frequent flyer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8239/all en-US Get the Most From Your Airline Miles in These 5 Overlooked Cities http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_selfie_beach_74998243.jpg" alt="Woman getting the most from her airline miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Arguably the best part of joining a frequent flyer program is when you've earned enough to redeem for a free plane ticket. There are ways to get more value out of your miles, though, than just getting a ticket for the first place that comes to mind.</p> <p>For starters, international destinations are a better value. The value of each point rises with the cost of the ticket. For example, an international flight might cost twice as much as a domestic ticket, but the points required to redeem a free flight are only 1.5 times the points for a domestic ticket. For one flight, you might only get a $0.50 per point, but for another, you might get a few dollars per point!</p> <p>Also, award miles value are sometimes counted by region. So if you book a domestic flight, you can still get a good value out of your miles by comparing different destinations in the same region. And don't forget seat availability. It's not a good idea to get your heart set on a location only to discover that there are never any award seats available.</p> <p>If you're counting down the days until you're able to redeem your free flight, here are some often overlooked international destinations that can give you great value for your miles while discovering a new and unique part of the world.</p> <h2>1. Valparaiso, Chile</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/scenic_chile_87675863.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Valparaiso, referred by those who know and love it as &quot;Valpo,&quot; was once the most important port in South America and is full of recently-renovated 19th century architecture. Many boutique hotels have sprouted alongside new and innovative restaurants. There have been promotions in the past for as little as 30,000 miles.</p> <p>You can fly into Santiago, which is an international hub, and take a 90-minute bus ride to get to Valparaiso from there. Santiago is easily accessible from many hubs in the U.S. such as Los Angeles, Houston, and New York, with plenty of seat availability for those looking to redeem awards.</p> <h2>2. Helsinki, Finland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/helsinki_finland_scenic_67161215.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Finnair releases a fair amount of reward seats, especially in the winter, so you're sure to get an authentic colder-weather experience. You can expect to use 20,000 miles in economy or 50,000 in business class with the American Airlines loyalty program. Flights are nonstop from JFK.</p> <p>Of course, if you do travel in the winter months, you'll easily be able to reward yourself for braving the colder temperatures with a soak in the traditional <a href="http://www.visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/activities-in-helsinki/swimming-and-saunas#/?listing_id=52343&amp;mode=list">Finnish sauna</a>.</p> <h2>3. Copenhagen, Denmark</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Copenhagen_denmark_35003198.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This beautiful city in Denmark is easily accessible with Scandinavian Airlines, offering nonstop flights from the east coast (Newark and Washington) to the middle of the country (Chicago) and on the west coast as well (San Francisco). Scandinavian Airlines offers plenty of economy seats for reward mile redemption. If you're looking to fly business class, you can easily find a seat with United.</p> <p>Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark as well as the country's biggest city, with picturesque architecture and many unique, historic sites to visit. It is known for among other things its vibrant design scene and wide offering of innovative dining experiences.</p> <h2>4. Malé, the Maldives</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/maldives_island_scenic_17979750.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Interested in booking an island getaway? The Maldives are easier to get to than you may think, and you can use your miles to do so. To score the best value use miles from any Oneworld airline. This alliance of 15 airlines includes American Airlines, Japan Airlines, British Airways, and other well regarded carriers. Note that you can also use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> Miles.</p> <p>Just 70,000 miles will get you there and back in economy.</p> <p>In the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a series of over 1,000 islands. There is excellent diving and snorkeling, not to mention fantastic, nearly untouched beaches. For a more urban experience, you can check out Malé, the bustling capital.</p> <h2>5. Mexico City, Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mexico_city_95991235.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Getting to Mexico City is an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. You can get a nonstop flight from Montreal, Toronto, multiple airports in New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines is now serving Mexico and the Caribbean, with a great offer of unlimited reward seats, according to their website.</p> <p>Mexico City is one of Latin America's largest and most vibrant hubs, with a population of over 22 million people and amazing street food (tacos, tlacoyos, tlayudas, and burritos, just to name a few).</p> <p>Beyond the delicious culinary offerings, Mexico City is a center for art and the museums here are world-renowned. Architecturally, the city is diverse and portrays an interesting and unique history, from the Palacio National that houses some of Diego Rivera's most beautiful murals, to Bellas Artes that permanently feature Jose Orozco artwork plus other displays that change over time.</p> <h2>Bonus Tip: Get an Around the World Ticket to See More</h2> <p>Did I say five cities? Well you can actually enjoy your miles in scores more cities around the world instead!