It was only a couple of years ago when I thought that Airmiles were a luxury concept. Reserved for bosses who travelled around the globe to meetings and then I realised that in actual fact I was wrong. Anybody can sign up for frequent flyer programmes and reap the benefits, even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the air currently. We’re going to show you how to get a free flight with Airmiles by being savvy.
Choose a frequent flyer programme you’ll use and benefit from
There are so many frequent flyer programmes that if you sign up to them all you’ll never get any free flights. What you need to do is look at the programmes that you’re going to use and benefit from and then concentrate your efforts on accruing points for one or two maximum.
The best frequent flyer programmes if you’re UK based are British Airways’ Executive Club and Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. I prefer the former over the latter mainly because they’re part of the One World Alliance. Basically meaning if you fly with one of the 13 airlines signed up to the alliance you can collect Airmiles. Virgin is currently not part of any other alliance.
They both work in the same way, you accrue points when you fly. The more miles you fly the more points you’ll clock up then when you’ve collected enough points you’re able to book a complimentary flight.
If you’re flying within the One World Alliance partners you can collect Airmiles from any of the carriers in that alliance, similarly with Star Alliance and SkyTeam. You can see which airlines belong to which alliance to see which Frequent Flyer programme to sign up to.
|American Airlines||Adriatic||Air France|
|airberlin||Air Canada||Aerolineas Argentinas|
|Cathay Pacific||Air China||Aeromexico|
|Finnair||Air India||Air Europa|
|Iberia||Air New Zealand||Air France|
|LATAM||Asiana Airlines||China Airlines|
|Qatar Airways||Austrian||China Eastern|
|Malaysia Airlines||Avianca||China Southern|
|Qantas||Brussels Airlines||Czech Airlines|
|Royal Jordanian||Croatia Airlines||Garuda Indonesia|
|S7 Airlines||Egyptair||Kenya Airways|
|Eva Air||Korean Air|
|LOT Polish Airlines||MEA|
|Shenzhen Airlines||Vietnam Airlines|
|Singapore Airlines||Xiamen Air|
|South African Airways|
So for example, if you’re booking a flight and your main chosen airline doesn’t fly to that destination then check to see if any other airlines within the alliance do and book with them, this means you can collect the Airmiles from the trip as part of the alliance. All you will need is your Frequent Flyer number.
Online shopping? Use your Frequent Flyer shopping portal
If you’re collecting Airmiles with BA (and One World) these are called Avios. Both Avios and Virgin allow you to collect Airmile points while you shop online. All you need to do is visit either BA’s Executive Club Shopping Portal or Virgin’s Shopping Platform then click through to the shop you’re buying from. They will track your spend and convert into Airmiles points for you.
There are hundreds of brands you can shop with from Just Eat, Selfridges, Argos and Booking.com. We usually book all of our hotels via Booking.com and end up receiving a couple of thousand Avios per stay. Also, ordering a takeaway? Just Eat will soon add up with 30 or 50 points here and there.
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Does your credit card offer rewards?
If you’re using a credit card, you may as well be getting rewarded for it while you spend. Why not top up your online shopping points with the Airmiles Reward Credit Card?
Both the British Airways American Express Credit Card and Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card allow you to accrue points when you spend on them. Simply purchase on your Airmiles Credit Card and your points balance will be looking super healthy in no time!
Do remember to pay off the entire balance at the end of each month, and don’t get yourself caught up in any nasty debt.
Got a Tesco Clubcard? Use it!
Another way you can build your Frequent Flyer balance up is by using your Tesco Clubcard. For every £2.50 worth of vouchers, you collect with your Clubcard you can change these into 600 Avios (BA Airmiles) or Virgin points.
Always check before you buy
Anything you’re purchasing online from travel to shopping, quick 5 minute surveys to Tesco food shopping there are plenty of opportunities to grow your Frequent Flyer balance to a sizable amount that you can claim free flights. Just make sure that you double-check you aren’t missing out on collecting any Airmiles before you purchase.
You can fly all over the world from as little as 8,000 Avios (this is to Copenhagen, Munich, Amsterdam and more). 17,00 will see you land in Moscow or Tenerife. Collect 26,500 Avios and you’ll be hitting the Big Apple or 32,500 to LA, Miami, Vancouver, Johannesburg or 39,000 will get you to Hong Kong. Currently, I’m sat at just over 35,600 points and deciding where to go…
Have you got any tips of your own for collecting Airmiles that I’ve missed? Drop a comment below and let us know.
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