Exchange cash for miles or sell frequent flyer miles for cash, they both mean virtual trading your reward points online. FFP schemes have been doing the rounds since the 1970’s and the FFP notion of most airlines is straightforward – reward and retain loyal flyers, reap mutual benefits.
Flyers earn air miles also known as frequent flyer miles through booking flights and redeem the reward points to book subsequent flights as well. However, choosing airlines and reaping mutual benefits involves research and math.
For instance, a return flight from Dubai to London with Emirates would earn flyers 900 Skywards in the cheaper most economy class, 6000 Skywards in the fully flexible economy, and 11,400 in the fully flexible business class journey. As a generic rule of thumb – air miles vary for flyers depending on the distance traveled and the travel class.
A lion’s share of the frequent flyer miles comes through air travel only. However, it is quite plausible to earn air miles through other means as well, such as something as outlandish as getting 20,000 Emirates Skywards miles with a 1-year subscription of Wall Street Journal. Alternatively, you can also earn 2 Etihad Guest miles for $1 spent on purchasing glass from Al Jaber Optical. There are even more pragmatic options, and to find them, you need to scout brokers participating in loyalty programs for that.
Not just earning air miles via credit cards, but cards of Starwoods and American Express Platinum card lets flyers convert the card points into air miles. In the Middle East, Etihad douches NBAD, ABID, and ADCB credit cards and Emirates, Emirates NBD credit cards. ADIB Bank’s Etihad Classic Visa will give 0.75 air miles for 4 Dhs spend in the UAE, and incurs Dh500 annual subscription fee.
Flyers should realize that air miles are not the only means to book tickets and actively participate in a loyalty program of airlines. In fact, with the higher membership status and the bonus tier points, flyers could access the private lounge of airlines, priority board, and earn more air miles each time they fly.
Remember, each loyalty programs include more than one airline and air miles can be used just like a foreign currency to advance book flights with partnering airlines as well.