</p> <p>Using awards to buy an Around the World ticket is actually becoming quite rare, but there are still some options if you want to book multiple destinations. An Around the World ticket can allow you up to 16 different stops, and it can definitely save you money when compared to booking all of the legs of your trip individually.</p> <p>If you are redeeming with Star Alliance, you can purchase an RTW ticket for 200,000 points.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal">best travel rewards credit cards</a> will offer flexibility and award seats to the destination that you want. A card like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?ref=internal">Chase Sapphire Preferred</a> will allow you use their travel portal to book with your points as well as transfer points to airline partners to book directly. An <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">airline credit card</a> would limit you to that particular airline and its partners, but if you have a strong preference for a certain airline and its destination selection meets your needs, then you may be able to build up points faster by being a frequent flyer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Offers the Highest Value?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fget-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%20the%20Most%20From%20Your%20Airline%20Miles%20in%20These%205%20Overlooked%20Cities.jpg&amp;description=Get%20the%20Most%20From%20Your%20Airline%20Miles%20in%20These%205%20Overlooked%20Cities" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Get%20the%20Most%20From%20Your%20Airline%20Miles%20in%20These%205%20Overlooked%20Cities.jpg" alt="Get the Most From Your Airline Miles in These 5 Overlooked Cities" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost">7 In-Flight Amenities Worth the Cost</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines destinations flights frequent flyer international points rewards miles seats value world travel Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:30:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1820847 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000066208635.jpg" alt="Woman using best tools for tracking reward miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most challenging aspects of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">earning points and miles</a> is keeping track of all of your accounts. Every airline, hotel, car rental company, and credit card program has a separate account, each with its own user name, password, current balance, and possibly an expiration date. It's not that unusual for frequent travelers to have more than a dozen accounts to manage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Thankfully, there are a few tools that can help you collect all this information, view it all in one place, and even help you use it efficiently. You will never lose or forget about your hard earned rewards again!</p> <h2>AwardWallet</h2> <p><a href="https://awardwallet.com/#/">AwardWallet</a> is one of the oldest, and most popular websites for tracking points, miles, and other loyalty programs. It currently boasts over a third of a million users who use it to track nearly 70 <em>billion</em> points and miles. The basic version is free and will track the reward balances for an unlimited number of programs for you and your family members. It will also track your travel plans and notify you via email when your balances are about to expire. AwardWallet Plus is available for a donation (the amount at your discretion) and includes extra reward account properties, a historical account balance chart, and the ability to export the information to an Excel format.</p> <h2>Points.com Loyalty Wallet</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11373616-1368501104000">Points.com</a> is one of the leading companies that work with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles" target="_blank">loyalty programs of airlines</a>, hotels, and retailers. While much of its business is providing the technological backend to the companies that operate these programs, it also offers its Loyalty Wallet service to consumers, which can track and manage your accounts in over 110 different loyalty programs. While this may sound like a lot of companies, it's far from comprehensive. For example, there are notable absences such as British Airways, Wyndham, and Chase. However, Points.com is unique in that it offers users the ability to exchange points and miles between different programs, but at less than a 1:1 ratio. It also lets you redeem your points and miles for merchandise and gift cards. There is no charge to use this service.</p> <h2>Expert Flyer</h2> <p>Earning airline miles is one thing, but finding available award seats is a whole other task. <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=25056">ExpertFlyer</a> allows you to search for airlines award seats and upgrade availability quickly and easily. The basic subscription is $4.99 a month and it allows you to create seat alerts so you are notified when an award becomes available. The Premium version is $9.99 a month or $99 a year, and offers aircraft change alerts, saved queries, and a mobile edition. There is also a free version available with limited functionality.</p> <h2>Tripit Pro</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tripit.com/pro/features">Tripit Pro</a> is a travel organizing tool that produces detailed daily itineraries for every trip while providing real-time flight alerts and notifications. It also allows you to stay on top of all the points and miles that you earn from over 150 different travel rewards programs with its Point Tracker feature. And while other point tracking applications require you to manually enter your program details, Tripit Pro lets you forward your monthly and quarterly statements to their email address, and the program will automatically populate the information on your account. This program, which is accessible via both a web browser and a mobile app, will alert you when your points or miles are about to expire. Other features include a seat tracker, the ability to share itineraries, and notifications of when you are eligible for a flight refund. The cost to use Tripit Pro is $49 per year, but you can try it for free for 30 days.</p> <h2>Superfly</h2> <p><a href="https://www.superfly.com/#!