Frequent flyer? Whether you have wanderlust or a demanding job, these resources can save you money and make your life on the road a lot easier. Here are five travel resources every frequent flyer should know about:
The thing about airline rewards is that while most people know they exist, they may not be fully aware of how the programs work and the best ways to take advantage of them. You can earn miles by flying frequently for sure, but there are other ways to earn points that lead to miles as well.
- Branded Credit Cards: Many airlines have branded cards through Visa, American Express, or MasterCard. When you use their card to purchase flights, you do earn extra points. However, you also usually get points from any purchase made with those cards as well.
- Leaving Reviews: Some travel sites will pay you in airline miles for leaving reviews of flights, places you have stayed, and even places you have eaten.
- Booking Online: Book directly with the airline’s website, and you can earn extra miles as well regardless of what card you pay with.
- Monitor Social Media: Most airlines have a social media page and you can easily monitor them for specials. Sometimes they will even offer extra miles if you enter a contest or share posts from their feed.
- Eating Out: You have to eat when you travel, right? Each airline has their preferred network of restaurants. Simply sign up online and link your credit card to earn more miles, as you eat. Here are links to a few major programs:
- American Airlines AAdvantage Dining
- Delta Skymiles Dining
- United MileagePlus Dining
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining
Hotel and Rental Car Rewards
When you travel of course you need places to stay and probably a car to drive. You can earn points toward these things in the same way you earn frequent flyer miles. Most hotel chains and rental car companies have their own rewards programs. Many also have similar things to airlines:
- Branded Credit Card
- Online Shopping Credits
- Preferred Partner Networks
These are all ways to work yourself toward discounted and free hotel rooms, rental cars, and other services. Often you will be offered free upgrades as well and other bonuses for using the same provider frequently.
The more you travel, the greater the odds that you will have things go wrong. Luggage can get lost or misdirected, flights can be delayed or cancelled, and you may even run into situations where you have to cancel or modify your trip at the last minute.
This can have a large economic impact, but you can mitigate that by purchasing a good travel insurance policy. For example, any Australian business traveler who frequently flies to the west coast of the United States can get travel insurance direct from an Australian travel insurance provider. If for some reason his flight is delayed and he misses a connecting one, the policy may provide him with lodging and even pay for alternate transportation costs.
While insurance certainly does not take away the inconvenience, it can assist with the financial impact of things beyond the travelers control. For instance, if that same business traveler got food poisoning at a local restaurant and had to spend some time in the hospital, his insurance would cover the cost even though he’s traveling out of the area where his Australian insurance would cover.
Having travel insurance offers peace of mind for the unexpected, and the more you travel, the more likely you are to experience those inconveniences and issues.
Delta has their Diamond Club and other airlines have similar offerings that provide those who frequently travel with them certain perks like prioritized boarding, free upgrades, and even a more private bar and lounge in many airports.
Even those airlines without a particular club usually offer upgrades to passengers who fly with them frequently. These include the same perks of prioritized boarding and often seating upgrades from coach to business or first class.
Be sure to know the benefits offered by the airline you fly most frequently and take advantage of them.
The Business Lounge
Few travelers outside of the business community know about the offerings of business lounges that exist in many airports. Most of the time, you need to be either a frequent flyer, a business class passenger, or a member of certain airlines programs to get into the lounge, but they often come with comfortable seating, more secure Wi-Fi than that of the airport, drink and food options, and other intangible benefits.
If you fly frequently, especially with the same airline, you should know about and take advantage of this resource.
No matter what your reason for flying frequently, you have resources you should take advantage of. Be sure to review them often and keep your eyes out for more money saving and comfort offering amenities available to you.