6 ways to earn extra frequent-flier miles

3 min read

Frequent-flier miles — once awarded only to those who actually clocked miles in an airplane — today are available for everything from getting a mortgage to signing up for a subscription service.

“If free trips are your priority, then the world is your oyster in terms of earning miles,” says Tim Winship, publisher of FrequentFlier.com and co-author of “Mileage Pro — The Insider’s Guide to Frequent Flyer Programs.”

Case in point: Gary Steiger, a retired high school teacher and owner of the Web site FreeFrequentFlyerMiles.com, hasn’t paid for an airline ticket in years (except for taxes and fees).

He has visited almost every continent in the world and still has millions of miles waiting to be redeemed. Almost all the miles Steiger accumulates are acquired through programs rather than flying.

“You only need to accumulate 60,000 miles for a cabin class ticket to Europe,” he says.

Everybody knows about signing up for credit cards that offer airline miles. But following are six less well-known ways to get frequent flier miles while your feet remain on the ground.

Check with your favorite airline to see if it offers one of these programs.