3 Reasons Why You Always Need Airline Miles

If you’ve been following for a bit then you may have noticed that credit card signup bonuses tend to fluctuate. While my strategy is to get cards for specific trips, I also think it is a great idea to have a stockpile of airline miles. The best time to create or build up your stockpile is when airline credit cards are offering increased signup offers. There are three main reasons why I like to have a stockpile of airline miles.

1. Emergencies

I don’t live near my family so having airline miles available should I need to go visit family for any reason is really nice. When my grandfather passed away a couple of years ago I was able to use Southwest Rapid Rewards to get myself to Arizona for the funeral. Last-minute flights can be pricey so having miles can be a huge money saver in emergency situations.

2. Last Minute Vacations

Sometimes things come up and there isn’t time to apply for a card, meet the spending, and then wait for the miles to be deposited. It’s nice to have some points available should an opportunity for a vacation arise. Even if I rarely go on a last-minute trip it just feels good to know that I can. One of my favorite memories is the last-minute trip to Maui my mom and I took one winter to get out of the snow. Having airline miles in a stockpile enabled us to book one week and be in Maui the next week.

3. Help a Friend or Family

When my sister broke her foot earlier this year I used Southwest Rapid Rewards once again to go spend a weekend keeping her company and helping cook and clean. My mom recently flew to London to help my other sister who was moving from the countryside back into the city. Now, neither one of us had to do these things, they weren’t emergencies, but they were super appreciated. Having airline miles on hand makes it much more doable to help those out who don’t live near you.


Sisters sitting on a couch. One with a broken foot.

Me and my poor sis with her broken foot.

Timing is everything when building your stockpile of airline miles. You want to wait till a higher than normal offer comes around. Here are some current, limited time, increased offers in the airline miles world.


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Delta Gold Card
70,000 Delta SkyMiles after a $2000 spend in 3 months, $95 annual fee is waived the first year. I have seen this offer go to up 70-75,000 miles, the last time I saw it that high was a targeted offer I got in the mail. The standard offer on this card is 30,000 miles.

Delta Platinum Card
90000 Delta SkyMiles after a $3000 spend in 3 months, $195 annual fee is not waived the first year. Also includes a domestic roundtrip companion fare with renewal each year.

American Airlines:

Barclay Aviator Red Mastercard Elite
60,000 American Airlines miles and a $99 companion certificate after making a purchase and paying the $95 annual fee. The standard bonus on this card is 50,000 points.

United Airlines:

United Quest Card-
80,000 United miles after meeting a $5000 minimum spend. The annual fee is $250 but includes a $125 United statement credit.

Southwest Airlines:

Southwest currently is offering up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards on their Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card. personal card and their business cards have high offers also.


You can follow @travelhackingmom on Instagram to stay up to date on all credit card news, including when airlines increase their credit card offers. Additionally, check our best offers page for all the latest high offers!

This post contains referral links. If you use these links I may be awarded bonus points. Thanks in advance if you do.

Update: Offers mentioned in this post may not be available anymore. The links will take you to the current offers.

A delta airplane sitting on the tarmac at an airport

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