Category Archives: Airline Miles Tips

Breaking Down the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin AtlanticFor the last few years, the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program has not always been considered the “best of the best” in terms of rewards, though they do get recommendations for their premium economy class from travel related magazines. There have been some changes recently to go with the changing business model, but these changes have significantly improved what was already great.

Before with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, you wouldn’t earn as many miles if you flew a lower fare class, but now you can earn the full amount of miles on all tickets with lower fuel surcharges.

Using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles

But note, that while there are award flights that cost significantly less than others, there are higher surcharges. You will have to determine which is more important to you.

This rewards program does still focus on transatlantic business and those people who are willing to spend more money for a high quality experience. You may not need as many miles to get the flight depending on your travel dates, but you will have to pay a fee between $350 and $500.

Some of the other program perks include mixed cabin awards, miles have a three year shelf life, a 10% discount on Virgin holidays, a 5% parking discounts, and more. Note that there is a cancellation/change fee of $50, a Saturday night stay is required for miles plus money fares, and charges for miles plus money fares do not earn miles.

You can upgrade fares in economy class to premium economy, which is something to consider taking advantage of. You can upgrade premium economy classes S and W to upper class, and economy fares can be upgraded to upper class for 2x the miles. 

Levels and Perks

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club levels are Red, Silver, and Gold. Members receive various exclusive offers and promotions, including:

  • Silver members: earn miles on flights and extra mileage bonuses of 50%; get premium economy check-in regardless of ticket class; and get priority waitlisting.
  • Gold members: Earn miles on flights and extra mileage bonuses of 100%; access to the Clubhouse and Revival’s Lounge; and use of upper class check-in regardless of ticket class.

Credit Card Options

Two Virgin Atlantic credit cards are available to US members through Bank of America: the VA Black Card and the VA White Card. Both are chipped for use abroad and earn three miles per dollar on Virgin Atlantic charges.

The White Card receives one mile per dollar on non-VA purchases, a 12,500 bonus miles initial purchase, and up to 7,500 miles on your anniversary.

The Black Card offers more rewards, including 1.5 miles per dollar on non-VA purchases, 20,000 bonus miles after initial purchase, and 15,000 miles on your anniversary.

Another option to get the miles you need for a flight on Virgin Atlantic is by buying miles online. If you would like more info on how you can do this, learn more about our services and how we can help you.

Best Ways to Earn and Use Hawaiian Airlines Miles

Hawaiian Airline MilesThe airline miles program at Hawaiian Airlines does not get a lot of attention, but that does not mean it is not great. In fact, for someone who goes to Hawaii or travels between the Hawaiian islands relatively frequently, it can be one of the best programs to sign up for.

Hawaiian Award Chart

The HawaiianMiles award chart has three different levels for coach and two levels for first class. For coach, you can be a SuperSaver, a Saver, or a Flex Saver. In first class, you can only be a Flex or a Saver.

With HawaiianMiles, a round trip would cost 40,000 miles while the same flights on Delta, United, and American costs 45,000. However, there a cheaper ways. One popular method is to use British Airways Avios with roundtrip awards, which is only 25,000 Avios if both legs are direct.

Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card from Barclaycard

You can also earn miles when you sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines credit card, which comes with a standard sign-up bonus of 35,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. It does have an annual $89 fee, but there are many benefits for signing up including:

  • One-time 50% discount for a companion on a trip between Hawaii and North America;
  • Complimentary checked bag when you use your card;
  • $100 discount on companion ticket once per year;
  • 5,000 mile bonus for spending $10,000 per year;
  • Access to reduced mileage awards.

The discounted award is extremely useful because it is enough to get you from the mainland to Hawaii. If you take advantage of all the card has to offer, you should be able to get quite a bit.

HawaiianMiles Marketplace

You can also earn HawaiianMiles very easily through the Marketplace. And purchases can be made using any Visa or AmEx card, meaning that it does not have to be a Hawaiian Airlines card. The Registered Card Offer is for purchases made in specific store locations rather than the Online Mall.


