If you’re a frequent flyer, racking up those miles, you may find that, more and more, it’s becoming difficult to redeem those miles for “free” travel. Over the past couple of years, several of the major airlines have corrected or changed their policies on mileage expiration, and miles now disappear after 18 to 24 months. Here are five key strategies to ensure your well-deserved miles won’t go to waste:
- Check the partners of your preferred airline. If you’re having trouble redeeming miles on your main carrier, its partners may have award seats available to you.
- It is important to redeem your miles as early as possible in order to book available award seats. This is particularly imperative during popular travel periods, e.g. around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- You can also use your miles to upgrade to first- and business-classes. Because premium seating often costs significantly more than coach, many travel experts recommend this strategy in order to gain the most value from your miles.
- To earn even more miles, you can shop at a mileage mall or use your airline-affiliated credit card. Check your airline’s website for a full list of eligible partners.
- Finally, you can extend the life of your miles and make the world a better place! Most airlines now allow frequent flyers to donate miles to specific charities, which allows volunteers to fly to disaster relief centers, or victims to seek medical treatment or join their families.