Beginner questions to Traveling Hacking/Frequent Flyer Miles

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by SgtPeppers, Mar 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. SgtPeppers
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    SgtPeppers Silver Member

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    I am struggling to understand few things about Travel Hacking:
    1. Difference between Elite and Redeemable Miles - The way I understand it, redeemable miles can get you free flights, but not flyer program status? So, of course there are benefits of getting flyer program status, but how do you ever get to that level?
    2. Approach to Hacking - What approach is better? Do you go and stick with one airline program or do you choose many many programs? What are your thoughts? So would you recommend joining just one one program (Star Alliance, OneWorld etc.) or all of them?
     
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  2. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    Welcome. :)

    Neither of those questions directly deal with hacking, but rather with choosing where to place your loyalties as a traveler. There is a forum here on MilePoint about tips and tricks (as well as hacking) that you can read for that side of things.

    As for your questions, generally speaking (and this varies widely from airline to airline), you'll earn both RDM (redeemable miles) and EQM (elite qualification miles) when you fly. How much you earn depends on how your ticket is constructed (what carriers are flown versus what program you credit the miles to), your fare class, and status you may hold with the program you credit to. RDMs are what you build and use to book award/reward flights. EQMs are what you build toward elite status. As I noted, you'll generally earn both when you buy a ticket and fly. EQM balances are usually reset every year but your RDM balances do not expire as long as you have activity in your account within a specified period of time (again, this varies widely from airline to airline).

    Check out the thread here in the newbies forum about picking a frequent flyer program and determine what works best for you and your travel habits.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The short answer is to travel more.

    The longer answer is that you have to travel more and credit all the travel to the same program. If you credit enough travel to the same program in a year you can get status there. But do not confuse the concept of getting status because it is fun with getting value from that status. Depending on your travel habits, frequencies and goals it might make sense to completely ignore loyalty programs as a compelling reason to choose one carrier over another.
    Generally speaking, one per alliance. There are exceptions, of course, depending on who you fly on and how often. It often makes sense to credit to the carrier you fly most often but there are exceptions to that, depending on your travel patterns.
     
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  4. SgtPeppers
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    SgtPeppers Silver Member

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    Thank you all.

    Are there offers that help you get elite miles/points without flying as well? Anyone?[​IMG]
     
  5. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Yes, sort of. Some credit card programs give elite qualifying miles but they require big spending. Centurion from AMEX comes with status on at least four airlines but requires a qualifying year spend of $250,000.

    Watch for double qualifying mile offers from various airlines and then try a mileage run (flight to nowhere and back just for the miles).
     
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