HawaiianMiles is a transfer partner of American Express and SPG Starwood points. The standard transfer ratio is 1:1, but there are bonuses you should keep in mind. There is sometimes a schedule but other times there are random promotions. Pay special attention around the holiday season and at the start of the summer months, because that is when you will find the best deals.

Looking for a simple way to buy Hawaiian Airline miles online? Learn more about buying miles with The Miles Broker.

Guide to Booking and Using ANA Mileage Club Awards

All Nippon Airlines, better known as ANA, is the second largest airline in Japan and is one of the highest rated and most beloved airlines in the world. The praise comes from industry officials and passengers alike.

They also have a large frequent flyer program that recently underwent some massive changes, completely switching how they award points. Some of the great deals were eliminated in this change, but there are quite a few new things to make up for it.

Still, the new program is a little difficult to understand at first. There are two standard redemption charts: one for their own flights and another for partners. One of these partner airlines is Star Alliance, the biggest airline in the world.

When Should I Use ANA Mileage Club Awards?

There are some great redemptions available from ANA, including these that help you get the most out of your Mileage Club:

  • Flights from the US to Japan are only $180 (in fees and fuel surcharge) and only 40,000 miles in economy and 75,000 in businesses class.
  • During the slow season, round trips to Asian countries are 45,000 miles in economy and 80,000 miles in business class, with a $61 fuel surcharge.
  • Flying on partner LOT Polish Airlines to Europe is a surcharge of $120 plus 88,000 miles.
  • Some trips, like those to Brazil, Chile, or Argentina, which are 80,000 miles, have no fuel surcharges.

All Flights will have the same surcharge, regardless of class.

Online Airline Partners:

  • Adria 
  • Aegean 
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • Asiana 
  • Austrian
  • Avianca
  • Brussels 
  • Copa 
  • Croatia 
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian 
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish 
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian 
  • Shenzhen 
  • Singapore 
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish 
  • United

Airlines that Allow you to Book by Phone:

  • Air Dolomiti
  • Air Macau
  • Etihad Airways
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Germanwings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Philippine Airlines
  • TAM Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Searching and Booking ANA Mileage Club Award Flights Online

You have to be a Mileage Club member, but you don’t have to have miles. Here are the steps to get the best service:

  1. Click on “Members Service.”
  2. Choose “Awards Redemption” and then “Award Reservation.”
  3. Type in whatever flight you want, then click “search.”
  4. The next screen should display a week of flights, including those around it. Choose the best dates.
  5. Click “next.”
  6. If you want to book a higher class, go to “Other Classes/Itineraries.”
  7. Fill out relevant fields and search.
  8. Pick outbound flight, hit “next.”
  9. Repeat for inbound flight.
  10. Confirm your fees, information about the flight and other pertinent information.

If you are looking to use your ANA miles to book a future trip but are a little short, easily buy mile with The Miles Broker. The process is simple and we offer great rates.

Guide to British Airways Avios

British Airways and the Executive Club program is one of the best flying programs you can be a member of. It allows you to earn Avios (or miles) that you can then turn in for free flights, reduced rates, or upgrades.

How Do I Join the Executive Club?

You first have to get yourself a BA Executive Club card, which you can easily do via the website. Once you are a member, you can start earning Avios and Tier Points.

What are Avios?

Avios are the miles that make up the currency that you can use for tickets, upgrades, or specials. These are extremely valuable. You earn them every time you fly based on the class you use. If you have a certain status, like Bronze, Silver, or Gold, you may get additional miles.

You have to check to see how many you will earn with each class. Sometimes it pays to buy your own ticket and then use Avios toward an upgrade. This is a good option when fares are really high. It does not matter which class you book, you can always upgrade one level up. For example, if you buy economy, then you can upgrade to a premium economy seat. If you started with a premium economy seat, you can upgrade to business class. If you started with business class, you can upgrade to first class.

What Are Tier Points?

Tier points are a way to track your status within the program. There are four tiers that correspond with how many Avios you have already earned:

Blue: No real benefits

Bronze: You have to earn 300 points in a year, and you get to check-in to business class and priority boarding.

Silver: You have to earn 600 tier points in a year, and you get priority boarding, lounge access, and extra luggage for you and a guest. You can get a choice seat as well.

