Are your frequent flyer points going to waste? Here are five tips from our personal travel managers to ensure you are getting the most out of your miles.
Some frequent flyer programmes now allow you to pool your points within your family, so that points earned by each individual member can go into a centralised bucket, to be used by other nominated family members. So if you have one family member who travels a lot, you can use your points to help pay for their travel.
Many credit card providers now offer frequent flyer points as part of their rewards schemes. Take the time to do a little research into which offers the best deal according to your level of spending and preferred airline partners. By paying for your airfares with your qualifying credit card, you can easily increase the number of points accrued on an individual journey – earn points for paying and earn more points for flying!
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for sign-up bonuses – sometimes you’ll be rewarded with a lovely pile of points just for opening a new credit card. Just be sure you read the full product disclosure statement before you sign up for anything.
Most airline frequent flyer programmes now also partner with a range of retail partners, including hotels, rental car companies, tour companies and much more. Even utilities providers, petrol stations and supermarkets are now getting in on the act, so you can earn points even if you’re not travelling.
If you’re not planning to travel any time soon, check whether your programme allows you to redeem points for goods and services instead. And if you don’t have enough points to buy a reward ticket, check whether you have sufficient points to claim an upgrade on a purchased ticket instead.
Beware of expiry dates – these vary depending on the programme you are using. Some programmes also require you to travel on a regular basis in order to keep your account active.
It’s also a good idea to hold onto all of your travel documentation (eg booking confirmations, boarding passes) until your points have shown up in your account. Many providers allow you to keep tabs on your account online, and even chase up points that haven’t been credited.
Maybe your points are due to expire and you either don’t have enough to make a redemption or there’s no availability that suits your needs. Or maybe you just feel like carrying out a good deed. Whatever your motivation, you may like to donate your points to a nominated charity or school – check with your frequent flier programme to see if this is an option for you.
For more tips and advice on making your frequent flyer points work for you, ask your local personal travel manager or find one here.