Useful Tips to Increase Avios Reward Points

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Frequent flyers that carry out many holidays and business trips are the main recipients of airline reward schemes. Among the various airline reward schemes available, Avios is the most prominent one. It allows frequent flyers to collect points and sell British Airway points that can be used for getting free flights or for any upgrades to the existing schemes. Frequent flyers can earn reward points using the scheme by flying with either British Airways or any of its partners such as Flybe, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.

Compared to other flights, British Airways offers 125 points per flight. The top-up balance points are up to 100,000 Avios for each year. These points will expire after a period of three years if they are not collected, spent, or transferred. However, these reward points are also available to others who do not fly regularly.

There are several ways that to increase the Avios reward points for occasional flyers. Below are some useful tips to increase Avios reward points.

Collect Points when Spending

When you access Avios E-store, you can stack up points when purchasing anything online. The presence of numerous retailer offers is a way to increase your rewards point earnings. Brands such as John Lewis allow earning about two points for every one pound that a user spends. These points increase in other reputed brands, allowing a flyer to accumulate many points during their spending when purchasing online.

Swapping Loyalty Points from Other Schemes

There is also the option to exchange your current loyalty points from other airline schemes with that of Avios points. Users can exchange their points by spending 2.50 pounds for Clubcard vouchers that allow them to earn an additional 600 Avios points. In supermarkets, it allows you to earn one point for one pound spent.

These rates are increased with five points for one pound and about eight points for a pound when shopping elsewhere. These swapping of points are one of the most rewarding aspects of the Avios scheme.

Using Survey Sites

This is one of the easiest ways to rack up the airline points for both frequent and occasional flyers. By providing an opinion onto survey sites that are signed up with Avios scheme, one can actually earn Avios points for free. Sites such as e-Rewards pay the user with opinion points each time a user completes a survey. This can be easily exchanged for Avios reward points and a user can earn about 800 points just by signing up for an account and completing the survey.

American Express and Delta Air Lines Unveil New Travel Rewards Card

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The one-way economy reward flights in most of the airline loyalty programs across the US start at 7500 bonus miles. You may know that airline carriers often focus on giving bonus reward points to co-branded travel rewards cards for an annual subscription fee as a customary practice. However, this year has seen two exceptions to that practice – first with the unveiling of the Chase United TravelBank Card of United Airlines and now with Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.

The co-branded travel reward card of Blue Delta AmEx and American Express is launched in association with Delta Air Lines, and it carries “no annual subscription fees”. The Delta credit card owners have a chance to earn 10000 bonus miles provided they spend $500 three months into owning the card – except for the current owners of Delta SkyMiles options card and other fee-based cards from Delta.

In fact, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is the first co-branded travel rewards card to award the bonus reward points for restaurant purchases. Cardholders can earn two Delta SkyMiles on each dollar they may choose to spend in any of the participating restaurants, including Marriot Hotels.

The Blue Delta AmEx Bank will charge a charge a 2.7 percent “foreign transaction fee” and the cardholder may have to pay an annual percentage rate (APR) as well from 16.75 to 25.74 percent based on the creditworthiness. If you can earn 10000 Bonus SkyMiles, you can either fly one-way in the economy class or keep the balance and earn a round-trip award ticket or upgrade to a first-class ticket.

On the flipside to that, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card won’t qualify for free checked baggage clearance, bonus miles, and priority boarding on American Express or Delta Air Lines. Keep the balance and sell American Express points if some liquid cash is what you are looking for. Else, you could also transfer the points to Starwood Preferred Guest card and sell Starwood points for cash.

Regarding point redemption, cardholders can use the reward points in the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card to redeem the Delta award flights. The same goes for SkyMiles earned from any co-branded fee-based credit cards or even the full Delta flights including roundtrips in the economy class.

3 Tips to Earn Holiday Flight Deals with your Airline Miles

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Redeeming your hard-earned airlines miles to earn a free holiday flight can be one of the most tricky things to do. This is because most people usually end up paying a lot more than what they actually need to pay, while others compromise on the flight. In short, airline travelers fail to make the most of their valuable miles in either cases.

Usually when this happens, most of us feel that our airline miles are not worth at all. However, you will be easily able to make the most of your airline miles, if you know when and how to use them. Below are a few simple tips that will enable you to earn delightful holiday flight deals with your airline miles.

Check Out Partner Airlines

Many airline travelers fail to realize the fact that they can redeem air travel points on one or multiple airlines but it will depend on the partners of the airline. In fact, with some airlines, you will be able to gain more airline miles. So, linking up with other airlines can help you to get better deals or seats on a holiday flight.