Gold: You have to earn 1500 tier points in a year, and you get priority boarding, check-in, extra luggage, more reward seats, and pre-selection of seats.

You have to be creative about how you advance throughout the different levels, but it is easy if you travel quite a bit. You will have to pay attention to things like dates and deadlines so that you can get to the level you want.

However if you meet a tier, it is only valid for the rest of the calendar year.


If you have another family member who travels often, you may combine your points to get a household account. You can pool your points together to earn better rewards and upgrades.

American Express

If you want to earn even more points, you can sign up for the American Express card. It will also give you more opportunities to upgrade your account quickly. There are two different options: the BA Amex, which has no annual fee, and a British Airways Premium Plus Card that costs nothing the first year but has a fee for the following years. Once again, you will have to pay attention to the fine print to see which is best for you.

Earning British Airways Avios Miles for free trips and for rewards is easy. If you need a little boost and are looking to buy Avios Miles for your next trip, we can help!


Great Ways to Build Up United Miles in 2017

There are a few different ways to earn miles from a rewards credit card, a Chase Ultimate Rewards Card, or a directly branded United Airlines credit card. You have to do all of the initial sign-ons and then you are ready to go with earning rewards. Make sure to read the fine print to understand whether or not your card works to earn your United miles.

There are few ways miles can be earned through the various United MileagePlus credit cards and partner reward credit cards. You need to make sure you read the fine print to confirm that your card earns you United Airlines miles.

Here are a few ways:

1.   Sign on Bonuses

Chase is the only bank to offer MileagePlus miles-earning credit cards. Each card will give you different MileagePlus miles as a sign-on offer. Make sure to do your research because there are times when you can get 50,000-70,000 bonus miles just for signing up, but you have to be patient. Once again, make sure to read all of the fine print because there are usually spending requirements and usage limitations.

2. Categorical Bonuses

If you make a lot of purchases in a specific area, make sure to get the card that allows you to take advantage of that. You can earn quite a few miles just doing whatever it is that you traditionally do, like shopping, buying office supplies, eating at restaurants, or traveling.

Once again, do some research to find the card that will work best for you.

3. Refer a Friend

Every few months, Chase runs a promotion where, if you recommend a friend to the card, you can earn bonus miles. The person has to apply, be approved, and make a purchase within three months, and you can get 5,000 bonus miles. It requires someone else to do the work, but the good news is that there is no limit as to how many people you can invite.

4. Shop to Earn Miles

Use the MileagePlus Shopping Portal to earn miles for your purchases. To make the most of it, be sure to only purchase things that you need or would normally purchase. The portal is extremely easy to use, especially for anyone who does online shopping regularly. And there is even an app!

If you aren’t able to earn enough miles from some of the ideas listed above and need some extra miles to complete booking your trip, a great option is to purchase miles from a miles broker. Of course you have to be careful and only work with a company that you trust, but it is an easy way to finish off a rewards total. If you would like more information about how we can help you buy United Miles, click here to read more. We make the process of buying miles easy and safe.

There are a lot of different ways to earn United MileagePlus miles. You just have to know how to do your research and to take advantages of things like sign-up bonuses, spending categories, and ways to earn bonus points that will not cost you any money.

Is Earning American Express Membership Rewards Points Worth It?

Earning American Express Membership Rewards Points is simple and easy, and they can help you travel the world and visit places you have never been before.

AmEx Membership Rewards Points are easy to transfer to travel partners, giving you more flexibility and options. You may use them for many popular hotel chains, just be sure to check conversion rates.

Change it Up

The most popular way to use your points is to fly because you have the option to fly on a variety of different airlines. You can fly on one that is in the same alliance with American Express Membership Rewards or on a partner airline. Diversifying your miles will help you to get the most for your membership points. Use two programs, for example British and Singapore Airways, so that you can stack your miles.

Transferring Bonuses

Sometimes, American Express will offer transfer bonuses when transferring your MR points to travel partners. These bonuses can go up to an extra 40% in miles, which can really help you travel farther. These bonuses are not always available so you will have to be careful about choosing which work for you.

