Welcome to Meine Meilen! The goal here is to help you get the most from your airline miles and points. It’s easy to sign-up for accounts and start earning airline miles, but it can also be complex at times when you want to maximize your miles.
This Beginners Guide will help introduce you to collecting and using miles and points to help travel for less in the German travel and rewards credit card market.
Once you have an understanding of how the systems works it’s easy to collect miles and points. You’ll be on your way to a free flight before you know it—after all that’s the goal of this blog, to help you travel in first class for a fraction of the cost.
Follow the steps below to learn the framework you need to fully maximize miles and points. And as always don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] with any questions or in the comments below!
Step 1 – Set your goals
The first step is simple. What are your travel goals? Just ask yourself where and how you would like to travel using your airline miles. Simple right?
Make some travel goals to help you along the way to remind you why you are collecting all these airline miles in the first place. You clearly not putting all this time and work into collecting airline miles for them to expire in your account!
Your travel goals using your airline miles will help you stay motivated and realize that you can reach them with a little time and effort.
Of course you’ll hit some setbacks along the way when collecting miles, but when you book a trip for a fraction of the cost you’ll remember all the time and research you did was worth it. After all you’ll learn it’s a marathon and not a sprint. 🙂
Step 2 – Sign-up for miles and points programs
Start by signing up for all the airline and hotel programs you see yourself utilizing in the future. There are many loyalty programs out there and you don’t have to sign-up for all of them right now. Simple choose a few that you are familiar with to start. You can always easily register with a new program in the future.
Here is a full list of major airline and hotel programs (pick and choose with programs suit you):
Hotel Reward Program Sign-Up
- Best Western
- Club Carlson
- Choice Hotels
- Intercontinental Ambassador
- La Quinta
- Priority Club
There also exist transferable points programs which allow you to earn points that can be transferred to airline frequent flyer miles. With these programs you earn reward points through shopping portals or using and American Express credit card. These points can be transferred to airline programs of your choice.
- Packback – points can be converted to Miles & More miles at a 1 : 1 ratio.
- Amex Membership Rewards – points can be transferred to various valuable airline miles.
Step 3 – Manage your airline miles
A straightforward way to manage all of your miles is to use a tool called AwardWallet.com. This website allows you to keep keep track of all your mileage accounts from one central location and know how many you have and when they expire.
Step 4 – Take advantage of credit card offers
Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to collect and earn airline miles and an excellent way to earn many miles. You can both earn airline miles when applying for a new credit card that offers a sign-up bonus and when you make purchases using the credit card.
Take a look here at the current best credit cards available.
My recommendation is to sign-up for credit cards that offer valuable sign-up bonus offers and use credit cards that earn the highest rewards per Euro spent.
Depending on the welcome bonus you can earn up to 20,000+ miles just by opening a new credit card. Plus, when you use the credit card instead of paying with cash for everyday spending you will collect more miles. Every Euro you spend on the card earns you miles or points that can be redeemed for free travel.
After you obtain your first couple good reward credit cards and earn the welcome bonus you can look for more excellent current offers. I often close cards after one year and apply for new cards to earn the welcome bonus.
This is the basic strategy to earn airline miles through credit cards.
Note: Remember to always pay off your credit card balance in full every month to avoid interest. If you don’t responsibly manage your credit score then applying for new credit cards to earn airline miles is not for you.
Step 5 – Take advantage of current offers
Applying for credit cards is only one strategy for collecting airline miles. There are many other options to take advantage of as well, including opening bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, and other offers. Most of these offers are primarily targeted for earning Miles & More miles since this is the dominant airline program in the German travel market.
Many of these offers require some costs and we will always breakdown if the deal is worth it or not. For example, through some offers you can indirectly purchase airline miles for for a much lower cost than the value which you can redeem them. Follow our posts to learn more on this!
Be sure to frequently check Meine Meilen’s Top Offers and Deals Page to help with you mile collecting.
Step 6 – Start planning your travels & maximize your miles!
After you have collected enough miles to redeem for a trip it’s important to maximize the value of your miles. There are many tricks and methods to make sure you efficiently use your airline miles and points to get the most value. We share all the tricks and tips on Meine Meilen in our tutorial guides.
You can also find great information on other miles and points blogs and forums (Vielfliegerforum and Vielfliegertreff). Reading and learning about the best ways to use airline miles will help you get the most value from them!
Also be sure to check out our recommended tools and resources to maximize your airline miles.
Step 7 – Visit Meine Meilen daily and sign-up for free email blog updates
We’re writing this blog to help you maximize your airline miles…and simply we love to also! This blog’s goal is to simply help you earn and redeem airline miles.
Be sure to sign-up to receive free blog posts directly to your inbox and you’ll never miss the best deals!