Redeeming Frequent Flyer Miles

redeeming frequent flyer milesOne of the best perks of traveling, in addition to visiting new places, are the frequent flyer miles that are offered by most airlines. Once you accumulate enough, you can redeem them for free flights or other goods and services. However, when the time comes for redeeming frequent flyer miles, it's important to keep a few key things in mind.

Be Mindful of Restrictions

With the variety of airlines and credit card companies now offering programs for accumulating miles, the process of redeeming frequent flyer miles can get a little confusing. The number of miles needed to earn a free flight varies from one provider to the next so the first thing that you should do when redeeming frequent flyer miles is read the restrictions associated with the redemption process. Watch closely for any restrictions on the number of miles you can redeem each year and also if your miles will ever expire. The last thing you want to happen is lose your hard earned miles because you didn’t notice they had an expiration date. If your miles will expire before you can use them, many airlines offer the option of transferring the miles to someone else. However, be aware that transferring miles often costs a fee. You may also be able extend the life of the miles but again, this depends on your mileage provider.

Using Your Miles

More Than Free Flights

When you have reviewed all restrictions for redeeming frequent flyer miles, you’re ready to use your miles for free stuff. In the past, frequent flyer miles could only be used for free flights, but that's no longer the case. If you can’t get away for a trip, consider redeeming frequent flyer miles for other merchandise or services. Miles can often be used on anything from vacuum cleaners to televisions. Check out the website of your frequent flier company; they may have instructions on how to use frequent flyer miles for things other than airline tickets. Read these instructions closely. You should also search through all of the available merchandise and services before redeeming frequent flyer miles to avoid missing something that you would really like to have. However, your best option for getting the most out of your frequent flyer miles is likely to use the miles for an airline ticket.

redeeming frequent flyer milesIs the Price Right?

The price of tickets is always increasing so when you compare the value of your miles for a ticket versus other merchandise, you will know which is the better option. If you have a favorite vacation destination or a vacation rental that you visit frequently, use your free miles to visit this destination. This way, you won’t have to worry about wasting a free airline ticket on a disappointing destination.

Be Flexible

If you do decide to use frequent flyer miles for an airline ticket, it’s usually best to be flexible with your travel dates. When you are redeeming frequent flyer miles, you may not be able to travel on all dates or at all times of the day, so avoid the frustration by staying flexible. It’s also a good idea to book your ticket far in advance when redeeming frequent flyer miles. Since you will likely already be facing restrictions, don’t make the flight booking process even more difficult by waiting until the last minute. Overall though, redeeming frequent flyer miles is much easier than when this perk was first offered to travelers.

You’re paying a lot of money for your travels each year and you should receive some perks for that money. When redeeming frequent flyer miles, just pay close attention to the restrictions and be mindful of how to use frequent flyer miles to avoid common mistakes in the redemption process.