If you’re flying and paying, you better be earning
Today, my friend told me that he had not been earning miles on his frequent flights to/from Europe because he “didn’t have any airline credit cards yet.”
I almost jumped out the window (luckily I was in a windowless, first-floor hallway). You do not need a credit card to earn miles when you fly!
Any paid flight you ever take should earn you miles. You just need a frequent flyer account, and it is free and easy to sign up for a frequent flyer account with every airline online. Direct links to all major US airlines’ program sign-up forms can be found here. This registration process is Step #1 in my Beginner’s Guide.
Once you sign up for frequent flyer accounts, there will come the time when you are booking a flight and you will want to use your frequent flyer number to earn miles. How do you do it??
When you buy your ticket online, you will be prompted to enter your frequent flyer number. You just have to look for it. Here is an example from united.com showing where you would enter your frequent flyer number in the ticket purchasing process:
After you fly, the mileage crediting process is kinda like magic, or religion. The systems that be detect that you flew the flight, and then within a few days or weeks they will deposit the miles in your account, which you can see online.
Earning miles flying with partner airlines
Airline alliances are amazing. For us US-based flyers, we can earn US airline miles on so many global airlines!
For example, you can earn United or US Airways miles when you fly on United, US Airways, Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, AviancaTACA Airlines, Blue1, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, THAI, and Turkish Airlines.
And you can earn American Airlines miles by flying on flights operated by AA partners Alaska, Hawaiian, or any OneWorld Alliance partners: airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Mexicana, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, and S7 Airlines.
Lastly, you can earn Delta miles flying on flights operated by Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, and Vietnam Airlines.