There are many ways to rack up frequent flyer points. The best way is to do so doing things you are doing anyways, but for some people, that can take a long time. Here are some ways to accrue frequent flyer points so that you can get cheap flights:
Plan your Flights
Obviously, you can earn miles through flying. However, there may be certain flights that get you more points. Research how your program works and how miles are accrued, and choose cheap flights that will get you the most miles.
Adjust your Budget
Many people only think of certain purchases being appropriate for their credit card - for example large purchases and gas. However, some credit cards will allow you to pay for utility bills or rent, and sometimes you can use it for business expenses and get reimbursed later. If you can keep up with paying the card off and not get into debt, the more you use your card, the more points you will accrue.
Different frequent flyer programs will require different amounts of miles to get places. For example, Delta might require 100,000 miles to fly to Europe, but Continental Airlines might only require 80,000. However, you also have to keep in mind how easy it is to earn points. If you can get 2 points per dollar spent with Delta, but one point per dollar on Continental, Delta might still be the best bargain. It is necessary to shop around to find out what gets you the most bang for your buck.
Pick the Right Credit Card
Typically, people think of American Express when they hear frequent flyer miles. Although American Express has been known to give the highest amount of miles per dollar that might not always be the case. Also, Visa is more commonly accepted than American Express. If you have trouble using your American Express card, it won't be earning you much. This decision would depend on the area you live in and your particular spending style. Again, comparison-shopping is essential.
Take Advantage of Sign-Up Specials
The quickest way to get a lot of points is to sign up for a card offering a sign-up bonus. You can do this multiple times although your credit rating will be slightly affected with multiple inquiries. If you are disciplined, you can earn enough for a free round trip vacation each year. Make sure you look out for sign-up fees.