/main/">Superfly</a> is an app that assists in many aspects of your travel planning including performing flight searches and viewing your travel history. In addition, it allows you to manage all of your reward points and miles in one place with its Rewards Dashboard. It will also estimate the value of your miles based on the cost of tickets and the benefits provided, and it supports adding accounts from friends and family members. Another novel feature is the Lounge section, which allows you to network with other frequent flyers who have the same status on a particular airline. Finally, making reservations through Superfly can enable you to receive 5%-10% cash back on hotel bookings.</p> <h2>Award Mapper</h2> <p><a href="http://awardmapper.com/">Award Mapper</a> is a simple website that offers a map based interface that allows you to search for hotels based on the loyalty program they are a member of. This is useful when you are looking to stay at a hotel and earn points in a particular program, or if you have points from one or more programs that you wish to use. There is no charge to use this app.</p> <p><em>What tools do you use for tracking reward miles? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">Credit Card Rewards Programs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying">How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping Technology Travel frequent flyer loyalty programs miles rewards programs Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Jason Steele 1666767 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000026833547_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card benefits aren't just about redeeming rewards for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">award flights</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back</a>. This is especially true when you travel. Pick the right card, and it could save you more than a pretty penny on your next trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel?ref=seealso">8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on&nbsp;Travel</a>)</p> <p>Here are some travel benefits your card may include that you might not be aware of.</p> <h2>Status Upgrades</h2> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded credit cards</a> for airlines and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal">hotels</a> offer automatic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal">status upgrades</a> in their respective loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy additional benefits like room upgrades or airport lounge access, usually only reserved for those who have gained status through frequent patronage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Get Elite Status for Free Hotel Upgrades</a>)</p> <h2>Priority Boarding</h2> <p>One benefit that's increasingly common for cards geared towards travelers is priority boarding. Usually, airlines only offer early boarding for their first class customers and most frequent flyers. Your credit card can help put you toward the front of the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-cards-that-offer-the-best-travel-perks?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with the Best Travel Perks</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Rather than forking over cash for your vacation expenses, let all the shopping you do every day rack up points that you can redeem for travel. Increasingly, credit card companies are broadening the number of ways you can redeem points. Use them for airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays, cruises, and even that special evening out on the town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Companion Tickets</h2> <p>While increasingly rare, there are some credit cards that still offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=internal">companion fare deals</a>. Some cards provide a certain number of deeply discounted companion tickets per year. Others give you an opportunity to apply your rewards points toward free or inexpensive companion tickets. Those who travel frequently as a family may find this benefit to be a huge money saver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-airline-companion-tickets-work-and-where-do-you-get-them?ref=seealso">How to Get Airline Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>Zero Foreign Fees</h2> <p>When you use a credit card abroad, you're often charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. However, more and more cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal">0% foreign transaction fee</a>, and those are the cards you should be using when you're traveling. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad?ref=seealso">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Travel insurance benefits come in all shapes and sizes on different cards. Some protect your entire trip in the event of its cancellation. Others will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what?ref=internal">protect your luggage</a> should it be lost or stolen while you travel. Some cards provide these benefits (including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel accident insurance</a>) free. Before you book your vacation, check which credit card offer the best travel insurance for your needs, and use that card to make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">6 Types of Travel Insurance Your Credit Card May Provide</a>)</p> <h2>Car Rental Insurance</h2> <p>This is a benefit that many credit cards carry, but it comes with a catch. Most of the time, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal">credit card rental car insurance</a> does not provide complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. It often excludes collision insurance, and there are usually high deductibles. Check your card's fine print on car rental insurance so you're clear on the terms and what's covered.