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Did you know you could earn airline miles for shopping? Whether you’re shopping for the top of the line travel gear for your next trip or stylishly fabulous travel clothing, your buys can help you earn free flights!
Shopaholic’s Guide to Frequent Flyer Programs
What girl doesn’t love to shop especially when it comes to an upcoming trip – it’s part of the fun of travel planning!
I’m big on using airline mile programs to the fullest in order to help me earn free flights and help maintain my full time budget travel lifestyle.
So far, I’ve gotten:
- 2 free flights from London to Cancun;
- a free round trip flight from Central America to the USA;
- a free round trip flight to Hawaii
And… I’m almost at another free flight now.
You don’t have to be a travel hacking master to take advantage of these free flight opportunities.
While there are a myriad of options to hack the systems and get millions of points for a lifetime of free flights, hotels, and travel, I’ll show you how I earn my free world travel by just following a few simple steps.
Travel Fashion Girl’s Top Tips on Free World Travel
The first thing you need to know is that this post is NOT sponsored. I WISH! I’m just going to share with you my personal love for my preferred airline and alliance: American Airlines and One World.
You can read about it in detail in my beginner’s guide to frequent flyer programs but ultimately my main reason for utilizing One World is that American Airlines is a part of this one and they offer ONE WAY FLIGHT REWARDS for minimal points.
If I want to fly one way from the USA to Europe, they only deduct the one-way mileage whereas some of the other alliances make you spend a round trip value in points for a one way.
For example, a one way flight may cost me 20,000 points but the other alliances would charge me 40,000 even though I’m only going one way.
As a long-term traveler, I need the flexibility of jumping on a plane in one direction and making my plans along the way.
Sign Up for One Airline Program
For the US, pick between Delta, United, and American Airlines as they are the biggest carriers in the country. Whichever airline you prefer then fly only with their alliance.
Since I prefer to fly with American Airlines (AA) for the above reasons, when an AA flight isn’t available I fly with the other airlines within the One World Alliance and give them my AA frequent flyer number every time.
This way I’m constantly accumulating American Airline points/miles even when I don’t fly with them. Every time I book a flight I always check the One World website to verify if any of the available flights are with their partners.
So What About The Shopping
You can earn frequent flyer miles by flying but you can also earn them by shopping. Each of these airlines is affiliated with their own rewards network. In my case, I use AAdvantage eshopping to earn points with AA.
- I created a profile, saved my card numbers, and every time I shop with one of their participating retailers, I earn air miles! Learn more here.
- You’ll be surprised at how many retailers participate. Every time I shop at Nordstrom, Lancome, REI, and eBags I always go through the AAdvantage eshopping mall so it tracks my purchases and I can get credited with points. I shop at these retailers anyway so why not earn some miles while I’m at it? (Especially with the way I shop!)
- If you sign up for their updates and newsletters you’ll also learn about special promotions where you can earn bonus points like this one found on The Points Guy – one of the big gurus of frequent flyer programs.
Similar to the shopping programs, there are also dining programs that work the same way.
These tips are for travelers based in the USA.
Every country has it’s own perks and pluses of joining airline clubs so I can’t vouch that these tips apply to your homeland.
Little by little every time you eat or shop you could be earning free flights. Make sure you don’t fly without signing up to one!
Do you have any tips on using frequent flyer programs to get free flights?
To learn more about our suggested travel tips , please read the following:
- Top 5 Packing Tips for a One Week Trip
- Traveling With Jewelry: 10 DIY Packing Tips & Tricks
- My Over-the-top Tips to Protect my Laptop while Traveling
- Luxury Vacations: 9 Packing Tips to Glam Up without Breaking the Bank