Many airlines offer airline miles credit cards, in partnership with credit card companies or banks. When you use one of these credit cards for purchases, you can earn air miles in the airline rewards program you’ve joined. Typically, every dollar you spend with the card gets you one air mile, but you may earn air miles at a higher rate when you buy flights or other items from the airline. You can also earn air miles in other ways, including, of course, flying with the airline.
Once you’ve earned enough air miles you can redeem them for flights with the airline or within an “alliance” of partner airlines. Today, many airlines apply what’s known as dynamic reward pricing, in which the number of air miles you need for a flight depends on the dollar price that you would have to pay for that ticket. You might need anything from a few thousand air miles for a quick domestic hop to well over 100,000 miles for some international flights.