TODAY   |  September 22, 2013

How to earn more airline points and miles

Some people travel all over the world to get their points and miles, but it’s something anyone can do, even without leaving the comfort of the couch. TODAY’s consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're raising the bar on flying.

>> reporter: it's not just their good looks and service that will get you to fly their friendly skies. it's time to up the ante.

>> there are more opportunities now to earn points and miles than there have ever been.

>> reporter: savvy travellers know how to work the system, but anyone can get in on the action. how can you manage to go to all these places on your wish list.

>> it really is a matter of understanding the options and benefits that are out there.

>> reporter: just listen to howie rappaport. he'll fly for two days taking four or five connections with no intention of actually visiting his final destination.

>> give me your manualic.

>> from boston to dallas, dallas to seattle and seattle to anchorage. that's got me 80 plus percent of the way to a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the united states . free upgrades, free bags, free early seating, that's not just for one flight. that's through out the entire year.

>> reporter: have you ever heard of mattress running.

>> a mattress runner is someone who stays at hotels just to accrue status.

>> you're paying for today, but not staying.

>> what are we doing here?

>> checking?

>> ariana became so obsessed with the chase, she left her job to blog null time for "flier talk." in a short time she has collected 1.5 million points and only slept in a handful of rooms.

>> i have your platinum number on file. with arianna's elite status she gets suite upgrades, access to club lounges, free breakfast, internet and late checkouts.

>> we need to complete six different stays to get 50,000 bonus points .

>> are you addicted?

>> you could say that, yes.

>> being loyal pays, but does all that travel make your head spin ? no worries. you don't even have to board a plane. in fact the top ways to earn points right now are through credit card sign-up bonuses and daily spending.

>> how many do you have?

>> about that many.

>> the purpose of all this?

>> accumulating points and miles.

>> does this destroy your cred snit.

>> quite the contrary. it will improve your credit score because you pay your bills on time.

>> reporter: wait, there's more. david phillips , a civil engineer , known as the godfather of points and miles purchased 12,000 pudding cubs during an airline promotion. after donating them, he walked away with more than a million miles .

>> we'll upgrade you to one of our suites.

>> reporter: so we gotten free days redeemed at properties at well over $300 a night.

>> 50,000 points.

>> in two hours?

>> yes.

>> six hotels?

>> yes.

>> i'll see you in that heatity.

>> reporter: proving anyone can earn a night or two in paradise mile by mile, point by