Alliances play huge roles in higher flying, and in order to really elevate your travels, it’s best to understand how they operate and shape the industry. The strategic partnerships formed between airlines all over the world create unique opportunities and easily allow passengers to go to places in ways that would otherwise be much more difficult and/or expensive. Despite how useful alliances can be, they’re not particularly easy to understand, and I often get a number of questions about their basic functions. To help clear up some confusion, here’s a list of FAQs!
In the olden days of higher flying, it was possible to earn thousands upon thousands of points through a process called “churning.” The premise was simple enough: apply for a compelling credit card, complete the minimum spend and earn the signing bonus, then cancel the account. Shortly thereafter, reapply for that same card. Repeat over and over again to collect an unlimited amount of points.
Unfortunately, you can’t do that anymore.
In the Beginner’s Guide and throughout The Higher Flyer, I stress the importance of maintaining a good credit score. Everyone should have at least a 675, because without that, you won’t be approved for the cards required to earn lots of redeemable miles and points. Such a standard is pretty high already, and if you’re a student, you might not have a credit score at all. While that might seem problematic — how could you possibly get approved for a credit card? — you shouldn’t be discouraged. It’s entirely possible to build a score high enough to get you higher flying within a year.
As I write in the Beginner’s Guide, it’s quite difficult to fly higher without the assistance of credit cards; through signing bonuses and daily spend, you can earn a significant number of points which you can then use for travel redemptions. To have access to the best ones, you should have a credit score of at least 675, which, all things considered, is high. If your credit score isn’t at that level, don’t worry, because that won’t stop you from becoming a higher flyer. There are just some steps that you need to take before you try to enter the world of miles and points. I outline below what to do in order to get started with higher flyer credit cards.
I’ve found that trying to explain The Higher Flyer to someone who isn’t familiar with the world of miles and points can be a bit of a challenge at times. While a THF Glossary (that can be viewed here) is expanding daily, the namesake of the website seems deserving of a more detailed explanation beyond a few lines. Because the phrase itself can act as a noun, adjective, and a verb, and it also refers to facets of travel beyond flying, things can get confusing at times. For the sake of clarity, here’s a brief primer on what defines “higher flyer.”