Perhaps the most sensible and easiest way to earn extra frequent flyer miles is by using your telephone. This decade has witnessed a radical change in marketing efforts by long-distance carriers.
The newest tactic to lure subscribers is frequent flyer miles. MCI got the ball rolling with Northwest WorldPerk members, offering five miles for each dollar spent on residential long distance. AT&T, the largest long-distance carrier, was slow to realize the selling potential of miles, but finally saw the light. The telephone giant launched AT&T True Rewards and quickly got in on the programs of United, Delta, US Airways, British Airways and Marriott. AT&T then changed its mind and did not renew partner relationships. However, AT&T is back in the rules business. Members of British Airways Executive Club USA and Hilton HHonors can earn five miles and four points per dollar spent, respectively, on long-distance calls. Sprint is in partnership with TWA, America West, Alaska, and Virgin.
What's next? What else but cellular phone service, paging and the Internet. U.S. programs are beginning to offer miles for cellular phone rentals and sign-up. Awarding miles for actual cellular usage is rare. Many programs, including international programs, currently offer awards for free short-term service or actual phones. When choosing a long-distance carrier or cellular service, don't forget to pay your phone bill with your affinity credit card. One more mile can make a difference.