5 Common Frequent Flyer Miles Myths Debunked

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There are a lot of inaccuracies circulating around about frequent flyer miles (often called ‘air miles’) these days that can stop people getting the most out of them.

Frequent flyer miles are a great tool to have in the arsenal as a traveler (or even as someone who flies occasionally), as they can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

In this article I’ll address the 5 biggest myths surrounding frequent flyer miles and set them straight.

Myth 1 – Traveling for Free is Too Good to Be True

This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s perfectly possible to travel the world for free providing you can earn enough air miles (by employing an effective air miles strategy).

Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Body), for example, regularly states how he went through a period of time in his life where he “never paid for flights” despite traveling extensively. At that time, he was running a small company and used his AirMiles credit card to pay the business’ expenses. His credit card earned him frequent flyer miles as he spent money, so he had a regular (and fairly substantial ) supply of frequent miles coming in.

You don’t need to run a business to get the most out of air miles, however, as you can get them for all kinds of things. For example, airlines sell literally billions of frequent flyer miles to car rental companies, restaurant chains, phone companies and credit card companies (among others).

You can earn air miles for doing just about anything, such as signing up for a new credit card, paying for dinner or paying your cell phone bill.

Myth 2 – You Need to Be a Regular Flyer

False! Even if you don’t fly frequently, there’s no reason not to get in on the action (especially as frequent flyer programs are free to join).

As long as you keep an eye on when your miles are going to expire (by using a sites such as AwardWallet.com), you won’t have to worry about losing them unexpectedly.

George Clooney - Up in the Air

Myth 3 – Your AirMiles Will Expire Before You Get to Use Them

As I just mentioned, there are ways of keeping track of your frequent flyer miles (i.e. using a site such as AwardWallet.com) so that you know exactly when they’ll expire.

In addition to this, some airlines’ miles (such as Delta Airlines) never expire providing your account is still active.

Also, many airlines will ‘reset the expiration date’ every time you make a purchase and accrue air miles, meaning you only have to make a purchase (of at least $1) every now and then to ensure you miles don’t disappear.

Myth 4 – The Age of Good Deals is Over

Some people may tell you that there are no good airmile-related deals out there these days. This is not true!

Credit card companies offer an astronomical amount of frequent flyer miles just for signing up for certain credit cards, and the amount of miles on offer seems to be increasing year on year.

As the economy begins to level out, airlines will compete fiercely for new customers, meaning they’ll offer you more airmiles than ever in a bid to gain regular customers.

Myth 5 – Blackout Dates Prevent You From Using Miles When You Really Want to

‘Blackout dates’ are days of the year when you can’t use your air miles. They used to occur frequently around major holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Spring break.

Thankfully, most airlines don’t have blackout dates anymore, although some do charge more miles during high-demand times (such as Christmas and New Year’s).

Related posts:

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Picking Up Airmiles (a.k.a. Frequent Flyer Points)
  2. Common Air Travel Myths Debunked (Part 2)
  3. Frequent Flyer Tips from the Pros
  4. 6 of the Biggest Airline Myths Debunked
  5. How to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

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