Love to Travel? 4 Ways to Earn Flight Miles for Your Travel Goals

16 September, 2019

Traveling has become especially important for millennials today. This is proven by the numerous amount of #travelgoal posts both on Facebook and on Instagram.

Many millennials travel so often that they make it look like it’s easy to earn money and travel like there’s no tomorrow. According to the United Nations, around 20 percent of all international travelers in the world are millennials. That’s equivalent to maybe 200 million people! 

But why do millennials love to travel so much? An Airbnb study said that millennials crave authentic experience and would rather spend their money on these than big purchases. 

“The marketing ads that have successfully influenced the generation's travel decisions focus on authenticity and rely on inspirational social media influencers,” the United Nations said. 

But no matter how many millennials travel abroad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the process of traveling is easy. Airline tickets and hotel rooms remain expensive. 

So if you want to travel but money isn’t on your side, there are other ways to do it: saving up for frequent flyer miles is an example. 

What are flight miles? 

Flight miles are more commonly known as frequent flyer miles or travel points. It’s usually part of a loyalty program that’s offered by airlines or credit cards. 

In simple terms, you earn flight miles based on how far you flew or how much you spend on a credit card. These earned miles can be used to book flights in the future. 

But it's not that easy to earn flight miles as it's not a 1:1 ratio. First off, flight miles do not equal the number of miles you can fly, but rather the miles you've flown. This works like a rewards system for flyers. 

It’s not exactly easy to earn flight miles. So how can you save frequent flyer miles for your dream destination? Check out these few tips.

1. Get a co-branded airline credit card 

Photo by Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Here in the Philippines, there are credit card companies and airlines that partner up to create a co-branded airline credit card that it’s designed to collect flight miles whenever you use it. 

You can use your airline credit card when booking flights and even when you’re looking for hotel accommodations and earn flight miles with every use. This is better versus using debit cards and cash when buying as it doesn’t convert to flight miles. 

There are many airline credit cards available in the Philippines, which you can sign up for to earn flying miles. Here are some of them: 

  • HSCDC Visa Platinum card 

With this card, you can save up for flight miles with Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines every time you use this card. You can also get a free travel accident insurance and travel inconvenience coverage when you use the card to book flights. 

  • UnionBank Cebu Pacific GetGo 

Using this credit card can get you flight miles you can earn and use at Cebu Pacific Airlines. The platinum version of this credit card offers a lot of perks like an extra 5kg baggage allowance of Cebu Pacific flights, priority check-in, and free airport lounge access 

  • PNB- PAL Mabuhay Miles World Mastercard 

This card is an exclusive partnership between Philippine Airlines and Philippine National Bank. This credit card earns Mabuhay Miles, flight mile points for Philippine Airlines with every use. This credit card offers 2,000 Mabuhay Miles as a welcome gift upon card activation, priority check-in for PAL business class counters in NAIA 2, and a 5 percent discount on selected PAL international flights.

Make use of your credit card’s rewards system 

Credit cards also have their own rewards points system for their clients. And some of these companies can have their rewards points converted to flight miles. 

Your next question would probably be: how many flight miles will you get for your rewards points? It usually depends on the credit card company and the airline's agreement. 

Here are a few credit card companies that allow their rewards points to be converted to flight miles: 

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles:

    • Classic or Gold Mastercard: 5 regular points = 1 mile
    • Platinum/Titanium Mastercard, Platinum Visa, Diamond UnionPay: 2 elite points = 1 mile 
    • 5,000 rewards points = 1,000 Mabuhay Miles

Cebu Pacific GetGo:

  • BDO Credit Card 
    • 2 Elite points = 1 GetGo point 
    • 3 Regular points = 1 GetGo point
  • BPI Credit Card
    • 5 real thrill rewards points = 1 GetGo point

3. Earn more points by using your credit card

Photo by Oleg Magni via Unsplash

As mentioned above, your credit card earns points every time you use it. So to earn points faster, you must use your credit card more often

Some of us may use credit cards for emergency purposes only. But it's more convenient when you use your credit card for your everyday spendings like paying for utility bills, phone bills, groceries, and a lot more. 

4. You can earn flight miles without having to fly

Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash

While you can earn flight miles every time you fly to certain destinations, that won’t be enough to give you a free flight the next time you book. 

But here's the good part, you can earn flight miles even on land. Airline companies partner with different services like retail stores and hotels, which gives exclusive flight mile points when you buy or book a room in advance. 

Let’s say you’re planning a family trip to the beach, and you have an airline credit card, you can book your hotel at Boracay with one of your airline’s partners and earn extra flight mile points from that. 

You can also go out for dinner at your preferred airline’s partners. You can get extra flight mile points by dining out with your friends and family. Check out the airline’s partner restaurants on their website. 

Aside from booking hotels and dining out, there are other non-flight ways to earn flight miles, head on to your flyers website and check their partners for your reference. 

Credit cards are of great convenience when it comes to saving up for flight miles. To make the most out of your credit card and effectively earn flight miles, here are some tips:

  • Pick a credit card that has a partnership with your preferred airline. 
  • Calculate the flight miles you can make with the credit card’s reward point system. 
  • Upon choosing your credit card, use it for your everyday spending, like grocery shopping, paying your utility bills, and more, to earn points faster. 
  • Shop, dine, or book hotels with your credit card. 
  • Pay your credit card bill (and annual fees) on time to maintain a good reputation and credit standing

Saving up for flight miles doesn’t mean you have to fly all the time. You can earn points to get a free flight even by spending on what you need, and soon enough, your flight miles can give you a free flight to your dream destination!