Call an Agent

If you are planning to book a holiday flight on a busy travel season, it is best to get in touch with an agent and ask them to do the job for you. This will allow you to get through the system a lot more quickly. However, it is significant to note that some airlines charge advance reservation fees from customers. So, you should consider whether it is a good deal or not before you make a decision.

Select the Best Seat

Many of us fail to realize the fact that business class seats are a far better choice than coach seats when it comes to holiday flights. This is because the number of business people traveling in the flight will be comparatively a lot less. It is true that choosing business class seats may cost you a bit more but you can put good use of you airline miles and acquire a far better deal for business class flight tickets.

In addition to these three things, you should also be ready to spare a little amount of time to research on airline miles. Some cards prevent users from using their miles on holiday travel. If you are such a cardholder, get in touch with a reliable mileage broker to know what you can do in such a situation.

U.S. News & World Report Ranks the Best Travel Rewards Programs of 2017

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As per the annual rankings published by U.S. News & World Report for the period 2017-18, Marriot Rewards retains the No. 1 spot among the “Best Hotel Rewards Programs”. The hotel chain in the US offers participants in Marriot Rewards the ease of earning reward points through co-branded credit cards.

U.S. News & World Report is a nationwide “publisher of Best Hotels, Best Cruise Lines and Best Vacations”. Their annual rankings also single out up to 26 hotel loyalty programs as well as loyalty programs of airlines offering reward points for “everyday travelers”. U.S. News & World Report categorizes the “Best Travel Rewards Programs” into two, namely “Best Hotel Rewards Programs” and Best “Airline Rewards Programs”.

Amongst the “Best Airline Rewards Programs,” Alaska Mileage Plan retained the No. 1 position for the third year running. Flyers earn points on Alaska Airlines based on the distance flew as well as the travel class. The more distance traveled and the better travel class, the more frequent flyer points members can earn.

Commenting on Alaska Mileage Plan, U.S. News & World Report said that the “earning structure makes it easier for travelers to earn miles at a faster pace than with revenue-based earning programs.”

Bagging the No. 2 spot in the “Best Airline Rewards Programs” category is Delta SkyMiles, and they won the position thanks to the competent redemption rates for award tickets as well as other benefits, like air miles for hotel stays, flight cabin upgrades, and freebie flights.

Wyndham Rewards, Choice Privileges, World of Hyatt, and Best Western Rewards also featured in the top five and loyalty programs JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus also featured in the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

“Today’s travelers have so many rewards programs to choose from, comparing and contrasting them based on your specific needs can be a challenge,” said Christine Smith, associate travel editor at the U.S. News. “Our Best Travel Rewards Programs rankings emphasize the ease of earning points and miles, and redeeming them for free nights and flights, which everyday travelers identify as a top reason to join a loyalty program.”

Analyzing Connect and Collect Through Marriott Rewards

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Marriot has a history of giving the participants a chance to earn reward points through the social media platforms. Hash tags are now trending on Twitter and Marriot has recently used that strategy for getting more traction and to widen their brand appeal. Marriot is making a wave to brand via social media connections and offering reward points in lots and “Connect and Collect Through Marriott Rewards” is a case in point.

If flyers combine the Marriott & Starwood Preferred Guest accounts and transfer Marriot points to SPG points, they can sell Starwoods points for many benefits. By connecting with Marriot account on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, flyers can earn reward points by as many as 750.

To transfer Marriot points to Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the flyers should have a co-branded Marriott credit card. By participating in Connect and Collect Through Marriott Rewards campaign, earning more reward points, and maintaining account balance, flyers can transfer them to air miles efficiently.

As Marriot acquired Starwood recently, the latter has over 30 airline partners participating in their loyalty program. Flyers now transfer the Starpoints in over 30 airline partners at a 1:1 ratio mostly – for 1 Starpoint, 1 air mile that is. In addition to that, flyers can earn 5,000 bonus Starpoints by transferring 20,000 Starpoints.

Try linking Twitter and Instagram accounts with Marriot Rewards account, and you could get as many as 250 reward points. However, to get a maximum of 45,000 points a year would take some social networking skills and frequent participating from the flyers’ part. Apparently, some participant hotels in the Marriot Rewards program will cost precisely 45,000 points for a one-night stay.

To get 45,000 Marriot points, flyers will have to keep participating in the Connect and Collect Through Marriott Rewards campaign for a year or so, which will make them wait longer. One minor drawback with the campaign is that the points earned via the program will not set straight the existing Marriot Rewards account if the points expire from the account.

Earning points is the best way to keep an airline mileage accounts from expiring, but that is not true in this case.

How Frequent Flyer Programs can Benefit you

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Selling or exchanging frequent flyer miles for cash can be easily referred as the process of virtually trading reward points online. The airline loyalty programs or Frequent Flyer Programs have been around since the year 1970. The FFP concept of most airlines is pretty much straightforward – to preserve the loyal passengers of an airline company and reward them

Frequent Flyer Programs have always helped the airlines and travelers to reap mutual benefits. However, it is true that most frequent flyers and even casual travelers in the country have no clue on how to reap mutual benefits through these FFP loyalty programs.

