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Mistakes to Avoid When Redeeming and Using Air Miles

Frequent flyer miles are astonishing. Once you’ve become part of a program with your favorite carriers, the miles can add up quite quickly. The problem is that you can also lose them quite fast if you don’t know what you are doing.

Today, we’ll look at some of the most common pitfalls with airline miles so that you make the most out of your own. Once you know the rules, you can reap the rewards, so let’s get started with the mistakes that you need to avoid the most!

Failing to Watch Those Expiration Dates

With the pandemic and the travel restrictions associated with it, most carriers have suspended the expiration of their air mile incentives. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to watch out for your miles, though.

Restrictions get lifted or changed all the time, so you’ll want to check on your miles every month to make sure that you don’t lose them. In some cases, you can make a minimum purchase with your miles that will reset the expiration date, so you should also familiarize yourself with the airline’s policies on this.

You earned those miles, so watch the expiration dates and make sure that you get to keep them.

Don’t Take Too Long to Book

Another common mistake that many people make with their miles is assuming that they will always be an option for a particular trip. Airlines function on a supply and demand model that fluctuates wildly, so take the plunge and book your trip.

Just because you see that trip available now doesn’t mean that it will still be there tomorrow or even eight hours from now.

If you want it, book it while you still can!

Be as Flexible as Possible

While miles are fun to have, they are the most reliable for short trips. However, any trip that requires a few transfers can mean a delay for you, which could ruin your plans or cost you a lot of money if you are on too strict a schedule.

Budget and plan with a bit of flexibility in mind to avoid this. That way, if you get a layover in Miami or New York, then it’s like a bonus mini-trip instead of a mood-killing setback on the vacation that you’ve planned.

Avoid Overspending Your Miles

Incentive plans can be a little confusing (and let’s face it, that’s probably on purpose), so you owe it to yourself to do a little research on how your miles and points may be spent.

This means that when you choose your destination, you get all your available points and miles information and play a little with them when you are booking your ticket. You might find that certain spending combinations can save you a lot of your hard-earned points and miles, so resist the option to ‘look and book’ without checking all the possibilities.

 You’ll save a lot of points and miles, and you might get some comfort upgrades that you didn’t know you could get, so book carefully to save those miles… it can make a world of difference!

Some Closing Words

In today’s article, we’ve looked at mistakes to avoid when redeeming and using air miles. These fantastic little incentives can go a long way – if you plan it right – so be sure to use our tips to get the most out of your miles for your next vacation.

This means watching the expiry dates, booking fast while you can, being flexible in case of layovers, and resisting the urge to book your flight without seeing all your available options.

Image by Marcelo Solis at

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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April 2024