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How can I accumulate as many miles as possible in a single frequent flier program?
1. Call the airport closest to your home to find out if any airline uses it as a hub. A hub is an airport through which an airline routes most of its traffic. If a major carrier uses your local airport as a hub, it will likely have more flights to more cities than other airlines. For these reasons, you'll probably use that airline most often, and will be able to accumulate miles quickly.

2. Many airlines have formed partnerships with rental car companies, hotels, and other businesses. Some airlines--especially smaller, regional ones--ally themselves with other airlines. Look at each program's partners to see if one matches your buying and flying patterns.

3. Find out the details of the programs you're considering. How long after you earn them do the miles expire? How many miles are needed for an upgrade? Can you transfer miles to family members? Weigh these factors based on how you like to fly.

4. Many airlines dedicate part of their web site to listing their bargain fares, or have an email list of their specials. If flights are cheap, you'll be more apt to fly, and accumulate miles more quickly. Before booking a bargain flight, be sure to verify that it will earn you miles. Visit the airlines' web sites for more information.

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