Friday, May 25, 2012, AM | 2 Comments
If you noticed lately, the airlines have put more and more restrictions on frequent flyer programs. Travelers must be savvy about earning and using mileage awards. You can find ways to make the mileage awards work for you. You may have acquired some of those miles through travel.
Many more of the mileage you may have earned by using credit cards with an affinity program that allows you to accumulate one frequent-flyer mile for every dollar spent.
Here are 4 tips you can use to make mileage awards work for you:
If you plan on going on vacation, “think of where everybody else wants to go and do the opposite,” suggests Tim Winship, editor-at-large for Smart Travel. Many websites such as Peter Greenberg and Best Fares also offer travel deals and current news about airlines.
Avoid losing miles to airline bankruptcies
This is what some people call earn and burn. The rules can change on you before you use the awards. So use them at the first chance you get. That includes hotels and car rental agencies. If you use your credit card, you might be able to earn more awards.
Always read the fine print
Review your travel patterns frequently. Learn which fees you might incur such as for checking baggage. Also know blackouts and mileage expiration dates.
Compare airlines deals
When you compare airlines, always compare the extra fees that you might incur. Also include the mileage you have earned when comparing deals.
In a Nutshell
Follow the above tips and you would avoid awards being expired. Also try to redeem them as soon as possible in case the airline goes bankrupt. Therefore the best way to protect your miles is to use them.