Easy to Earn

If you are not sure which card to choose, not to worry. Many of the American Express rewards cards make it easy to earn Membership Rewards. Usually you will find them advertised when you sign up for the card or when you sign in to pay your balance. American Express offers a Card Match Tool to help you out.

Remember that there are sign-up bonuses, which are normally offered only once per lifetime, but you may apply for another card after your old account has been closed out for over  a year.

The Amex MR credit cards that earn the most are:

  • Premier Rewards Gold Card
  • The Business Gold Rewards
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Platinum
  • The Business Platinum Card®
  • Everyday
  • Everyday Preferred

If you do some research and strike at the right opportunity, you can really make the most out of American Express Membership Rewards.

Always make sure to read the fine print and look into what you are signing up for before you actually apply for the credit card. Not doing so could lead you into possibly signing up for a program that doesn’t fit what you are looking for.

As you can see, it is easy to earn Amex reward points which helps make their rewards program one of the better ones currently available.

Benefits of Getting an American Express Gold Rewards Card

There are so many credit cards out there that it can be difficult to figure out which are the good ones and which should be avoided. If you are looking for a card that will live up to what it says and will benefit you in the long run, the American Express Gold Rewards Card has a lot of perks.

Earning Points

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a good choice if you like collecting points and you want to consolidate your spending to one card so you may earn and accumulate a lot of Membership Rewards. You can get up to three points per dollar spent on travel; two points for groceries, gas, and pharmaceuticals; and one point for every dollar spent on everything else. The American Express Gold Rewards Card also runs a lot of specials.

Easy to Use

Anyone who has ever redeemed the American Express Memberships Rewards they have earned will tell you how easy it is to use for travel, merchandise, and gift cards.You can use it to pay for travel expenses like flights, hotels, and even restaurants when you travel. Another major benefit is that there are no restrictions, blackouts, or fine print that you have to worry about. And you can pay for your taxes and fees with it too. If you are interested in taking advantage of some of the partner offers, you can do exchanges with frequent flier programs, hotel rewards, and other companies that are listed on their website.

Annual Fee

The American Express Gold Rewards card’s annual fee is a little high, but is worth it when you consider all of the benefits you get with it. The first year is free and then every year after that is $175 in the United States and $150 in Canada.

Signing Bonus

ALWAYS A SIGNING BONUS? OR “During signing bonus specials…”  If you are a new user and you spend the targeted amount within the first three months of being approved for the American Express Gold Rewards Card, you will receive an extra 25,000 Membership rewards. You have to spend $2,000 if you are in the United States and $500 if you are in Canada. This is not really all that difficult for those who are planning to use their card for travel. You can plan ahead and even make money!

Easy Ways to Prevent Your Miles from Expiring

Airline loyalty miles do not always last forever, and in fact, some expire very quickly. Some do have ever-active miles but as long as you have an “active account.” If you are unable to fly and earn miles, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from expiring. Here are some ways to keep your miles account active:

Use Your Airline Credit Card

The easiest way to keep your miles account active is to apply for an airline credit card. Use your card to pay for a latte, groceries, or even a tank of gas. Whatever you buy, your purchases will keep it active. However, check the pricing and terms as most milage cards have annual fees (some close to $100).

Purchase Something Online

A lot of airline mileage programs have online shopping malls, and in many cases, this is a good way to earn extra miles on things you may have already been planning to buy. Besides shopping at retail and department stores, you can also subscribe to newspapers and magazines. Just log in and shop through your mileage account. However, it can sometimes take a while for these miles to be credited to your account, so you may want to try something else.

Use Your Miles to Book a Flight

The most obvious way to prevent your miles from expiring is to actually use them. Redeem your miles to take a vacation, or consider giving someone a flight as a gift. Maybe someone who cannot afford a flight home for the holidays.

Use Your Miles for Non-Flight Rewards

If you do not have enough miles for a flight, check if you can redeem miles for non-flight rewards.

These often include gift certificates or the option to transfer miles to other reward programs. Redeeming even just a few of your miles will keep your account active.

Buy Miles

The final method to keeping your miles account active is to purchase miles from the airline. However it is not the cheapest as there is normally a minimum amount plus processing fees. It could end up costing you a lot. Still, if time is of the essence and you do not have any other option, it could save you from losing what you have earned and possibly have been hoarding for the perfect get away.

