The Basics

What Do I Do First?

I have helped a lot of people with travel and redemption of miles and points for travel over the years. I really enjoy doing it – there is just something about knowing someone was about to spend $1700 on an airline ticket and is now able to do the same trip (plus an extra destination) for less than $200 and the time to fill out two credit card applications. It’s great!

A problem arises when I start explaining what needs to be done and what the person should look for, do, etc. It can get confusing – that is one of the reasons I started this blog. It gives me an opportunity to outline how to go about receiving great travel deals and I can write it all out so that it, hopefully, demystifies the whole thing. So, I wanted to give you some pointers on what you should do first.

First thing any traveler should do is to sign up for the various airline frequent flyer programs. It always astounds me when I hear someone telling someone (or me) that they should “really think about signing up for those programs. I traveled so much over the last couple of years.” I want to smack my head when I hear comments like that. Chances are it may not have been a LOT of travel (in comparison to some of the business people who fly 250 days out of the year), but those are still miles that have been slipping away faster than the airport on takeoff. Everyone needs to start somewhere, so why not start that right now? You will be so surprised at the different ways you will be able to earn miles. The downside is you will hate yourself for not having done it before :).

Use the links below to sign-up for the frequent flyer programs. It is quick, easy, and free. No reason not to do that right now!

These programs are all US based. I will have another post soon on foreign-based programs and why it useful to be with them as well.

1) Airtran (Airtran was recently acquired by Southwest, but for the meantime, they still operate independantly – their program is called A+ Rewards)

2) American Airlines (their program is called AAdvantage)

3) Delta (their program is called Skymiles)

4) Jetblue (their program is called TrueBlue)

5) Southwest (their program is called Rapid Rewards)

6) United (their program is called MileagePlus)

7) US Airways (their program is called Dividend Miles)

Ok, now you have signed up for all these programs, right? You now have 7 different usernames or membership numbers and different passwords or digits. What do you do now to not mix them up? That is where that great program, AwardWallet comes back into play! Go there and sign up and put all of your new accounts into the program. It does not cost anything to use and is a fantastic resource. It will give you regular updates on your points and miles as you accrue/spend them. Once you use it, you will wonder how made it without them. You might also get a little surprise – look through the list of merchants they will retain information for as well. You may find some other places of business that offer points and now they can keep track of that as well!

You are now well on your way to getting your miles for your next trip! Good job!


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