The Best Ways to Earn Miles with Airline Partners

Posted on June 19, 2024 by Admin

The Best Ways to Earn Miles with Airline Partners

The Best Ways to Earn Miles with Airline Partners

In the world of frequent flyer programs, one of the most advantageous strategies for travelers is earning miles through airline partners. Not only does this broaden the scope of how and where you can earn miles, but it also provides greater flexibility when it comes to redeeming those miles for flights, upgrades, and other rewards. Here, we explore the best ways to earn miles with airline partners, offering insights into how you can maximize your mileage accumulation and enjoy a more rewarding travel experience.


Understanding Airline Partner Networks

Before diving into the best ways to earn miles with airline partners, it’s important to understand the concept of airline partner networks. Major airlines often form alliances or partnerships with other airlines, enabling them to offer expanded routes and destinations through shared codes and cooperative agreements. The three largest global airline alliances are:

  1. Star Alliance (includes United Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, etc.)
  2. SkyTeam (includes Delta Air Lines, Air France, KLM, etc.)
  3. Oneworld (includes American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, etc.)

These alliances allow members of any one airline’s frequent flyer program to earn and redeem miles across all partner airlines within the alliance.

The Best Ways to Earn Miles with Airline Partners

  1. Flying with Partner Airlines

One of the most straightforward and best ways to earn miles with airline partners is by flying on their flights. Whenever you book a flight with a partner airline, ensure you enter your frequent flyer number to accumulate miles for the distance traveled.

  • Tip: Always check the fare class of your ticket as some discounted economy fares may earn fewer miles compared to higher fare classes.


  1. Credit Card Spending

Using co-branded airline credit cards or general travel rewards credit cards can be one of the best ways to earn miles. These cards typically offer bonus miles for purchases made directly with the airline and often on other spending categories such as dining, groceries, and travel.

  • Tip: Look out for sign-up bonuses, which can be substantial, and take advantage of promotional offers where you can earn extra miles for specific purchases.

Must Read : Top 10 Airlines with the Best In-Flight Entertainment

  1. Hotel Stays

Many airlines have partnerships with major hotel chains, allowing you to earn miles for your hotel stays. This can be an excellent way to boost your mileage balance if you frequently stay in hotels during your travels.

  • Tip: Always check if the hotel you are booking offers miles with your preferred airline partner, and ensure you provide your frequent flyer number at check-in.
  1. Car Rentals

Similar to hotels, airlines also partner with car rental companies. By renting a car from a partner company, you can earn miles for your frequent flyer account.

  • Tip: Look for special promotions where car rental companies offer bonus miles for rentals, particularly during peak travel seasons or for long-term rentals.
  1. Shopping Portals

Many airlines offer online shopping portals where you can earn miles by purchasing products from various retailers. This can be one of the best ways to earn miles, especially if you do a lot of online shopping.

  • Tip: Compare the miles earned per dollar spent across different portals to ensure you get the best deal, and take advantage of seasonal promotions that offer additional miles.
  1. Dining Programs

Airlines often have dining programs that allow you to earn miles by dining at participating restaurants. This can be a lucrative way to accumulate miles while enjoying a meal out.

  • Tip: Register your credit or debit card with the dining program to automatically earn miles every time you dine at a participating restaurant.
  1. Special Promotions

Keep an eye out for special promotions offered by airlines and their partners. These promotions can include earning double or triple miles for certain activities or during specific periods.

  • Tip: Subscribe to airline newsletters and follow them on social media to stay informed about these promotions and maximize your mileage earnings.

Maximizing Your Earnings

To make the most of these best ways to earn miles with airline partners, consider the following strategies:

  • Plan Ahead: Schedule your travel and purchases to coincide with promotions that offer bonus miles.
  • Diversify Your Earnings: Utilize multiple methods to earn miles, such as combining flights, credit card spending, hotel stays, and car rentals.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly check airline and partner websites for updates on promotions and changes to earning structures.

Must Read : Top 5 Budget Airlines for Affordable Travel


  • 1. Can I earn miles with multiple frequent flyer programs simultaneously?

    No, you can typically only credit miles from a single flight to one frequent flyer program. Choose the program that offers the best earning potential or the one where you are closest to a reward threshold.

  • 2. Do miles earned with partners count toward elite status?

    This depends on the airline and the partnership agreement. Some airlines allow miles earned with partners to count towards elite status, while others do not. Check the terms of your frequent flyer program.

  • 3. How do I know which partners I can earn miles with?

    Visit your frequent flyer program’s website for a comprehensive list of partner airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and other partners.

  • 4. Are there limits to how many miles I can earn with partners?

    Most frequent flyer programs do not impose a cap on miles earned with partners, but there may be restrictions on how miles can be earned based on fare class or spending categories.

  • 5. Can I transfer miles between different frequent flyer programs?

    Generally, miles cannot be transferred directly between different frequent flyer programs. However, some programs allow points transfers through certain loyalty alliances or credit card reward programs.