Worst Ways to Spend Your American Express Points

Although there are plenty of great ways to spend your American Express points, there are also a lot of ways that do not really pay off at the end of the day. Using them for airline flights, cash back, or even gift cards are usually pretty safe, but there are times you definitely do not want to spend them. Here are some of the best and worst ways to redeem your AMEX points:

Worst – Last Minute Flights: If you will be flying last minute, you most likely will not be able to find the best deal. Since most cards are not affiliated with a specific airline, you may be taken for a ride sometimes. When you pay for last minute flights, you will probably get much less — each mile is worth about $0.01 during redemption, which will not get you too far.

Best – Flights: The reason you want to go with frequent flyer miles is because you can get as much as 2 or 3 cents value per mile, making it a great deal. Of course, you will have to read the fine print and figure out what works and what does not. Remember that it is always better to plan ahead and do your research, otherwise you could find yourself in a bad deal.

Worst – Merchandise: No matter what card you have, merchandise is not always the best bet. You will be paying many, many times the amount of the value of the product. If you see something that you really want, be sure to Google search it to see how much it usually sells for and make the conversion.

Best – Gift Cards: While most people do not like gift cards, you could get a good deal here. With some programs, you will be able to get gift cards at a higher level than if you were to get cash back. Once again, you will have to do some research for the best options.

Worst – Experiences: While it might be really cool to go to a concert without paying anything, you are actually losing money in the long run. When redeeming your point for different experiences like concerts, you are not getting full value of what your AMEX point is worth.

Best – Cash Back: Cash is always going to be a smart option. Credit card companies will have a harder time using a tricky conversion method and you will know the actual dollar amount. You could also consider selling your AMEX points for cash. If you are interested in this option, learn more about selling them with us by clicking here.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is plan ahead and do your research before spending your American Express Rewards Points.

How to Transfer your American Express Membership Rewards Points to Airline Miles

American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline loyalty programs and redeemed for flights. It is important to research your loyalty program’s terms and conditions as once transferred, points are subject to the loyalty program’s terms and conditions. Also check flight availability before transferring points.

Also research your American Express card as some are not eligible to transfer points, like American Express Platinum Credit Card, Platinum Business Credit Card, ZYNC card, some Blue credit cards, and some Optima credit cards.

Airlines that Work with American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Member Rewards work with 17 airlines.  Sometimes there are special offers, but points can generally be redeemed at a 1:1 ratio in increments of 1,000 points, like the following:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan Miles
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue Award Miles
  • Millemiglia Alitalia Miles
  • ANA Mileage Club Miles
  • Asia Miles
  • Delta Airlines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest Miles
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways Flying Club miles

But some points can be redeemed for more or less in different increments, like the following:

  • 1000 MR =1600 Aeromexico Premier Points
  • 250 MR = 200 British Airways Avios
  • 1000 MR = 20 El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Points
  • 250 MR = 200 Iberia Plus Avios
  • 250 MR = 200 jetBlue Airways TrueBlue Points
  • 200 MR = 100 Virgin America Elevate points

Transferring Membership Rewards Points to Miles

If you have found a flight you would like to book, you will have to log in to your American Express account and go to the Transfer Points page to link that airline loyalty program. Once you have selected the loyalty program, you will be given step-by-step instructions.

Even if you do not have a specific flight in mind, you may want log in every once in awhile to look for special offers to accumulate more frequent flier miles quickly.

Transfer Times Between American Express Rewards and Airlines

The American Express Membership Rewards terms and conditions indicate that transfers take up to 5 working days to reach your loyalty account. However, while everyone may have their own experiences with different airlines, sometimes it is instantaneous. These have been member experiences in the past:

  • Instant: Air France, Aeroplan, British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Hawaiian
  • 72 Hours: ANA, Iberia

But again, these times are simply a guideline and results may vary.

It has to be stressed that in order to get the most out of transferring your American Express Membership Rewards points to Airline Miles, you HAVE TO do your research. If you are looking for another option for your AMEX points besides transferring them to frequent flyer miles, learn more about selling them for cash by clicking here.