24/03/2015

TRAVEL: How I Saved Hundreds £££ Of My Holiday With Air Miles

Over the years I have saved thousands of pounds from air miles (joining is free) and I want to share with you all on how it's all done. It seems from a recent random twitter chat that a lot of you don't know how it works so I thought it would be a great idea to share how I do it.

I personally have air miles saved with Virgin, Emirates and British Airways, in fact both me and my other half have our own accounts as these are the main airlines that covers all the places we usually visit. Air miles are like loyalty store cards (boots / tesco / nectar etc) so the more money you spend the more miles you get and when you have enough miles you will get discount off your flights or even an upgrade.

I tend to use Virgin more as I fly with them to Hong Kong regularly, because it's long haul it's easy to build up all the miles. All the info given here is based on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles but all the major airlines that offer miles work in a similar way.
So How Did I Save Thousands?!
When you book with Virgin login to your air miles account and you can either book your flights as normal and pay full price to start collecting for savings on your next flight.

Miles & Money
Or the other option to is to select "miles plus money" which means you will cash in some of your air miles for money off your flight. On a average flight from London to Hong Kong if I select this option I roughly save around £70 each cashing in around 4000-5000 air miles so for both us that is a £140 saving and around 8000-9000 miles used.

Spend Miles
The other option is which is what I did for my trip last month to Florida. Full price return in economy was around £460 so I selected "spend miles" option and it deduced 30,000 air miles and the cost of my return flight was £215!

Upgrade - Premium / Upper Class
Again the same principal applies the more air miles you have the more you can play around with options to see which is best for you. You can either select miles & money option and get a discount for premium / upper class or you can spend miles and use that to pay for either premium / upper. Please note the number of seats available for these options is limited so its best to do this as far in advance as possible to get the best deal. Again we have benefited from this option in the past for our long haul flights to Hong Kong as it also means extra luggage which is very much needed!

As well as the above 3 options there is also 3 tier point system Red, Silver and Gold. So the more flights you do with Virgin the more points you get and you go up the ranks depending on the number of points you have and entry level being red. Benefits obviously get a lot better as you reach silver and gold status. Benefits include things like bonus points offered on flights, upgrades, entry to clubhouses which are amazing and more!

There are plenty of other ways to collect miles so it's not just from flights, I know a lot of people don't know this! Click here to see where else you can earn miles from.

Airline Partners
If you fly with other airlines that have partnered up with Virgin then you can also collect miles from flights with them eg: Hawaiian / Delta / South African Airlines / Singapore etc

Shopping Partners
This is definitely the best one but unfortunately you can only view the participating companies if you login but here are a few good examples but there are literally hundreds
Space NK / ASOS / River Island / John Lewis / Argos / Debenhams / Trainline / Booking.com / House Of Fraiser / iTunes / WHSmith / Waterstone / Ticketmaster / AllBeauty Bay / Feel Unique / Look Fantastic / Loccitane / Neils Yard Remedy / Rituals and the list just goes on......

Hotels 
If you stay at a hotel that have partnered up with Virgin then you can also claim points and here are a few examples: Hilton / Jumeirah / Mandarin Oriental / Marriott etc...for the whole list click here.

Car Rental
If you are away on holiday and you hire a car then you can claim with Hertz / Avis / Sixt again for the whole list click here.

The above listed are the main ones we can all make use off but here is the full list.

This is pretty much my simplified guide, I hope it has helped and its worth noting that you can claim points back on flights as far back as 6 months!

Do you collect air miles and did you even know this much benefit exists? Will you be collecting from now on.....




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6 comments

  1. This is super helpful! I'm collecting miles with Cathay and I have enough for a free trip to Taiwan when I next go to HK!

    lucylovestoeat.com

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    1. Glad you have found it useful and I bet you can't wait for your next trip to HK now! I used up so much miles for the last trip but I think J is heading out again in May / June so he's collecting up all the miles I've used up!

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  2. Definitely love collecting air miles! I'm only signed up with Qantas but should do some more based in the UK. I usually use mine for upgrades on the UK>Aus trip, as it's so much nicer in premium economy!! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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    Replies
    1. Oh you certainly need those air miles for trips to Aus, otherwise sitting in economy can be tough for such a long flight!! Yes have a look at some of the airlines I have suggested and get saving!

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  3. This is literally so good, thank you for thinking of me with it. I'm sure your advice has already been a lifesaver for my future in flying, so thanks so much. Now all I have to do is stop kicking myself about all those years where I missed out, haha!

    clairelouise.net

    xxx

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes I had the same problem...kicking myself about all those years where I missed out before I joined! Hopefully you can save a fair bit each time you book flights! x

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