Five ways to make the most of your travel points
Think you won’t be able to afford that long-haul flight or first-class airfare? Think again! Travel rewards expert Brian Kelly shares how to make the most of your travel points.
Tip #1: Register with a major airline loyalty program
- You can’t accumulate points if you aren’t registered, so take a few minutes and sign up!
- When figuring out which points programs to sign up for look for things like ease and flexibility when it comes to accruing points, good partners and fair taxes and fees.
- Use online mileage managers like awardwallet.com to help manage your points and passwords.
Tip #2: Choose the right credit cards and use them
- Choose credit cards with transferable points.
- Be disciplined when you use credit cards and pay them off each month or else the interest fees will negate the value of points earned.
- Use cash only when you have to.
- Don’t always assume cards with lower annual fees are better—sometimes the ones with slightly higher annual fees will get you more in the long run.
Tip #3: Let your daily shopping earn you points
- You’re likely buying gas and groceries anyway, so why not earn points while you’re doing it?
- Discipline rules. Every time you go to the gas pump remember to swipe your card and collect your points. It seems silly but sometimes people aren’t diligent about it.
Tip #4: Shop at online mileage malls
- A lot of people don’t even know these exist, but they’re such an easy way to build up points.
- Online mileage malls allow you to find the same merchandise as you would at retailers’ websites, but earn you travel points when you purchase their goods.
- There are a wide variety of products available for purchase: from electronics to books to music to toys, health, beauty and more.
- A great example is Aeroplan’s E-Store.
Tip #5: Stay up-to-date with travel deals
- Deals come and go quickly so make sure you keep an eye on relevant social media accounts and websites.
- Treat it like a hobby. Who doesn’t want a hobby that saves you money?
- It may sound overwhelming but there are so many forums out there to get you started, including www.flyertalk.com, which provides codes and promos for all sorts of travel deals.
Last but not least, set a goal! When you don’t feel like collecting points and being disciplined, it’s nice to have a prize to keep your eye on!
Our expert wants to help you to get out of town - literally.