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As mentioned in my article last week, I hold a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card account. When looking at what credit card to pick, I narrowed the choice down from many to 3 or 4 options. We all know that credit cards offer rewards for signing up and using their cards and I wanted to pick a card with rewards that I would actually use. The main reason I picked the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card was that I was traveling on Virgin Atlantic a lot at the time and already had some of their air miles sat in my account. Since signing up, I have upgraded to twice to Upper Class on trans-Atlantic flights and I am currently sitting on enough air miles for an off-peak reward flight.
It may sound like I either; 1) travel a lot or 2) spent a lot on my credit card. In all honesty, neither of those are true. I travel once, maybe twice a year and my credit card is used for either large ticket purchases or for work expenses. I have managed to grow my air miles account by feeding into it through the multiple sources listed below.
Choose one air miles provider
Before we jump into the list, I wanted to give a piece of advice. I would suggest picking and sticking with one company to earn air miles with. If you collect air miles across Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Delta and American Airlines you won’t get any sizable amounts anytime soon. By picking and putting all your efforts into one provider, such as British Airways, you can accrue a lot more and travel or upgrade using your miles more often.
Earn air miles with a credit card
Ok. You have picked the company you want to earn air miles with. What next? If it is within your means, I would suggest looking at a credit card that will earn you miles when you spend. Please only take out a credit card if you can afford to pay it all back. You can check your eligibility to see if you will be accepted. So you have decided that a credit card is within you means. But which one to pick? This will all come down to who offers the best rewards and who has the best APR.
The Virgin Atlantic black account comes with an American Express and Visa and has a welcome bonus of 18,500 miles if you reach the usage threshold within 90 days. With Virgin Atlantic’s miles, you only need 20,000 for an off-peak return. Other cards, such as the British Airways American Express, Emerates Skywards credit account and Lloyds Bank Premier Avios Reward account offer decent rewards for spending as well as tempting sign up incentives.
Earn air miles when you book hotels
Did you know you could earn air miles when you book hotels? Companies like Rocketmiles allow you to book competitively priced hotels in almost any location and earn air miles of your choice at the same time. When I first started collecting Virgin Atlantic miles, I booked a hotel using Rocketmiles for a colleague and myself and earned close to 8000 miles. That’s not enough for a flight or upgrade but it all adds up.
If you are serious about collecting air miles, try use someone like Rocketmiles as your first port of call when booking hotels. Another company similar to Rocketmiles would be PointsHound. It is the same concept and can provide offers that Rocketmiles may not have available. If you do a lot of small local breaks in your country, booking hotels via sites like these can quickly earn you enough air miles to jet off somewhere exotic.
Using loyalty cards to earn air miles
The place I consistently earn my air miles from is my Tesco Clubcard. If you have a Tesco Clubcard, you can go to your account and have your points converted into the air miles of your choice. This may seem like small amounts but I have earned thousands of air miles with my Clubcard over the last year. Essentially, you can get air miles for free whenever you shop in Tesco or fill your car up with petrol in a station that gives Clubcard points. Sainbury’s Nectar card can convert the points to Easyjet flights.
If you want to grow your air miles consistently, loyalty cards like the Tesco Clubcard will be the easiest air miles you could ever earn. If you are using your Clubcard to earn Avios (the new version of British Airways’ Airmiles) you can fly away for a relatively small spend a year. The minimum number of Avios needed for a zone 1 flight is 9000 Avios. To earn this, you will need to spend roughly £3,750 in Tesco stores. I am willing to bet that most of you spend much more than this annually on your groceries.
Grow your air miles when you travel
The original way to earn air miles- get rewarded for frequently travelling with the same airline. This way does mean you try limit yourself to the one provider you have chosen but it also means that you can accrue miles quickly. Virgin Atlantic offer different tiers depending on the amount you fly. Fly more often and you earn more air miles for the same trip than someone who flies less than you. The issue with this is that sometimes, airlines don’t travel to certain destinations so you will be forced to use a different company.