I could say so much about this! Be sure and take a look at mypage if you haven't seen it before. I'm also part of a service called the that can help you on a regular basis.
But as for a few of the best things you can do:
- Understand that most miles are earned on the ground, not through flying. You should focus your mileage-earning efforts accordingly. You don't have to fly a ton to build huge mileage balances.
- You can earn miles and points for things you already do, with little or no additional effort. One example: sign up for free dining rewards programs where you'll get "paid" just for eating at some of your regular restaurants and cafes. My friends and I took this to an extreme and created the "Dining Dash," where every year . If you read that story, you'll learn how it works and how you can benefit (even if you don't want to visit 12 restaurants in a day...).
- Managed carefully, credit cards can help a lot, even if you don't spend a lot. I write a lot about this on the blog. If you can only get one card, . You'll earn a very large signup bonus and double points for all dining and travel expenses forever. These points are especially valuable because they can be transferred to multiple airlines and hotels--so basically you keep them in one account until you're ready to use them, which greatly reduces the risk of devaluation. I use this card every day.
- If you want to go above-and-beyond, you can apply for more cards and earn additional bonuses. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this does not wreck your credit. Years ago I did a public experiment where I applied for more than a dozen cards on a single day. I was accepted for each card, and one year later my credit was higher than before I started. Of course, I made sure to never carry a balance. ( . The Hilton one is now gone, but the others remain.)
- Last year a colleague and I taught a course on how to Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. Our students have gone on to earn tens of millions of miles, often through very creative methods. of someone who earned 21,000 points merely through answering surveys.
There's a lot more I could say, but that's a start!
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