Top 15 (or so) Questions About Frequent Flyer Miles

Posted By Trav

Inspired by our recent Travel Hacking Masterclass we wanted to go through some of the most common questions about Frequent Flyer miles that we get here at Extra Pack of Peanuts.

We’ve even brought on fan favorite, Napkins, on to help!

EPoP started as a site dedicated to Frequent Flyer Miles and Travel Hacking though we’ve expanded into so much more than that. This month we want to go back to our roots a bit and focus more on the travel hacking!

We’re republishing some of our old content updated, and we’ll be releasing a new version of our Frequent Flyer Bootcamp later this month!

You’re gonna love it and the journey starts here!

Tell us if you learned something new today! Also do you want Napkins on more podcasts? Hashtag #LoveNapkins at @PackofPeanuts and let us know!!

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes

In This Episode


  • 09:00 The Questions Begin
  • 10:00 Can you only earn miles through flying?
  • 15:00 If I book with miles, is the flight completely free?
  • 22:08 What are the best miles/credit cards to earn/get?
  • 34:00 Can you travel hack if you’re not a US citizen?
  • 36:00 Bank points vs Airline Points
  • 51:00 When is the best time to book a ticket on miles?
  • 1:16:00 Do miles expire?
  • 1:21:00 How many cards is too many cards?
  • 1:31:00 Can I transfer/buy miles?


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  1. Action Jackson says:

    Hey, Trav. Great podcast. I just that that I would mention my favorite method to keep miles accounts current: online surveys.

    1. Trav says:

      @Action Jackson – That’s a GREAT point. I never thought of that, but thanks for the heads up. Super easy to do. Although I guess it can take a while for points to post, right?

      1. Action Jackson says:

        I find that they post pretty quickly…some immediately. E-Rewards is the best because you get partial credit for surveys you don’t qualify for AND the redemptions for Southwest RR and IHG Rewards are pretty substantial.

        1. Trav says:

          @Action Jackson- Awesome, good to know!

  2. Jon says:

    Great podcast! Been using most of these techniques and rarely pay for flights. Agreed on your hierarchy, I’ve found American Airlines miles to be particularly tough to redeem, and often involve extra layovers and long itineraries.

    One thing I would like to add in regards to the question about whether you can collect miles on flights purchased with miles. With the Barclay Arrivals Card you simply purchase the flight you want, from whatever website you want, with the card and then you can redeem your points as a statement credit towards that flight. When you fly you are still able to collect those miles.

    Not sure if the Chase Sapphire card works the same way?

    Keep doing what you are doing Travis!

    1. Trav says:

      @Jon – Really glad you liked this show, it was certainly fun to record it. Yes, you are right – you will earn miles if you “purchase” a ticket with your points, whether those by Arrival points, Chase points, or Amex points. So great call. If you use bank rewards points as “cash” to buy the ticket, you get miles for flying. If you transfer bank rewards points to a partner (i.e. United) and then book using frequent flyer miles, you won’t get miles for flying.

  3. N reason to be loyal to the big 3 in the US unless either (a) you fly mostly international or (b) you know for sure you’ll have high level status.

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