</p> <h2>Airport Lounge Access</h2> <p>Delays are a commonplace occurrence when you travel. All of us have had that unfortunate experience that leaves us stranded on the floor of a very crowded airport hungrily searching for an outlet to charge our phones and tablets. Some credit cards provide free or discounted access to certain airline lounges complete with comfy seats, snacks, drinks, and plenty of outlets. Sometimes being a little more comfortable is all it takes to prevent a delay from ruining your trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <h2>Fee Credits</h2> <p>Save even more with cards that offer fee credits on travel incidentals like checked bags, in-flight refreshments or even the application fee for Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. There's usually a limit so check your credit card for full details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=seealso">Credit Cards That offer Fee Credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry</a>)</p> <h2>Concierge Service</h2> <p>Some cards carry <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-concierge-services-from-credit-cards-really-provide?ref=internal">concierge services</a>, meaning you can call the number on the back of the card and they can help with tasks such as travel planning, restaurant reservations, and special events tickets. If you need some last minute details taken care of or you need some assistance in an unfamiliar place, this benefit may prove very useful.</p> <h2>Global Assistance Hotline</h2> <p>When traveling, there's a high probability that something somewhere along the way won't go as expected. Given the current state of the world, you never know where or when you might find yourself in trouble. When you book your trip using a credit card that has a global assistance benefit, you'll be able to contact a toll-free number in the event of an emergency whether that involves a medical problem, a lost passport, or the need for an urgent translation.</p> <h2>Special Access</h2> <p>Certain cards provide you with access that may be difficult to come by for non-cardmembers. Heading to New York to take in a Broadway show? Want those hard-to-come-by concert tickets or a table at the hottest new restaurant in town? Many credit cards provide advance purchase opportunities and even reservations that non-credit cardholders won't have access to until later.</p> <p>It's important to note that not all cards carry the same benefits, and benefits change from time to time without notice. The best way to find out what travel benefits your cards carry is to call the number on the back of your card and ask to be connected to a representative who specializes in travel benefits. Enjoy your vacation, and pack the cards that will make your trip cheaper and more enjoyable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-benefits-each-credit-card-bank-offers?ref=seealso">Best Benefits Each Credit Card Issuer Provides</a>)<em><br /> </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftravel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg&amp;description=12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%27t%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card perks frequent flyer rewards cards travel rewards Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1334945 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000040747052.jpg" alt="Woman at the airport waiting for her flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you getting the most value from your airline miles?</p> <p>Many travelers are disappointed when the airline they have earned their miles with is unable to offer them an award seat to their destination, or is charging far more miles than they expected.</p> <p>But what most people don't realize is that many airlines belong to a web of alliances and partnerships that allow you to use your miles to book award flights on other carriers. Here is how this system works.</p> <h2>Airline Alliances</h2> <p>There are three major global airline alliances operating today: Star Alliance, SkyTeam Alliance, and oneworld. Those who belong to the frequent flyer program of one carrier may redeem their miles for flights <em>on any alliance partner</em>.</p> <h3>Star Alliance (27 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Adria</li> <li>Aegean</li> <li>Air Canada</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air India</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>ANA</li> <li>Asiana Airlines</li> <li>Austrian</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Brussels Airlines</li> <li>CopaAirlines</li> <li>Croatia Airlines</li> <li>EgyptAir</li> <li>Ethiopian</li> <li>Eva Air</li> <li>Polish Airlines</li> <li>Lufthansa</li> <li>Scandinavian Airlines</li> <li>Shenzhen Airlines</li> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>South African Airways</li> <li>Swiss</li> <li>TAP Portugal</li> <li>Thai</li> <li>Turkish Airlines</li> <li>United</li> </ul> <h3>SkyTeam Alliance (20 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Aeroflot</li> <li>Aerolineas Argentinos</li> <li>AeroMexico</li> <li>AirEuropa</li> <li>AirFrance</li> <li>Alitalia</li> <li>China Airlines</li> <li>China Eastern</li> <li>China Southern</li> <li>Czech Airlines</li> <li>Delta</li> <li>Garuda Indonesia</li> <li>Kenya Airways</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Korean Air</li> <li>Middle East Airlines</li> <li>Saudia</li> <li>TAROM</li> <li>Vietnam Airlines</li> <li>XiamenAir</li> </ul> <h3>oneworld alliance (15 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>airberlin</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>Finnair</li> <li>Iberia</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> <li>LAN</li> <li>TAM Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Royal Jordanian</li> <li>S7 Airlines</li> <li>SriLankan Airlines</li> </ul> <h2>Using Partners to Maximize Miles Value</h2> <p>There are different ways to access award flights for an airline's partners to redeem your miles. Some require additional digging if an airline doesn't offer partner award seats through their website.</p> <h3>How it Works</h3> <p>There are many ways to leverage an airline's alliance membership and partners to maximize value from your miles. For example, United is part of the Star Alliance. So if you have United miles, then you can redeem them for flights that include one or more Star Alliance partners. In fact, an award trip booked with United Miles doesn't even have to include any flights on United Airlines itself. In addition, travelers can earn mileage credit on United when they purchase a ticket to fly on any of the Star Alliance partner carriers.