Big Three Airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines
Overview: The major American ‘legacy’ airlines have revamped their Frequent Flyer Programs in 2015. The main change is how members earn miles. Instead of earning miles for miles flown, members now earn miles based on money spent. For example, if one passenger spends $300 for the same flight another passenger spent $600 for, the higher priced ticket would earn double the mileage.
The amount of miles earned per dollar spent also depend on which level of membership you belong to. For example, at Delta Airlines, general members earn 5 miles / per dollar spent while their highest level, Diamond Medallion members earn 11 miles / per dollar spent.
American- American AAdvantage
United- United Mileage Plus
Delta- Delta Skymiles
How should the average traveler optimize on this situation?
– Choose an airline with hubs located near their home and have destinations they’re interested in.
– Sign up for an airline rewards credit card which awards bonus miles for signing up, making everyday purchases (e.g. like the American Express Delta Sky Miles Credit Card, which gives you 30,000 bonus miles after $1000 purchases in your first 3 months aka a free ticket) and also and use partner companies such as rental car companies, hotels, and restaurants!
– Get your significant other to sign up as well to earn double points
– Card’s such as the American Express Platinum, typically have an annual fee but you can often get it waived for the first year by taking advantage of a online deals.
– Get ahead of the game and Download Apps like MileBlaster (which tracks your miles and alerting you whenever your points are about to expire) or Trip It.
What changes do we see in the future?
– Airlines have promised to make redeeming miles easier, reserving more seating for frequent flyer passengers, and loosening restrictions on when and where miles can be redeemed.