What to Do With All Your Airline Miles and Reward Points

While we all love earning rewards based on purchases, a new study found that a whopping 73 percent of Americans have no idea how many frequent flyer miles or credit card points they have. What a shame! There’s no sense in complaining that airlines and credit card companies are gouging consumers with fees and charges, especially when three-quarters of us aren’t even keeping track of our points and miles!

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This latest research comes from Brian Kelly, known online as “The Points Guy”, suggests that younger people are the least likely to keep track of their miles and points.

Here are some other startling findings:

  • 80 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have no idea how many reward points or miles they have
  • 27 percent have let some or all of their frequent flyer miles expire at some point
  • 60 percent of Americans don’t understand how frequent flyer programs work

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Despite the findings, it’s not that Americans aren’t enrolling in these programs either; two out of three people collect rewards miles and points. “Failing to keep track of your rewards miles and points is like throwing money away,” says Kelly. “There are good reward programs for every type of consumer. Whether you’re redeeming miles and points for first-class plane tickets, gift cards, cash back or something else, the cardinal rule is that you have to keep track of how many you have. Websites and apps are making it easier than ever to manage rewards, yet almost three out of four Americans aren’t taking good care of their miles and points. That’s alarming.” We’ll say!

If you have points or miles burning a hole in your pocket, jump online, check your balance, figure out how the reward programs work, and put those points and miles to good use! If you know you’re never going to be able to fly first class to Paris, don’t waste them. Remember you can donate them! For example, “All Sato Rescue”, an organization that rescues stray dogs from Puerto Rico, uses donated frequent flyer miles to fly the dogs to their “furever homes” in the United States. There are also sites that allow you to sell miles and points. If all else fails, nab some magazine subscriptions with them! Whatever you do, don’t waste them!

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