Top 15 Tips To Get The Most Of Your Frequent Flier Miles

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Flier Miles

What do you do with all the Frequent Flyer Miles that you get? You do redeem them, don’t you? Statistics indicate that out of the US$48 billion dollars that are given out on travel reward programs, only a third is ever claimed. Here are several tips to help you take advantage of your FF miles. Go, claim what you deserve!

Flier Miles

  1. Trade points using sites such as Points.com with members of other loyalty programs. For example, if you are planning on a shopping trip, trade your FF mile points with someone who has points from your local retail chain.
  2. Reserve as early as possible to get your first-choice flights. International airlines put up tickets on sale at least 330 before the flight. You may have to go through carrier changes and route changes, but it’s still worth it.
  3. Use your FF miles to purchase gift cards, goods or services at Starbucks, Amazon.com and even credits by PayPal through Points.com. This is a great option when you have a few hundred miles left over before expiry.
  4. Collect your FF miles and donate them to the Salvation Army or the Make-a-Wish Foundation, who will donate them to the less fortunate. Contact your airline about how making this possible.
  5. You can pay for your annual magazine subscriptions using your FF miles. If you have as much as 3000 miles, you can subscribe for a good fashion magazine for an entire year. Talk to your airline first.
  6. Sign up for a FF mile debit card or credit card from a major carrier such as United Airways or Air Canada. You could be rewarded with a free ticket to an international destination in less than six months of joining.
  7. Your miles will go a longer way during what’s known as the “shoulder season”; in Europe, this season is 15th October to 15th May. You can get more out of low miles in this season, plus good deals on hotels and apartments.
  8. Accept all bonus points on your airline credit card or debit card. Leverage festival FF mile bonus points offers. Also enroll programs such as Direct TV and Netflix and so on to get more miles.
  9. Keep your miles current. Miles expire in 12 months on some airlines. You don’t have to buy a flight ticket – just use them to shop at an airline mall. This is a good way to earn bonus miles as well.
  10. Save your miles for a first class seat, to make each dollar work its best for you. Also, don’t give up your miles unless you’ve been getting more than a cent a mile.
  11. Buy more miles and earn bonus miles to make up for the shortage of funds on a ticket. Airlines such as US Airways actually offer double bonuses with the purchase of additional miles.
  12. Become a member of a program which allows you to pool points from your entire family (example, the British Airways Avios program). Join American Express programs so that you can assign your points to several other airlines.
  13. Join the United’s Mileage Plus program to earn points on Star Alliance flights – Swiss, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, US Airways, SAS, Lufthansa, etc. You can also explore OneWorld and SkyTeam FF miles programs.
  14. Use sites such as MileBlaster.com or Pointhub.com to keep track of your FF miles’ monetary values, your mile balances, expiration dates, summing up miles to buy tickets, cash versus points comparisons and so on.
  15. Apply to an airline travel rewards program such as the Hilton Honors rewards program. By doing this, you can exchange your miles within multiple accounts without getting into any other travel programs.