</p> <p>In addition to these global airline alliances, many airlines have other partnerships with carriers that are part of a different alliance, or are independent of any alliance. For example, American, Delta, and British Airways are each partnered with Alaska Airlines, which is not a member of any of the three global alliances. Delta also has partnerships with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian Airlines, none of which are members of SkyTeam or another airline alliance. However, some of these partnerships only allow travelers to earn miles, not to redeem them for awards. For example, United is actually partnered with Amtrak, so you can earn miles when you book connecting train service from United between the Newark airport and Philadelphia, Wilmington, Stamford, or New Haven, but you can't redeem United miles for Amtrak tickets.</p> <h2>How to Claim Award Seats</h2> <p>First, you have to learn which airlines are partnered with the frequent flier programs you belong to, including both alliance and non-alliance partners, which will be listed on each airline's website.</p> <p>Then, you need to determine how to search for available award seats among the partners. Some airlines, like United, will display most partner award seats when you search online, but others such as US Airways will not display any. And when a partner flight is not visible online, that means that you must call the airline to book an itinerary that includes it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the staff at airline call centers might not be as motivated to find partner award seats as you will, so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=inarticle">award travel enthusiasts</a> have discovered ways to perform these searches on their own.</p> <p>One way is to use another alliance member that has a better website. For example, American's website will show available awards for several oneworld partners, while the US Airways website shows none. Therefore, you might search American's website to find partner awards, then you can call US Airways to book an award and politely suggest the available award flights that you have already found.</p> <p>In other instances, you can leverage these partnerships to save reward points and miles. For example, if you had points or miles in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards credit card</a> that allowed you to transfer them into a loyalty program, and you wanted to fly from San Francisco to Hawaii, you could transfer them to miles with United Airlines, which would require at least 40,000 miles round-trip. Instead, you could transfer them to British Airways which requires only 25,000 miles. Of course, British Airways doesn't fly between San Francisco and Hawaii, but it is a oneworld alliance partner with American and a non-alliance partner with Alaska, both of which offer service from the Bay Area to Hawaii.</p> <p>You would save 15,000 miles by understanding how to get award seats through a partner carrier.</p> <h2>Spend American Miles to Fly to Italy on a Spanish Carrier</h2> <p>Last spring, I had plenty of American Airlines miles, and I wanted to take a family trip to Italy. Although American serves Italy, it had few award seats available, and none during the summer when we wanted to travel. Nevertheless, I knew that American's website did not display awards for some of their partners, including Iberia Airlines of Spain.</p> <p>So I signed up for a frequent flyer account with Iberia, searched for award seats on its website, and found the flights that I needed to Italy on Iberia flights via Spain. Finally, I called American to book the award seats. In fact, it is very likely that these seats were still available during the peak season precisely because they did not appear on American's website, and were never seen by tens of millions of American frequent flyers. So it really pays to look for these &quot;hidden&quot; partner awards, as they are far more likely to be available.</p> <p>When travelers learn how to leverage airline partnerships, they will find that their frequent flyer miles can take them farther than they may have thought.</p> <p><em>Have you leveraged carrier partnerships to get the most out of your miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls">How One Man Used Credit Card Rewards to Go to the Last 11 Super Bowls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline alliance airline miles airlines frequent flyer rewards Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1329720 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane-5270783-small.jpg" alt="airline" title="airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From choice of program, to accumulation strategies, ongoing management, and eventual redemption, there are many tricks to effectively using frequent flyer miles. Here is everything you need to know to become a frequent flyer superstar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Choosing Your Rewards Program</h2> <p>Before you even choose your weapon (aka mileage programs and strategies), you need to establish the game at hand. Instead of randomly collecting miles for the sake of collecting them, find a reason to earn miles. Is it a business class flight to Europe? A family vacation to Disney? The more focused you are in your intent, the more targeted and effective your accumulation strategies will be. (See also: <u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points">Maximize the Value of Your Airline Miles and Points</a></u>)</p> <p><strong>Programs Galore</strong></p> <p>Although generally referred to as &quot;frequent flyer miles,&quot; a more accurate term would be &quot;reward miles&quot; or &quot;reward points,&quot; since not only airlines, but hotels, transportation providers, and even grocery stores provide opportunities for accumulating points that can translate into free or discounted travel.</p> <p><strong>Understand the Alliances</strong></p> <p>Most major airlines belong to an alliance, which allows for accumulation and redemption of miles with different airlines. Thus, you can accumulate miles with US Airways, and redeem them for flights on Swiss Air. Or you can fly with West Jet, but attribute your miles to American Airlines.