This week at Frequent Miler, we shared some ways to add to your stack of miles and how that stack can come in handy — even when you don’t really want to book that 65,000-point domestic economy class ticket. From a collection of tips to the future of FlexPerks, here is the Frequent Miler week in review.
Do you want more miles? Of course you do. So do I. Lucky for us, there are a lot of ways to earn them. Here, we cover a number of the ways you can earn them — without flying. From bank account bonuses to buying a home, this is a reminder of the top ways to stack more miles on your pile.
For the holiday, Greg summarized some key bits from around the miles and points world — including a couple of great tips on how to earn more rewards on Amazon and why you should set up an Air France Flying Blue account today.
Until now, FlexPerks had firmly established itself as the also-ran of travel rewards programs. While it is theoretically possible to get 2 cents per point in value, the reality has been that the time investment in finding the perfect fare combined with what I understand could be a quirky booking engine made it a good backup program at best — never a real contender for your primary rewards program. Thanks to the Sapphire Reserve Killer, we may soon see a change that will make this program provide more consistent value. Still, I’m going to disagree with Greg’s assertion that FlexPerks is ditching its backup plan status. I’d say it’s still a backup plan — after all, one can get 1.5c in value from Chase points with the Sapphire Reserve and also have the ability to transfer to partners for far outsized value. The FlexPerks program still won’t offer any chance at mind-blowing values, but the consistency makes it a more reliable back up..
One thing that consistently blows my mind: domestic airfares. I have a trip coming up soon where I’m flying less than 750 miles each way and I checked airfares daily and couldn’t find a price under $401 round trip. My wife and I both flew round trip to Abu Dhabi for less than that a couple of years ago. To be fair, the Abu Dhabi fare was probably a mistake, but we so regularly see sub-$400 RT fares from the east coast to Europe that I have a hard time justifying that price for a trip that I could conceivably drive. Still, I can’t control the domestic market — so just as Greg did, I just now made a booking for way more points than I want to use. Like Greg, I expected fares on my route to drop only to watch them rise to the point of ridiculousness — and like Greg, I hope to do better — but sometimes it’s good to have that pile of miles so you can book a backup plan.
Speaking of backup plans, SWYP has apparently developed what they think is a feasible one. I’m marginally disappointed that the all-in-one cards of the future never materialized. But rather than lay down and die, this startup decided to innovate with something very different than what was initially planned. I hadn’t bought in to the SWYP card initially, but I’ll admit that I did just sign up for the email list to find out more as this Hoot Debit Card comes to fruition. I’m skeptical about it having any tangible benefit — in fact, I imagine they have to pass along the cost of production in the form of something opposite a benefit. But I’ll be curious to see what’s next nonetheless. Are you?
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for the week in review around the web and this week’s Last Chance Deals.