“If you’re not loyal to a certain airline, try getting a travel rewards credit card with airline transfer partners.
“This can be one of the quickest ways to earn miles or points to book award travel more often.
“These programmes let you transfer your points to many of the same airlines at a 1:1 ratio.”
The travel expert also recommended what you should look for in a loyalty programme.
“The best travel loyalty programs make it easy to earn rewards, and reward you not only with free flights or hotel stays, but with perks that make you feel special and make your travel as stress-free as possible, such as separate customer service lines for check-in and waived fees,” Soderlund said.
“The programme should also give you flexibility to redeem your miles or points at as many destinations as possible through partners.
“In addition, the programme shouldn’t be complicated to use or confusing to figure out how to redeem miles or points.”
Soderlund added: “Tripit Pro offers various travel features to ease the travel chaos, but it also has features like Point Tracker that tracks all reward-program points and miles regardless of where the points come from, so that way you can view all your reward programs holistically, which may help you make a purchasing decision.”
So how do you know if a loyalty programme is for you?
“When you’re considering joining a program, look at the airline and hotel brands that you use most,” Soderlund advised.
“The more often you use the brand, the more miles or points you’ll be able to earn for travel.
“In addition, consider the destinations you’d like to visit. Perhaps you fly to a certain destination frequently for work, but your dream vacation is somewhere else.
“Make sure your programme includes routes or partners that can get you there.
“In addition, some airline and hotel loyalty programs pair well together because they have partnerships that allow you to earn miles on hotel stays as well as perks such as free checked bags.”
However, there are occasions when it may be best not to join a frequent flier programme.
“If you are not going to be flying or staying with a brand frequently, for example, if they don’t fly to locations you want to visit, don’t bother with the loyalty programme,” said Soderlund.
“Travellers generally choose loyalty programs for brands they trust and want to use often. If you don’t feel that way about the brand, don’t sign up.”