Miles and Points Lesson One: Generating

This blog is part of my miles and points series where I will be teaching you how to generate miles, use miles and ultimately travel for free around the world sitting in the world’s best business class cabins.

Lesson One: Generating Miles and Points

Welcome to lesson one of this airmiles series. Firstly, I’d love to start off by introducing this series to you all and laying out what it’s going to look like. I’m going to be writing about the basics of points and miles, namely: how to generate miles and how to spend them. I will then be writing weekly reports on deals and tips for redeeming on different airlines as well as updates on the world of miles for all my readers. My goal: teach all of you to travel the world for ridiculous prices.

Generating Miles: Method #1 – Flying

Arguably the easiest way to generate airmiles is by flying. Unless you’re flying a low cost carrier who isn’t part of an airline alliance or have a miles program of their own then you will receive miles for every flight you take which you can then use on flight with that airline and their partners.

Example: If I were to fly from London to New York with British Airways in business class then I would use the British Airways Avios Calculator site to work out how many miles I would earn. It looks like this:

 

This is how it will look for a British Airways Blue Executive Club Member when flying one-way on the LHR-JFK route. In business class I will earn 5187 avios points which will be credited to my account after I take the flight.

Throwing in a Curve Ball: Crediting to Different Airlines

Now, you are not only allowed to credit miles to the airline you are flying but also partner airlines. Airlines usually have lots of partners in this respect and the best way to find out who you can credit to is by going to my favourite website – wheretocredit.com

Not only does the website tell you who the airlines’ partners are but they also tell you how many miles you will earn for this flight. So if I were to credit this flight to Alaska Airlines instead of British Airways I would essentially earn 2.5x the miles which would be 2.5 x 5187 = 12,967 – a big difference.

Now, this is only a brief explanation of a very complicated and multi-faceted concept. Other the next few weeks, months, years and who knows, maybe even decades, I will be sharing with you, through my weekly blog posts, different ways of mastering the art.

Generating Points: Method #2 – Credit Cards

Flying in business and first class can be expensive and is definitely not the option for a lot of people. What may seem more attractive, is the concept of earning miles while spending the amount you would have usually spent anyway on a debit card.

There are many different credit cards floating around the market. Some are from companies such as American Express and others are directly from airlines such as Virgin Atlantic.

In this article I will explain how credit cards work and what you can do with the points. In other articles I will go deeper into each card and look at the benefits of signing up.

Photo: AMEX

Credit cards are fantastic and although they may seem complicated to many people, they honestly are very simple. The basic deal is, you spend money as normal and for every £1 you spend you get a certain benefit such as an airmile or point. Now, these points can be converted into lots of things depending on the company. In the example of American Express, you earn Membership Rewards Points – these are basically AMEX’s currency and you can spend them on hotel stays, airfares, upgrades and products. AMEX has a huge range of partners so are definitely a good company to get in with.

My favourite (and most probably the best) credit card on the UK market has to be the American Express Gold Rewards Card which has the crazy sign up incentive of being free in the first year of membership. To read more about how to get involved with that card click here. 

At the end of this post, you should know about the two main ways of earning airmiles – by using credit cards and by flying and crediting. You can return to our miles and points page here to keep reading blogs.

If you’re looking for more specific help on an upcoming trip, best cards or airlines for a certain scenario or anything else that I haven’t mentioned then drop me a message in the contact box. I’ll be happy to help.