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What are strategies for earning the most miles by flying?

Q: What are strategies for earning the most miles by flying?

A: As much as possible, concentrate your earnings into a single program. If you earn 25,000 miles in one program during one year, you will earn both elite status in that program and a free award ticket. If you spread those same miles among several programs, you will earn neither elite status nor a free ticket.

Take advantage of bonus mile offers whenever they are available. Typically, these promotions provide extra miles on certain routes for a limited time period, or they may grant additional miles to travelers for long-haul flights. See SmarterTravel.com's Mile Finder for current bonus offers.

Use a mileage-earning credit card to buy your airline tickets. That way you get miles both for purchasing and for flying.

Be sure your earned miles are properly credited. Reconcile your statements!