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  • 8 cost-effective methods to maximize the value of your points and miles

    Published on November 16, 2022

    It’s easy to get dissatisfied by the lack of alternatives accessible to people with modest points and mile balances, especially given that certain award flight redemption rates now cost hundreds of thousands of miles one-way. Even people with large balances may feel that reward rates are excessive compared to what they feel comfortable spending after carefully accumulating points and miles. Fortunately, there is some good news: You can physically and symbolically stretch your points and miles farther with just a little bit of knowledge and enjoy cheap hotel booking and flight reservations.

    Large welcome bonuses might be quite alluring, but for those trying to save money on travel, they aren’t the sole consistent source of miles and points. Don’t make the error of throwing away miles and points from your regular spending. We’ll talk about tactics in this article to get the most out of your benefits. Small victories will pile up and enable you to go farther for less money.

    • Keep an eye out for discount award possibilities

    An excellent approach to saving costs while traveling is to take advantage of award promotions that are only available for a short period and allow you to book flights for less miles. However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out in case a venue you’ve been considering goes on sale. Sometimes these specials are only valid for particular dates or locations. Travel arrangements may be made using dynamic pricing for fewer miles than the program’s reward chart would indicate. With their web special awards, which provide savings on award fees, airlines’ form of dynamic pricing may be observed. It might be difficult to identify precise locations or times when these prizes may be available since the discount varies by route and the time you book. However, since awards are less expensive, discounts may rapidly pile up, particularly when purchasing numerous tickets.

    • Select off-peak pricing

    Depending on the anticipated demand for certain periods, several loyalty programs provide peak and off-peak reward prices. When it comes time to redeem your points and miles for your vacation, you may save a lot of money if you can plan your travel during off-peak times. Airlines exemplify this by providing off-peak award fares on Main Cabin flights between a range of overseas locations. Because these off-peak travel dates are constant from year to year, you may prepare ahead of time. However, keep in mind that Airlines use dynamic pricing as well, which may cause certain flights and dates to cost fewer miles than those shown at off-peak times. You should thus check prices for different dates to see which gives the greatest value.

    • Utilize a companion pass

    A companion certificate is a benefit offered by several airline credit cards, however, you must almost always schedule a paid flight to use the companion certificate. Once you’ve earned the pass, you may use it as many times as you’d like to cover a companion on award flights during the pass’s validity (which is good until the end of the next calendar year, so timing is crucial).

    • If the price drops, reschedule

    It’s a good idea to reserve hotels and flights with a flexible cancellation and change policy. The capacity to change your plans in the event of a coronavirus pandemic will be made possible by having this flexibility, which will also enable you to recover your money. Simply said, you may save a lot of money by taking advantage of hotel and airline ticket reductions. Checking your award flights and stays regularly to see if you can rebook at a lesser price is something we advise. After all, while traveling on a tight budget, every point or mile matters.

    • Increase promotions

    Award stays often count as qualifying nights at Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott, allowing you to book using points and still be eligible for additional points as part of a promotion. Your overall out-of-pocket award cost may be reduced by receiving bonus points or a points refund after your stay, albeit you might need to have the full number of points available when making the original reservation. Another form of promotion that might give extra discounts on your award travel reservations is transfer benefits, such as those provided by flexible credit card currencies to airline and hotel programs. Look for possibilities to combine credit card transfer benefits, off-peak pricing, and discount award opportunities with airline and hotel promotions to save even more money.

    • Get one night free

    Avoiding the need to spend any points in the first place is an apparent approach to conserving them. Some hotel credit cards provide a free night once a year. When staying at qualifying locations for 10 nights, you may earn a free night. When redeeming points with these programs, be sure to stay at least four or five nights to be eligible for the fourth- or fifth-night free perk to optimize this program advantage and, as a result, get the most out of your points.

    • Take advantage of credit card travel rewards

    If your credit card offers an annual travel credit, think about utilizing it to pay for accommodations or flights to more budget-friendly locations while conserving your points and miles for more expensive awards or aspirational trips.

    • Purchase a budget positioning flight

    You may not be able to fly out of your home airport when you book an award sweet spot or a travel discount, or you could discover that doing so would cost you a lot more miles. Fortunately, there is a way out of this situation: reserve a cheap positioning flight. Taking positioning flights may seem difficult, but if you don’t restrict your starting point to your home airport, you may get some pretty outstanding accolades and travel offers. Additionally, you could discover that you just need a minimal amount of miles to book your positioning flight. Just remember to leave plenty of time between your tickets, particularly with all the cancellations and delays that are happening these days.

    As you can see, there are many ways to maximize your points and miles, even if you have a limited spending budget. There are several methods to maximize your savings when you travel, from looking for cheaper than average prices to being clever about how you arrange your vacation. When you next organize a vacation, give a few of these suggestions a try. Your reward nights and flights can end up costing you far less than you anticipated.

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