I ran into a friend yesterday who was concerned that her American Airline miles were about to expire. There are a few important things to know about loyalty points and miles. Most important is to remember that any activity on your account will reset the clock!
Jet Blue and Delta, Best Western and IHG have miles that don’t expire – most other programs do so be aware of expiration dates.
Make a spreadsheet or use a program like AwardWallet (there’s a convenient app) to track your loyalty points.
There are many ways to reset the clock for expiring miles:
1. My favorite is a shopping portal. First check evreward.com to see who is offering the best deal on points. They all change frequently so if you don’t “need” something wait until there is a good points sale. I wait to buy my big ticket items like appliances when they have high points days (I just got an extra 4000 points for a stove I needed anyway).
If you like Southwest Airlines (you should), login into Southwest Shopping and enter your frequent flier info. If you don’t have one yet, it’s really easy to call or get one online. After you login, just look for your favorite store or type in what exactly you are looking to buy. Then the airline site will redirect you to the store site (Macy’s, Nordstom, Home Depot, Gymboree – most stores) and you get frequent flier points on top of what the store offers and stack again with the right credit card for more points. Really quite easy once you get in the habit!
Everytime you buy anything your points clock resets. They also often subscriptions such as the Wall Street Journal for nice bonuses sometimes.
2. Use a corporate partner to get or redeem points or miles. Check the company website to see who they partner with and how to get miles.
3. Use branded credit cards like the Chase Southwest Visa. It’s a great way to reach the companion pass goal – a priceless bonus!
4. Donate some miles or points.
5. Transfer miles to another program. For example, transfer your Chase or AMEX rewards to a partner airline to reset the clock.
So now that you will have all those miles, get traveling!
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