one without restrictions on award-seat availability or blackout dates. The downside is you can’t combine these miles with the ones you receive from flights.
Co-branded credit cards also yield impressive returns if you’re loyal. And you can merge the miles that you earn with those that you rack up flying. Bear in mind, however, that these cards often come with higher fees (from $85 to $135 per year). Many airlines that offer no-fee mileage cards, such as United, will allow you to accumulate miles at only half the rate of those that do charge.