Your frequent flyer points have the potential to be a great benefit if they are used wisely and efficiently. But there are so many programs out there with a variety of rules, regulations, and products or services for which your points must be used, that getting the most from your points can sometimes be difficult. Here are a few options to consider when accumulating and utilizing your frequent flyer points that could help you get the biggest bang for your buck – or should I say, point.
1. Credit Card Bonuses
If you’re in need of a new credit card, you might want to look for special sign-up bonuses or credits. You could get a decent amount of points or miles for certain cards’ introductory offers.
2. Making the Most of Your Credit Cards
Rather than paying by way of cash or cheque for purchases, you may want to consider using credit cards that will earn you frequent flyer points instead. This may also be a consideration for reimbursable work purchases, which you could possibly use to push your credited points amount higher at no cost to you.
3. Fees and Interest
While making frequent use of your credit cards might be a great way to accumulate frequent flyer points, you may need to watch out for costly card fees and interest on carried balances, which could negate the points you are accumulating. Making your points go further may seem inconsequential if you have to pay hundreds of dollars in fees and interest upon the account you used to accumulate those points.
4. Hotel/Airline Combos
Some hotels will allow you to accumulate and utilize points through their rewards programs. If you do a lot of traveling, you might want to consider signing up for hotel rewards programs that are compatible with your frequent flyer point needs and could make your points go farther.
5. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Having 10 points in each of a 1,000 programs probably won’t do you much good, but having 10,000 points in one program might. Signing up for too many rewards or points programs can be difficult to manage and keep track of. It can also leave you missing out on certain advantages or not accumulating enough points in any one program to be worthwhile.
6. Plan in Advance
It may take some time and advanced planning to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to frequent flyer points. It’s often important when making your travel arrangements to watch out for holidays and restrictions that can eat heavily into your accumulated miles.
7. Watch Out For Expiration Dates
Whether it’s for special promotions and offers, or your points themselves, expiration dates can be the demise of the wise use of your frequent flyer points. Losing out to expiration dates is probably the most aggravating and worst way in which to waste your flyer points.
8. Choose Your Purchases Wisely
With some programs, you may be able to redeem your points for things other than travel. Beware of using points on items that may not be worth as much as air travel. A gift card might not seem like such a good idea if you could have used those same points for a trip to a vacation destination instead.
9. Promotions and Special Offers
Double or triple points on certain purchases or at special times can add up in a hurry. To ensure you make the most of these situations however, you should try to familiarize yourself with the policies, procedures, and regulations regarding the program or programs so as not to make any costly mistakes.
10. Don’t Be So Quick
Being quick on the draw might have served you well in the days of the Wild West; however, utilizing your points quickly and before they’ve had time to sufficiently accumulate, could leave you frustrated and without points when you really want them. You might want to take some time, think about how long it took you to accumulate those points, and deny yourself immediate gratification before using your points on an impulse buy.
No matter when, where, how or why you utilize your frequent flyer points, it’s important that you consider the ramifications of how you accumulated those points in the first place. While flyer miles and points can be a great reward for using your credit cards, irresponsible use of those same cards may cost you much more than those frequent flyer points could ever be worth.