Ben Squires

Money & Banking

5 ways to get more out of your frequent flyer miles

5 ways to get more out of your frequent flyer miles

Frequent flyer mile programs can potentially open the door to a range of bargains. But there’s a way to get more value out of these miles that should be considered by everyone signing up. We’ve put together five useful tips for using your frequent flyer miles more effectively.

1. Avoid the airline’s frequent flyer stores

While it may seem like the obvious place to go, particularly if you’re sitting on a stack of points, heading to the airline frequent flyer store doesn’t really represent a good investment. This is because while frequent flyer points are set to the value of a currency, the amount they’re worth varies greatly depending on the actual product you’re buying. At the very least, make sure you do a little bit of window shopping before making a purchase as it might represent terrible value.

2. Use only one frequent flyer program

If you’re after the big rewards at the end of the journey the only way you’re going to get there is by sticking with a single program (which is exactly the sort of behaviour these programs were set up to encourage). If you’re just about to choose a frequent flyer program to go with, make sure you do some shopping around and not just by looking at the typical rewards they offer, but also examining the routes they generally service and whether this will fit into your business and pleasure trips.

3. Think twice about “free” flights

Always consider what the best fare is going to be, before you use all your points. Competition in the airline industry is rife and the more you save up the closer you may be to that flight deal to end all flight deals. Using your points on a flight that’s already very cheap gives your points an exchange rate that’s effectively well below their actual worth, so it’s worthwhile considering this sort of thing.

4. Apply for an upgrade

If those points are burning a hole in your pocket however, a useful way to get rid of them is by purchasing a ticket that’s upgradable (these systems vary from airline to airline) an applying for an upgrade. These upgrades are available right up to the departure gate with some airlines and can also cater for one leg of a two-flight trip so there’s potentially a lot of flexibility to explore there.

5. Useful Online Resources

The point systems are generally geared to help the airlines make more money, so it’s not like you’re ever going to be able to get something for nothing. But there are variety of online resources to help travellers figure out which the best point system is for them. A good example is Points Pros which is an online resource that really simplifies the point accrual process and helps you figure out how to get the best points deal for your particular situation. To visit the Points Pro website click here.

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