Tips for Racking Up More Airline Rewards

Jun 23, 2017

Airline Rewards

Whether a frequent flyer or just an occasional traveler, most of us appreciate the benefits of airline loyalty rewards – including points or miles for flights and possibly perks such as upgrades, priority boarding, complimentary baggage check, airport lounge access and more. While chances are you already know the basics of how to accumulate frequent flyer miles, there are some often overlooked ways to rack up points without even having to leave the ground. To make sure you don’t miss out, check out these lesser-known tips for maximizing your rewards:

Shop through the airline’s website: If you tend to make many online purchases, you can quickly start accumulating more airline rewards with just a slight alteration of your internet shopping behavior. Instead of directly accessing the website of your favorite retailers to make a purchase, first visit the shopping portal of the airline at which you have a loyalty account. After logging in with your airline loyalty account number, just find the merchant you want, click on its link and complete the transaction. The airline portal will receive a portion of the revenue from your purchase, and will reward you with points or miles. As a case in point, Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan™ is partnered with more than 800 online retailers. Right now, you can earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on Macy’s merchandise and 50 miles for ordering a $5.00 magazine subscription from

Enroll in the airline’s dining program: Like the idea of being rewarded for eating out? Link your credit card (s) to your preferred airline’s dining program and start checking out which restaurants, bars and eateries offer miles/points in your area. You’ll generally earn between 3-5 points per dollar spent depending on which program you choose. What’s more, you can earn points for some takeout and delivery, and for money you spend on tax and tips. Some programs also allow you to collect bonus points by doing online restaurant reviews. By joining Delta’s SkyMiles® Dining today, you can receive 3,000 bonus miles by spending at least $30 at three different participating restaurants with your registered credit or debit card and completing online reviews within thirty days.

Leverage hospitality rewards programs: In addition to advantages such as discounted rates, free stays and in-hotel awards, many hotel rewards programs allow you to convert these points to loyalty programs of major airlines. Just a few of these include Best Western Rewards, Club Carlson and Starwood’s Preferred Guest (SPG).

Collect points for car rentals: Need to rent a car for a trip or for transportation while your car is at the shop? Before you reserve your rental, check the partner pages of airline rewards programs you use to find their preferred car rental providers. This way, you can earn airline points/miles as well as discounts on the rental car itself. Many of the airlines have partnerships with major rental car companies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and more.

Consider answering surveys: If you find yourself with a little downtime now and then, one way to make it work for you is to complete surveys on websites that provide travel points with various airlines and/or hotel programs as rewards. A few to look into: e-Miles (Alaska, American, Southwest and United), OpinionMilesClub (United) and e-Rewards (Southwest).

Find out how the airline loyalty programs stack up: Curious about how the individual airline loyalty programs measure up? Find out which airlines made U.S. News & World Report’s Best Airlines Rewards Programs list, and get insight on the most suitable program for you at

Are you ready to start applying these strategies to accelerate earning miles or points toward more flights, upgrades and other great benefits? You can easily use your SFPCU Platinum Visa® to make purchases linked to your airline loyalty rewards accounts. And to further optimize your rewards, make sure to enroll in the CURewards Program too – and earn points for every dollar that you spend toward more travel, gift cards, name-brand merchandise and more. Don’t yet have an SFPCU Platinum Visa? We have more great news for you. For a limited time, you can get six months 0 % APR* on purchases and balance transfers for new cardholders. Find details and restrictions at

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