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Maximize your points and miles earned: How to choose where to credit your next flight

When you fly on a major U.S. airline, it can be tempting to earn points or miles in that airline’s loyalty program. After all, many of us are familiar with shows like America’s advantages, Delta SkyMiles And United MileagePlus.

However, when choosing where to credit your flight, it’s important to consider different factors. airline alliances and partnershipsbecause international carriers can offer a better value proposition.

While most US-based programs award miles based on ticket price, some foreign programs still award miles based on distance flown. Depending on your specific flight, you may be able to earn more miles by crediting the program based on distance. However, there are other factors to consider, such as whether you value it elite status and your redemption goals.

This guide will help you determine which program is best for earning your miles based on airline alliances, ensuring maximum value for your flights.

Related: Best airline credit cards of 2024

Things to consider


Before choosing a frequent flyer program to earn your miles, there are several factors to consider:

Considering these factors will help you decide when to choose the program that fits your interests and travel goals.

Related: How to earn miles for partner airline programs

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Which program should you credit for Oneworld airline flights?


For US travelers, Alaska and American Airlines are the main carriers in the Oneworld alliance. Each has its own loyalty program that works differently. America awards miles based on ticket price and purpose of use Dynamic pricing for redemptionswhile Alaska still awards miles based on distance flown and yes award rankings. When flying Alaska on Tickets are not economical and take note of it Mileage plan program, you’ll earn at least one mile for every mile flown, which is quite generous.

Alaska miles can be very valuable and the program offers attractive earnings rates, so this is often the best option for Record Oneworld flights. In addition, Alaska elite members also receive Mutual elites benefit from flying America, including upgrades. So the experience of elite status is similar. However, it is important to note that basic economy fares on American Airlines Not eligible for upgraded privileges.

Alaska also has valuable partnerships outside the Oneworld alliance, such as with Singapore Airlines and Korean Air. When you book a partner airline with an Alaska Airlines ticket, you can still earn 100% of the base miles flown.

One downside is that Alaska Mileage Plan elite members don’t get it lounge access on domestic flights. If airline lounge access is important to you, you must purchase lounge access, Keep a credit card that covers it or pursue elite status with a foreign Oneworld airline like Japan Airlines. Oneworld Emerald members even get access to American Airlines Flagship’s first check-in service when flying domestically.

In spite of JAL Mileage Bank The award charts may seem complicated at first, but they offer many great redemptions, like John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) with 110,000 round-trip miles on Emirates business class.

However, American AAdvantage can still be a good choice for your flights, especially when deployed Loyalty points. Your income outside of flying — including through credit, Online Shopping and even eat and drink – can get you closer to AA elite status. Most other Oneworld programs limit elite qualifications to flights.

Related: When you will (and won’t) earn miles on your flights

Which programs should you credit your SkyTeam airlines flights for?


For travelers in the United States who prefer to fly with Delta, SkyMiles The program is generally the best option for scoring SkyTeam flights. You earn 5 SkyMiles for every dollar spent on Delta flights—in the main cabin or above—not including bonuses for elite status. Partner mileage earnings are typically based on the partner airline’s rules. Be sure to check Delta’s partner page to see how many miles you’ll earn on flights.

Although the SkyMiles program does not have an award chart and is notorious for unannounced price drops, it does offer benefits such as recurring transactions and Flash sales.

Staying loyal to the program increases your chances of receiving elite perks like seat upgrades. To top up your account, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards with a ratio of 1:1. You might as well enjoy at least 15% off award flights operated by Delta by retaining rights Delta American Express Card.

Alternatively, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is an option if you prefer a program with mileage earnings based on distance and published award rankings. Now then Virgin Atlantic is part of SkyTeam, Flying Club Elite members can expect a full list of SkyTeam elite benefits like priority ground service and eligible cruise lounge access when flying these airlines.

Related: How to book Delta award tickets with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points

Which program should you credit to for Star Alliance airline flights?


For Star Alliance flyers in the United States, crediting flights for Miles&Smiles Türkiye instead of United MileagePlus could be a smart choice

Türkiye awards miles based on fare class, elite level and distance flown. Additionally, Türkiye offers a lower elite status eligibility threshold with no spending requirements. With just 25,000 status miles, you can achieve Classic Plus (Star Alliance Silver) status. Elite (Star Alliance Gold) requires 40,000 status miles and Elite Plus (also Star Alliance Gold) requires 80,000 status miles.

By contrast, United typically requires spending between $4,000 and $24,000 (before taxes and fees) to achieve elite status, in addition to flying requirements.

By making money Golden Star Alliance status through Turkish you can access unified club and partner lounge. However, you will not be eligible to upgrades on United flights.

Turkish miles can also be more valuable than United miles, with domestic flights starting at just 7,500 miles in economy and 12,500 miles in business class. You can also transfer points from Bilt Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards And Capital One compared to Turkish Airlines at a ratio of 1:1.

Asia Club is another option for status seekers, offering a 24-month eligibility period and the ability to redeem miles for flights on non-Star Alliance airlines like Etihad. Additionally, if you’re after more valuable rewards with the published award chart, consider crediting your Star Alliance flights to Air Canada aircraft. In many cases, this may be one Better redemption options than United MileagePlus.

Related: Best sites to search for Star Alliance awards

Bottom line

Choosing the right frequent flyer program to log your miles is just as important as using the right program. airline credit card for payments. It can have a significant impact on your rewards earnings. Adding miles to a partner airline often means earning more miles for the same flight.

Make sure you include your desired program in your booking before your flight departs. While some airlines may allow it Retroactive credit of flightsIt is generally not easy to transfer miles between programs once they have been credited.

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