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A Beginner’s Guide To Building Air Miles And Getting Free Upgrades

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So you’ve decided to be a globe-trotting vagabond. Congratulations! A world of adventure awaits you! Two words of advice: Be smart. Spend money well and reap the benefits of the huge systems that are already set up to help you travel further, longer, and more comfortably.

We’d like this guide to be a jumping off point for someone who is just learning about air miles. We’re not talking about “points churning” just yet, but these are salient tips and links that are sure to help out the newbie. Some of these tips require investment and careful planning. Others are a bit more personal. Either way, these are the steps you can take to actually get reward seats, free car rentals, first class upgrades, and posh hotel rooms.


It’s 2017 and we should all have cash back reward cards. But cash back is easily spent on trips to the movies or nights out on the town. Easy money is easily spent, as they say.

Think about getting a credit card that has a travel, hotel, or airline rewards system built in. Many offer a substantial block of miles simply by signing up and spending a certain amount of money within the first month, quarter, or year. Some of them offer enough miles to rent a car or book a hotel room with their sign up bonuses alone. Here’s a list of some of the better credit cards on offer with all the pertinent details on reward and cash benefits.

Find one that suits you and your travel, banking, and financial situation and run with it. It’s best to look at these cards as your cash flow. Budget your grocery and entertainment expenses for the month, use the card for those buys, and then pay it off every month. You’ll be building credit and travel rewards at the same time.

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