Credit Card Smarts

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Credit Card Smarts


Updated: December 26, 2012

Credit Card Smarts
April
11

Airlines and card companies affiliating with them decided to shorten the period before the expiration date of the miles earned for the purely marketing reason. It appeared that a lot of cardholders do not bend over backwards to aggressively collect miles and then redeem them. The unused miles are stored in the customer's financial statement, reducing the account activity and companies' revenues.

By setting an earlier date for the miles expiration, airlines place cardholders at a great disadvantage as they lose redemption opportunities and appear to have been beating a dead horse. But airline cardholders are not doomed to have their hard-earned miles disappearing and through showing some smarts, they are very likely to squeeze all the benefit off those few miles they have accumulated.

We draw most attention of frequent flyer credit card holders who fly with United Airlines, US Airways and Delta Air Lines. Back to 2007 all the three announced changes in their rewards programs, reducing the amount of time cardholders had before their miles expired. They did not explain how a customer could possibly avoid the loss but a savvy person did not need to ask for advice.

There were quite a few smart steps to hit upon which have been actively and fruitfully taken up to this day. The major thing to do is to push the account activity on the FF credit cards that haven't been used for a while already.

So, how do customers reactivate the card activity and thus preserve airline miles for subsequent redemption? The first idea striking one's mind is booking a flight on the airline. The purchase will add some credit card miles to the account and postpone the expiration date.

Another, a lower-cost way of gaining miles or, saving the accumulated ones is through paying for car rentals and reserving a hotel chain room, which gives you the flexibility of choosing which airline credit card account to add miles to.

Collecting some additional miles does not only put off the expiration date but also allows you to achieve the amount required for a really good redemption option.

The most popular and widely practiced method of keeping the airline miles on the account is dining at a certain network of restaurants admitted by the airlines and paying with their credit card for the meal.

There are also a number of non airline credit card loyalty schemes offering easy-to-seize opportunities of picking up some miles or points. Lately, it has been popular among cardholders to collect points through using credit card for rent or tax pay. A new account activity is guaranteed!

Others, not so popular, but certainly lowest cost ways of saving your unused yet miles involve shopping activity at portals containing links to the airlines' web sites or at drugstores.

If you still carry a plan of redeeming your airline miles for a flight ticket, these tips are worth your trying. You will ascertain that a couple of visits to your favorite restaurant or the convenience of paying the rent with plastic were the smartest , though a bit costly, tricks of avoiding your airline miles expiration.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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