Sep 09 2013

DON’T LET YOUR MILES AND POINTS GET AWAY FROM YOU!

Tracking miles and points if a very important part of a mile and point collectors job.  There is no point in collecting all these miles and points just to find out they have expired on you.  To prevent this from happening be sure to choose a good method for tracking your stash.  Let me suggest a few systems to use that I like.

AWARD WALLET
My favorite tracking system is Award Wallet.  AwardWallet provides a free service that helps you manage your reward balances and travel itineraries. They support 612 loyalty programs – air, hotel, car rental, credit card and others.  Founded in 2004, AwardWallet quickly became a popular choice for both road warriors and casual travelers. Today, over 175,000 active members rely on AwardWallet to manage their loyalty balances.

The best part is you can access your award balances from your cell phone, PDA or a BlackBerry.  I love and use this feature all the time.  I especially like the ability to login automatically from the award wallet app to any of my loyalty accounts.  All this great service and for FREE!

USINGMILES
Another good free way to track your miles and points is UsingMiles. UsingMiles hasn’t been around quiet as long but they are a good service too.

248 Programs Available:  You can get up and running in under five minutes. You can manage programs ranging from United, to Groupon, to Grocery points.

Never let another mile expire:  Get email alerts when miles, points or vouchers expire.

Manage your entire family:  Organizing your family has never been this easy. Use your dashboard to manage all of your family member’s loyalty points in one quick and easy place. Enjoy the convenience of never looking up another loyalty number again and start tracking, for the whole family, today!

Your information is safe and secure:  Bank-level data encryption security measures keep your personal information safe and secure.

Basic Membership FREE!
Manage all your miles, points, credits and deals in one place. Track programs for your entire family. Search and book the best airfare and hotel prices. Receive monthly eStatements that help you keep track of your loyalty programs and earnings.

Premier Membership $29.99/year (Complimentary FREE lifetime membership for all Miles Momma Readers – Use link below)
All the benefits of UsingMiles Basic plus so much more … get alerts when programs or deals are going to expire. Special bonus awards from your loyalty programs. Search your loyalty programs for award seat and hotel room availability.

USINGMILES SIGN UP LINK

 


FREQUENT FLYER EXPIRATION PERIODS
Many frequent flyer program miles/points expire if an account does not have any activity during a certain period.  There are a few programs though where the miles/points never expire.  My hope is that more and more programs will move in this direction as we have seen some change in the last few years.  Check out the list below.  You can also view this list on the Miles Momma site under “Resources”.

 

Airline

Expiration Policy

Aegean Airlines

36 months of inactivity

Aeroplan

12 months of inactivity.  Miles expire after 7 years if unused

Air France/KLM

20 months without a flight flown on Flying Blue or Skyteam airline (for Non-Elites)

Alaska Airlines

24 months of no earning or spending miles

American Airlines

18 months of no earning or spending miles

All Nippon

36 months from the time earned

Avianca Taca

24 months of inactivity

British Airways

36 months of no earning or spending miles

Delta

Miles never expire

 

Korean Air

  Miles expire after 10 years

Singapore Airlines

Miles expire the month following three years after they were earned, 
but can be extended for a cost for six months (12 months for elites)

Frontier Airlines

18 months of no earning miles

Southwest

24 months of no earning or spending miles

United

18 months of no earning or spending miles

US Airways

18 months of no earning or spending miles

Virgin Atlantic

36 months of inactivity

 

Hotel

Expiration Policy

Choice Privileges

24 months after you earned the points.

Club Carlson

24 months of not earning or spending points

Hilton HHonors

12 months of not earning or spending points

Hyatt Gold

12 months of not earning or spending points

Marriott

24 months of not earning points

Priority Club

Points never expire

Starwood Hotels

12 months of not earning or spending points

Wyndham

Points expire after 4 years. No way to extend beyond 4 years.
Points will expire in 18 months if you don’t earning or spending points

 

WAYS TO KEEP YOUR POINTS ACTIVE

  • Points.com 
    Many programs will let you transfer points in very low increments through the Points.com.  These transfers are free.
  • Online purchase through a shopping portal
    Most programs have online shopping portals which you can simply make a purchase through to earn miles or points.  My recommendation is to purchase an itune song.  You can usually buy song for just a dollar.  Be sure it’s over $1 so you get credited for 1 mile/point.
  • Buy Miles or Points
    Not a super great option but you can usually buy a few miles to extend your expiration date. 
  • Survey Programs
    Transfer miles/points into your account from e-Rewards or e-miles.  You take surveys to earn miles/points and then transfer them to the loyalty brand of your choice once you’ve reached the minimum required miles/points for a transfer.
  • Transfer points from credit card program ( i.e. Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards)
    American Express Membership Rewards is especially useful here because when you transfer points on their website you can move points into anyone’s frequent flyer account that you wish.  You only need to link their account first.  You can also transfer points from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Unfortunately, these can only be transfer to an account owned by yourself or a spouse.  They do transfer instantly.  You can also transfer points from the Citibank Thank You program to Hilton Honors.  These points transfer at a 2:1 ratio.  This ability is only allowed by certain Cit Thank You card members.   ThankYou Members with the Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi ThankYou Prestige, Citi Prestige or Chairman credit cards are eligible to use ThankYou Points Exchange. However, if you have the Premier and either or both the Preferred and Forward, Citi will allow you to combine your points balances. 
  • Redeem miles for magazines
    You can use as little as 500 miles for a magazine subscription to keep your miles active.
  • Audience rewards. 
    US Airways miles and Starwood points can be extended by answering a few trivia questions. Reference this thread on Milepoint for more information. You can also earn Delta miles this way but no need to worry about an expiration issue with Delta as their miles don’t expire.
  • Dining Programs
    You can earn free miles from joining each airline’s dining program.  Simply register a credit or debit card and dine within the time period required to earn the bonus miles.  You can find all the dining programs here. Be sure to register a different credit card with each program as you can not have the same card linked to multiple program accounts.
  • Transfer points from hotel programs
    The Starwood program allows you to transfer to most all airline partners. Starwood Platinum members can transfer any number of points.

For more information on keeping your points from expiring, check out my page here.

 

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