To get the most bang for your buck, it’s best to pick one airline and, if possible, stick with it. (The price of the ticket should trump traveling with your “favorite” frequent flyer program. If sticking with one airline doubles the upfront ticket price, that typically isn’t worth it!) Keep in mind, though, it doesn’t hurt to join multiple airline programs because just one flight can get you a free magazine subscription or retail gift card. Airline miles aren’t just for free flights anymore!
Even though there are many domestic & international airlines, you’ll likely only need to join a few programs to have access to them all! For example, by joining United’s Mileage Plus program, you can earn United miles on any Star Alliance flight, including: Air Canada, US Airways, Swiss, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, SAS, and many more! The main airline alliances are: Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam.
A major question remains: What is a frequent flyer mile worth? Typically, a mile is worth $0.01. If you’re debating using your miles for a weekend getaway, for example, and it’ll be either $200 cash for the ticket or 25,000 miles, normally it’s best to pay cash and save the miles for a ticket that costs more than $250. There are exceptions to every rule of course, especially if the miles are about to expire!
|Miles $aved me $1,000 on this Europe Flight!|