Sometimes things that appear dumb are in fact very smart. I mean my title appears inherently idiotic: take the time to input my name, birthday and email address with airlines I may never fly, for no foreseen purpose other than to practice my words per second on a keyboard? Take my word for it, having frequent flyer accounts with as many airlines as possible has its benefits…

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Turn a stash of 10,000 airline miles you can’t use into 20,000 hotel points you can, fly business class for hundreds not thousands, acquire the bonus miles for your dream trip, beat taxes on one airline by moving your miles to another; just a few examples of the “why”. Last week, I posted an incredible opportunity to fly one of the most aspirational, dream like airline products in the world, the Etihad First Class Apartment, at an outrageous discount. It really is an apartment on a plane, offering all the $500+ bottles of champagne you can drink. To take a ride, all you needed was an American Airlines frequent flyer account that had been open for more than 30 days, making the account eligible to buy the miles required for the trip. You see, many people immediately wanted to book, only to realize they didn’t have an American Airlines account open yet, and were disqualified purely because it would be less than 30 days old when the promotion finished. 

a man lying in a bed

This is just one of many examples where fantastic opportunities present themselves to buy miles, transfer miles to an airline or hotel partner, earn bonus miles for transferring or even for completing mundane tasks. The only requirement behind many of these great promotions is having an active pre existing frequent flyer account. To have an active account, you don’t need to fly, you don’t need to stay, you don’t need to spend, you simply need to have one open. In the example above, I have an American Airlines account I opened just to search for award space, I’ve never earned a mile in it, yet I could’ve purchased enough for the First Apartment. Airlines like Avianca and Copa are known for having outrageous sales where you can buy miles and receive as many as 160,000 bonus miles! In these sales, as you may have suspected, you simply must have an account already open. 

a map of the world

Hopefully, at this point I sound like a broken record and you are stretching your fingers for the keyboard war that’s about to ensue. As you are likely tired of hearing, I am all about elevating my travel at minimal expense. Taking advantage of deals and opportunities is the best way to turn a trip into a dream and if the only thing in your way is entering your name a few times, there’s not too much to lose. 

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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