</p> <p>The three major alliances are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.staralliance.com/en/">Star Alliance</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.oneworld.com/member-airlines/">One World</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/Our-members/">Sky Team</a>.</p> <p><strong>Diversify Among Alliances</strong></p> <p>To maximize your opportunities (without scattering your efforts too much), choose one airline from each alliance as a focal point for accumulation.</p> <p><strong>Collect Universal Points</strong></p> <p>There are a few reward miles programs (like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan.aspx">Alaska Airlines</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/index.html">SPG</a>) that provide excellent flexibility in allowing you to transfer your points to airlines and hotel programs spread across all the alliances. Look for ways to accumulate miles into one of these types of programs (such as with a credit card &mdash; see below).</p> <h2>Managing Miles</h2> <p>This is where we separate the aces from the also-rans, because managing miles is nor for the faint of heart. But all the effort will pay off, especially if you're enjoying a long-haul business class flight for a fraction of the price of an economy ticket.</p> <p><strong>Organize Yourself</strong></p> <p>Despite choosing focal points for major accumulation within each of the alliances, you're going to end up having lots of accounts. Signing up for a hotel program and liking them on Facebook for 1,000 points could come in handy down the road when you find a bonus transfer deal.</p> <p>But this means you'll also have to organize multiple user names, passwords, membership numbers, and track your earnings. Dust off your spreadsheet skills and don't be wary of joining too many programs; you never know when they'll be useful.</p> <p><strong>Use a Rewards Management Site</strong></p> <p>Though not a full substitute for the trusty spreadsheet, using a rewards management site can help you get an overview your memberships, find deals, and transfer miles between programs. The three main sites are <a target="_blank" href="http://www.awardwallet.com/">Award Wallet</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here">Points</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.usingmiles.com/">Using Miles</a>.</p> <p><strong>Watch for Expiration</strong></p> <p>Many programs revoke your miles if your account is inactive for too long. But you can keep them going with as little as a periodic $1 online purchase earning miles to that program. Rewards management sites like those above help you to track your expiration dates so you can earn accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Beware of Transfers and Trades</strong></p> <p>Although a couple of the programs above allow you to trade miles between users and transfer miles between rewards programs, beware! Most of the time you'll lose too much value per mile for it to be worthwhile. The exception to this rule is with the universal points programs referenced earlier.</p> <p><strong>Track Your Strategies</strong></p> <p>When you complete a transaction that earns you miles (be it online shopping, booking a flight, or participating in a promotion), record your activity in your trusty spreadsheet &mdash; and double-check that the miles are deposited to your account. Sometimes you need to contact the rewards program to ensure the correct amount of miles are attributed. They're usually quite nice when you call, but don't trust all transactions to process correctly; be ready to enforce your rights.</p> <h2>Earning Miles</h2> <p>Here are some ways and means to earn miles. Combine as many strategies as you can to maximize value!</p> <p><strong>Don't Reinvent the Wheel</strong></p> <p>I don't have time to extensively research all programs and opportunities, nor to troll the frequent <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php">flyer talk forums</a> for deals. As an answer to this, you can enroll in various membership programs such as the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-83-frequent-flyer-mile-accumulation-for-canadians/">Canadian Freeflyers</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.firstclassflyer.com/">First Class Flyer</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/06/financial-travel-tip-85-the-ultimate-guide-to-frequent-flyer-miles/">The Ultimate Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles</a> to provide a knowledge base, and deliver new deals to your inbox.</p> <p><strong>Get a Credit Card (or Two)</strong></p> <p>I've (cautiously) extolled the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">virtues of credit cards</a> for years now; the main reason being that they are excellent tools for accumulating miles on every dollar you spend.</p> <p>Choose a credit card with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">a plush bonus for signing up</a>, and a program that is one of your chosen focal points for accumulation.</p> <p>Some people apply ruthlessly for credit cards offering sign-up bonuses, then cancel the cards accordingly. Use this strategy with caution (don't overextend your credit, don't get yourself into unnecessary debt, and keep an eye on your credit score); but when done successfully you can earn mega-miles.</p> <p><strong>Go Shopping</strong></p> <p>This isn't a carte blanche order. But if you need to buy something (right down to gas and groceries), make sure you're earning for it. Some airline programs have online shopping malls (allowing you to earn various amounts per dollar spent across a huge variety of stores), and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-travel-but-hate-airline-miles-try-amexs-blue-sky-preferred">some credit cards provide bonus miles for purchases</a> in certain retail categories.</p> <p>Look for retailers offering mileage bonus deals, and pay for the item with your reward miles credit card to maximize your earnings.</p> <p><strong>Go Flying</strong></p> <p>Although the end-game is usually to fly for free (or almost free) &mdash; and ideally <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">in business class or higher</a>, sometimes you have to fly somewhere and you don't have the miles to do it.</p> <p>Or, if you're an eager accumulator, maybe you're interested in doing a &quot;mileage run&quot; and flying a route offering a special mileage deal.