If you often fly while traveling, then you’re probably aware of the fact that there are some amazing airline upgrade options. 

Well, it’s true. 

Getting an airline upgrade can greatly increase the value and quality of your flight. 

It can turn what might otherwise be a somewhat stressful or non-memorable flight into something that’s exciting, unique, and even exotic. 

There’s just one problem. 

A lot of people aren’t sure how to get airline upgrades. 

You can obviously buy them. 

However, that also kind of takes away from the experience a little bit. 

The idea is to get free upgrades so that you can enjoy them without spending any extra money on them. 

Now granted, this is a bit of a challenge. 

Especially if you don’t have a ton of experience with traveling.

So in this post, you’re going to learn the three types of upgrades to look for, and how you can begin the process of increasing your odds of getting them.

1. Elite Status Upgrades

Different airlines have different criteria for how to get elite status. 

However, the fact remains that, depending on the airline you fly with, it’s usually definitely in your best interest to try to get elite status—and the good news is that when you do become an elite member, you often get free upgrades automatically depending on your specific ranking in the elite program.

Once again, different airlines do this differently. 

But what you really want to look for is which elite status memberships are available with the airlines you regularly fly with—and what upgrades you can expect to get from them

Then, you can figure out how to gain access to these memberships so that you can start making use of the perks—especially those upgrades.

2. Upgrade With Miles

If you use a travel credit card that gives you miles, sometimes you can redeem those miles for an airline upgrade.

Once again, this really varies by airline. 

Some airlines will exchange different types of upgrades for different numbers of miles with different types of credit cards. 

It really pays to know the airline’s policies on this, and what they actually offer—because every hotel is a little bit different. 

With that being said, this can be a fantastic way to earn airline upgrades—especially if you’re going to be using that card and getting those miles anyway. 

This is especially true if you don’t plan to be traveling enough to use all of your miles, and would prefer to get some amazing upgrade perks instead of cashing them in for more flight time.

3. Use An Airline-Branded Credit Card

You can double down on the ‘miles perks’ by choosing to use an official airline-branded credit card. 

These credit cards often give you a wide range of different types of rewards—and sometimes they offer upgrades in addition to extra miles or even other perks. 

Once again, this step requires a bit of research. 

You need to research which credit cards offer airline-branded memberships, and then you’ll need to apply for those specific cards in order to get the benefits. 

However, it’s actually not as complicated as it sounds, especially if you have a pretty good credit score. 

It’s really just a matter of filling out some paperwork and getting the cards sent to you in the mail.

Plus, opening up another line of credit to use specifically for traveling never hurts anything. 

And the rewards really help to make it worth it! 

Note: If you’re not sure where to start your search for airline-branded credit cards, just do an internet search for “best airline-branded credit cards” or “best travel credit cards,” and then add the current year onto the end of your search. 

This is helpful because credit cards change over time—so you’ll want to make sure that you’re researching with up-to-date information. 


Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand the three types of airline upgrades that you really shouldn’t pass up. 

These airline upgrades have the potential to really increase the quality of your travel time. 

With that being said—all that’s left is to put them into action! 

For best results, try to maximize your upgrades by deploying all three different methods when you book flights. 

You’ve got this! 

Now get out there and get ready to see the world.


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