With so many loyalty programs out there, it’s imperative to stay on top of balances to ensure your precious points and miles “collections” always remain active. Luckily, there are many programs that allow you keep track of all of your balances in one place. I personally choose to use Award Wallet to manage the 50+ accounts between Mr. Points Traveler and I.
When Mr. Points Traveler received an alarming letter in the mail stating that his 8-thousand-and-change US Airways miles were set to expire on September 20, I immediately switched gears in efforts to prevent them from going bye-bye. Aside from flying, there are plenty of ways to prevent points and miles from expiring, and I outlined a couple of dozen easy ways in a previous post, in case you might find yourself in the same boat someday.
Receiving the expiration notice inspired me to take a closer look at my balances to see if there were any other accounts in danger.
Let’s face it – not all points and miles are the same. There are some programs that I cherish more than others (United, American Airlines, SPG, Hyatt, and Club Carlson, just to name a few), and there are others that I could basically care less about because I rarely have a use for them. When I logged in and saw that 4 of my accounts were in “expiration danger”, I had to make a decision for each of them – Would I go the extra mile (pun) to preserve them? Would I “cash out”? Or would I simply let them disappear in the wind?
Here’s what I ended up doing:
- 8,000+ Expiring US Airways Miles: In the earlier years, I trained Mr. Points Traveler to always credit his US Airways flights to his United MileagePlus account. With that said, the majority of his US Airways miles were from non-flight activity such as dining out, shopping portals, and other promotions. While 8,000 miles aren’t exactly enough to redeem for a flight award, he will most definitely have enough if/when US Airways miles and American Airlines miles combine as a result of the upcoming US Airways/American Airlines merger. The easiest way to prevent these miles from expiring would be to transfer 1 SPG point to the account, but that feature is only available to SPG Platinum members (he is Gold). The next best thing would be to buy a 99 cent song from iTunes using the US Airways shopping portal. Now let’s just hope the sale posts in time!
- 1,000 Expiring Le Club Accor Points: A while back, I received 1,000 free Accor points as a new-account sign-up bonus. I have yet to stay at an Accor property, which is the reason why my points aren’t active. The Accor program allows you to redeem 2,000 points for a 40 Euro (or $60 USD) voucher to use towards a stay. Another option is to transfer Accor points to airline miles. The airline partners are limited, but after reviewing the choices, the transfer that made the most sense to me was 1,000 Accor points for 500 British Airways Avios. Of course, I have to figure out how to initiate the transfer because I couldn’t seem to find an option. If someone could point me in the right direction, that would be great.
- 550 Expiring HHonors Points: Most of us, myself included, are not exactly pleased with the major devaluations of HHonors points… and… there are virtually no options for me to “cash out” with such a small balance. So… I can safely say that I have no problem kissing these points goodbye.
- 3,400 Expiring Air Canada Aeroplan Points: As a non-Canadian, I’ll be the first to admit that I really have not put much time or thought into the Aeroplan program. I have 3,400 expiring Aeroplan points, acquired from various online promotions, that I have no clue what to do with. I am open to suggestions.
How do you keep your points and miles accounts active? Are there any particular programs that you feel aren’t worth preserving? Which accounts do you go “the extra mile” for to keep active? Would love to hear your input!