</p> <p>Choose airlines that help you earn miles in one of your focal programs (remember, sometimes you can fly with one airline and earn with another), and sometimes a marginally more expensive flight with an accumulating airline beats out a slightly cheaper flight with a budget airline that earns you no miles.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels</strong></p> <p>Hotel rewards programs not only offer valuable points and bonuses for staying, but regular promotions that earn you miles without needing to book anything. Some hotel points are also transferrable to airline miles at good value.</p> <h2>Redeeming Miles</h2> <p>This is what it's ultimately about. You've earned the miles, and you want to use them for travel.</p> <p><strong>Remember Hotels (Again)</strong></p> <p>Using points towards stays can be quite lucrative. Remember to engineer your accumulation strategy towards your desired travel goals. You can earn miles for redemption towards flights and hotels (and even car rentals) to further cut your travel costs.</p> <p><strong>Don't Get Sidetracked</strong></p> <p>Some rewards programs offer goods, certificates, and services in exchange for your points. Most of the time, the value per mile is atrocious for these items; just buy the blender for cash &mdash; you'll pay exponentially more for it if you use miles.</p> <p><strong>Flying for Miles and Cash</strong></p> <p>If you don't have enough miles for a flight, some airlines allow you to redeem your miles and pay cash to cover the difference. Pay attention to their valuation per mile; sometimes it's worthwhile to pay all cash for this flight and earn miles, using your beefed-up mileage balance for your next flight.</p> <p><strong>Free Flights Aren't Exactly Free</strong></p> <p>Even if miles pay for your &quot;full flight&quot;, you're always on the hook for taxes, fees, and various surcharges. These vary by airline, airport, and route. You can minimize these fees with a little comparative digging.</p> <p><strong>Fly in Style</strong></p> <p>You get much better valuation on your miles when you fly in business class, and on long-haul flights. (And I must say, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/06/my-business-class-travel-adventures-and-using-frequent-flyer-miles/">business class is addictive</a>.)</p> <h2>Not in the USA?</h2> <p>There is much griping amongst non-U.S. residents that the best frequent flyer mile deals are exclusive to the United States. And to a point, it's true.</p> <p>But all is not lost for those of us in Canada, Europe, and beyond. Canadians can shorten the learning curve with programs like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.canadianfreeflyers.com/">Canadian Free Flyers</a>, and regardless of where you live, there are deals you can participate in. <a target="_blank" href="http://travelhacking.org/">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> founder Chris Guillebeau surmises that at least 50% of the deals he publishes are applicable internationally, and he extends his free flight guarantee to all his readers &mdash; U.S. residents or not.</p> <p><em>How do navigate the confusing world of airline frequent flyer programs?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Feverything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEverything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles.jpg&amp;description=Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles.jpg" alt="Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Deals and Coupons Travel airline miles frequent flyer frequent flyer miles travel travel rewards Mon, 15 Jul 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Nora Dunn 980279 at http://www.wisebread.com Frequent Flyer Junkie? Manage your Miles Here http://www.wisebread.com/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/points dot com.JPG" alt="points programs" title="points programs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>It&#39;s a daunting world of rewards programs out there. From frequent flyer miles with every major airline, to hotel reward programs, to individual store loyalty plans, </span><span>not to mention <a href="/credit-card-rewards-programs" target="_blank">credit card rewards programs</a> and the like.</span><span> If you become a collector of them all, you need a huge wallet to house all your cards, and an even bigger chunk of time to track all your points plans. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Enter <a href="http://www.points.com" target="_blank">Points.com</a>. It is a free service designed to help you track all your rewards programs. In one easy place you can track miles accumulated for multiple plans, swap miles between programs, and earn extra miles by utilizing their online shopping program. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are bonuses for signing up, and you can process any of the redemption transactions you would with any of the individual plans, including redeeming for gift cards, giving miles as a gift, booking hotels, and oh yeah - flights too. The only requirement is that you must be a member of the rewards plans to begin with; you can&#39;t use Points.com to enrol in new programs. However once you are a member you can add new plans to your profile whenever you wish. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p> <span>So all you points junkies out there, rejoice! There is an easy way to figure out how quickly you can get on that plane to your next dream destination. </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frequent-flyer-junkie-manage-your-miles-here">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">Credit Card Rewards Programs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping frequent flyer frequent flyer miles points programs points.com rewards programs Thu, 17 Jan 2008 08:40:51 +0000 Nora Dunn 1643 at http://www.wisebread.com Credit Card Rewards Programs http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/credit-card-rewards-programs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-cards-453232329-small.jpg" alt="credit cards" title="credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A commenter on a recent article of mine on <a target="_blank" title="Guide to Using Credit Cards Wisely" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card usage</a>, suggested a follow-up post with an eye to uncovering the mysteries of credit card rewards programs.