Get the Most Mileage Out of Rewards Programs
With high ticket prices, baggage fees, and other hidden costs, air travel is nothing to sneeze at. Corporate travel means you may have to face these prices on a frequent basis, though, so the problem for you is avoiding spending too much money while you’re traveling for your job. The following tips will help you get the most out of your miles, so that you can save your money in the process.
Use Them Wisely
Using your miles for a low-flight cost isn’t the best use of your resources. Instead, save miles for a flight that costs more. This will save you money in the long run. Why? It’s probably more expensive in the long run to purchase the expensive flight with all your money. Financially, it’s better to spend your money on the cheaper flight so that you can save money on the more costly trip.
Choose the Right Credit Card
Some credit cards will let you win points no matter which airline you book with. Others are tied specifically to one airline. Choose the one that’s the most appropriate for you, so that you can cheapen your flight expenses. Even better, you may want to see what cards are connected with hotels; some companies offer cards where you can earn points through both your travels and your hotel stays.
Speaking with an airline customer service rep to buy seats for a flight? Don’t be discouraged if they say there’s no more room for additional travelers. Beth Braverman says you should hang up and call back to speak with a different rep. Because chances are, that rep may not know how to check for additional seats. If you get three consecutive no’s, however, that’s when you should search for another flight.
Not all travel dates are optimal for saving money on flights. You’re less likely to get reward seating during peak travel times, i.e. holidays. Save your miles for less busy periods: Tuesdays and Wednesdays are a good bet. Generally, most travelers book for later times on the weekend, so getting a flight early in the morning is also a good option.
Booking your flight at the last minute, while not ideal for some people, can help you land a cheaper seat. If your travel date is flexible, you can search for a flight two weeks before its departure. Flights that aren’t filled will likely offer better prices. On the other hand, if you know almost a year in advance when you’ll need to fly, airlines offer tickets as far ahead as 330 days before the flight date. Prices are lower when you buy earlier.
Maintain Your Miles
Read your credit card’s terms and conditions carefully to find out what happens if you don’t use your miles in a certain time period. If you won’t be flying a lot, you can keep your card active by buying something from the airline’s online store. Or, if you want to fly somewhere that your airline doesn’t service, use the site Points.com. It will let you roll over your points for use with a different airline.
Use Airline Alliances
Similarly, you can take advantage of airline alliances to fly to places that your regular airline doesn’t visit. The partnerships between domestic and international carriers now give travelers more options than ever, so even if you can’t fly your preferred airline, you can still use your miles to get where you need to go.
Airline miles are a great way to save money, yet a lot of travelers don’t know how to use them correctly. Don’t let yourself be one of them. Understanding a rewards program may take a little time and research in the beginning, but the financial rewards are worth all the efforts. Even better, preferred travelers often get extra perks, such as drink coupons, lounge access, and priority seating. With all these benefits, your rewards program can give you a much more comfortable flight experience that will be gentle on your wallet.matt.hintsa via photopin cc