Hopefully I convinced you in my last post to sign up for frequent flyer programs. Here I want to discuss ways to rack up the miles! One easy way to earn miles is with a travel specific credit card, which commonly offer bonus miles for signing up and miles for every dollar spent. Beware though, many of these cards have annual fees! When searching for which credit card to get, decide if you are loyal to one particular airline (such as United), otherwise get a general card (such as Capital One) which will give you miles to redeem on any airline, often without blackout dates.
In addition, many online retailers (such as FTD flowers, Nordstrom, and Barnes & Noble), hotels and rental car companies offer airline miles which can be directly deposited into your Frequent Flyer account. Beware of the fine print... rental car companies sometimes have additional fees (≤$2/day) if you choose to get miles. For example, if you earn 50 miles/day for a car rental, which is worth about $0.50 according to the $0.01/mile value in my last blog post, then any extra rental fee above $0.50/day would not be worth earning the miles. It would actually end up costing you! You can still get miles for the rental by paying for it with your travel award credit card (miles for every dollar spent), it just wouldn't be worth using your frequent flyer number for the rental itself.
And, before actually booking a flight, check out any bonus offers your airline has on their website, such as double miles between select cities. Checking beforehand can earn you thousands of extra miles on a trip you were taking anyway! Have fun accumulating the miles and $ave Away!