</p> <p>And in my research, I discovered it&rsquo;s a murky world of points, rebates, fees, and interest rates out there! A lot of it comes down to personal choice, but here is some information to aid your plight for a suitable credit card rewards program:&nbsp;</p> <h2>Types of Rewards</h2> <p>There are typically three types of rewards programs: <strong>point-based, cash back, and frequent flyer miles</strong>. Some programs offer combinations of these rewards, with varying value for point redeemed.</p> <p><strong>Points-based programs</strong> involve accumulating points (based on the amount you spend), and then redeeming your points for merchandise from their catalogue. Points leave a little to be desired, since depending on what you redeem your points for you might not get a lot of value.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">Gift certificates tend to be the best value for your points when flipping through the catalogue, and it is generally recommended that you stay away from the merchandise, since it is over-priced and lacking in quality. The gift certificate option also carries an added value advantage, since credit companies strike deals with the retailers to give them a deal on the gift certificates, whereas a dollar is a dollar when it comes to cheques or merchandise.</span></p> <p><strong>Cash back</strong> is most common, and offers quick rewards for your buck. However they can also have limitations; Some will only start to honour the cash back policy once you have spent a minimum amount of money, and yet others will cap the total amount of cash they&rsquo;ll reward.</p> <p><strong>Frequent Flyer Miles</strong> for airline tickets will sometimes give you the best bang for their buck, but can be a pain to redeem. Many issuers have blackout times, while others only designate a certain number of seats per flight as airline rewardable seats. If you don&rsquo;t book your ticket early enough you can be out of luck, especially if you want a flight that&rsquo;s commonly flown and redeemed for.</p> <p>Saving for airline ticket rewards can also be tedious and take some time to accumulate for, and in this changing airline world, increasing fees and limitations could pose problems in the future. I have already noticed that one of the rewards programs I use have imposed a stipulation that if you do not use your points within seven years of the point being rewarded to your account, you lose it. So if you are saving up for a big reward (or on the flip side have accumulated tons of points over the years and haven&rsquo;t used them), you may lose your chance.</p> <p>Also, expect to pay out of pocket for the taxes, fuel surcharges, and other miscellaneous expenses (like a special booking charge if you redeem on the phone with an agent as opposed to online). But hey &ndash; a buck is a buck. To fly across the country (or around the world) for the cost of the taxes is rarely something to complain about.</p> <h2>Tips for the reward-hungry credit card user</h2> <p><strong>Pay off that balance!</strong></p> <p>As stressed in my <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">previous article and related comments</a>, using a rewards program is for responsible credit card users. If you rack up a balance with an eye to getting rewards, and then spend the next 6 months or more trying to pay off the balance (and paying interest all the while), then the value of your rewards decreases significantly. Pay off those darn cards every month and treat your credit card like a debit card or chequebook &ndash; if you don&rsquo;t have the money in your account, don&rsquo;t whip out the plastic.</p> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;t get sidetracked by the smaller rewards</strong></p> <p>Initially it can take time to build up a big enough balance to start redeeming for the rewards you really want. Don&rsquo;t lose patience and redeem your 800 points for an item of insignificant value when what you really got the card for was airline tickets, or special gift certificates. Most rewards programs have tiered systems that offer sweeter rewards (with better value) for those with more points. Your patience in saving up will be rewarded.</p> <p><strong>Get the card for the rewards you want</strong></p> <p>If what you want is an airline ticket to Hawaii, then search for the best card to get you there. I found a program (in Canada) where flights to Hawaii required fewer points than even some continental flights, and I chose that card with an eye to getting that ticket. It took time, but my boyfriend and I are now living (temporarily) in<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/hobo-living-made-easy"> Hawaii</a>, and got return tickets for a total of $76 in taxes for both of us (whereas paying in cash would have been over $1,600 for both of us).</p> <p><strong>Look for bonus points</strong></p> <p>Lots of programs will offer bonus points depending on where you spend your money or what you buy. Check online for bonus offers regularly, and spend wisely. You can often get triple the miles with a little research and effort.</p> <p><strong>Look at points conversion programs</strong></p> <p>Some programs are in cahoots with each other, and you can transfer or convert miles from one program to another. Be wary of those that charge a fee to do so, and take a close look at the conversion ratio. Sometimes they&rsquo;re way out of whack such that is makes no sense to convert.</p> <p>Specific programs vary from country to country (and sometimes even within regions), so I won&rsquo;t go into many specifics with regards to individual program choices. It's up to you to decide which rewards will ultimately benefit you the most. Just remember to use it wisely or else the interest fees will end up costing you more than you're getting in rewards, and it's a safe bet that that is exactly what the credit card companies are counting on.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">25+ Easy Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping cash back frequent flyer loyalty programs rewards programs Sat, 01 Dec 2007 00:22:00 +0000 Nora Dunn 1442 at http://www.wisebread.com