Airline travelers acquire air miles through ticket bookings and they normally exchange the accumulated reward points for booking flights later. The first and foremost thing you should do is to find an airline that offers exciting reward programs to their customers.

Several airlines have collaborated themselves with one another, which means that their customers will be able to use the accumulated airline miles on all the airlines that are under the same umbrella. Another simple way to acquire frequent flyer miles is through credit cards.

Several credit cards provide a large number of reward points to cardholders in the initial sign up process and the cardholders can also earn bonus reward points later by simply using the credit card for a said sum in the first few months. However, it is wiser to do a little bit of research before choosing a certain credit card, as it will help you earn more rewards in the long run.

A passenger who is traveling from London to Dubai with a cheap economy class airline ticket will earn lesser reward points when compared to a person who is traveling the same distance in a business class. This implies that air miles will vary for travelers on the basis of the distance they travel as well as the flight class they choose.

You might be already aware of the fact that you will not be able to earn a huge sum of frequent flyer miles just be buying airline tickets and traveling. This is where the Frequent Flyers Programs offered by airlines come into play. These programs will help you acquire thousands of reward points without much effort. If you are a frequent flyer, you must consider about becoming a FFP member because it will significantly increase your chances of acquiring a bigger reward.

Tips for Selling Frequent Flyer Miles

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Many frequent flyers say that flying is no longer the best way to earn points and miles, but the most rewarding way is to sign up for the right credit card. Frequent flyer programs do not make much change in the Wall Street; many users do not understand the financial importance of these programs and just look for selling frequent flyer miles or earning a free flight.

Profits of airlines are subject to many variables like fuel price, actions of the competitors, or even weather. Among all these uncertainties and variables, airlines find reliable revenue by selling miles to the banks, and these banks make use of these miles to tempt customers to sign up for their credit cards.

“The bottom line is that the business of selling miles is a very profitable one and has proven historically to be far less cyclical than the core airline,” said Joseph DeNardi, a Stifel analyst. The downside for the users, though, is that there are numerous frequent flyer programs out there, due to which, each point or mile is becoming less valuable day by day.

“It is harder to use miles at the price that people are expecting to pay,” says Gary Leff, who is an expert of frequent flyer miles. However, this does not mean that travelers should not sign up for the frequent flyer programs. Instead, they will need to rethink on ways to earn, keep, and redeem or sell miles.

Experts say that most of these strategies are dependent on the credit cards. Some of the tips for frequent flyers to get the most out of their programs are discussed below.

  • Closely watch the different credit card programs for bonuses. Banks usually offer great bonuses on credit cards. For instance, last year, JPMorgan Chase offered a 100,000-mile bonus for their Sapphire Reserve card sign up.
  • Even if you use some other card to make purchases, do airline purchases with the card of the airline, as it can help you bag benefits like free bag check in and priority boarding.
  • You can stretch the miles by redeeming them to fly midweek. Miles expert Brian Karimzad says that it will take an average of 574 miles to book a Tuesday flight, but a Sunday flight will cost 41,332 miles.
  • Do not allow the miles to expire. On American Airlines that runs the biggest frequent flyer program of the country, you do not have to fly to redeem miles; you just need to purchase something within eighteen months from partners of the program, which ranges from restaurants to other airlines.

A New Attractive Offer for Citi AAdvantage Executive Card Holders

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Frequent flyers and reward point earners will be surprised and excited to hear the new offer from the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card. This latest offer from the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card presents an opportunity for cardholders to acquire 75,000 AA miles, along with plenty of other perks and rewards.

This new offer is exactly similar to the offer made by Citi AAdvantage Executive Card last month, which implies that they received the response that they were looking for and as a result, they decided to extend the offer. However, before you jump to any conclusions, take note of the fact that the annual fee for this card is on the costlier side.

The 75,000 AA miles deal is a great offer and what makes the offer more attractive is that it can be used on any Oneworld Alliance network of your choice such as Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Finnair. However, it is true that the latest bonus from Citi AAdvantage Executive Card comes with a catch just like all their previous offers.

Cardholders will have to spend $7,500 within the first three months and they will also have to pay the annual fee of $450 in the first year in order to acquire this offer. This means that the annual fee has not been waived off. So, you will be most probably spending a lot more money in the first half of the year just to earn the bonus.

This might have popped a new question on your mind “Is the new offer worth spending such a large sum of money on?” The answer to this question is Yes, because you will be able to receive the following benefits by earning the bonus from Citi AAdvantage Executive Card.

  • Gain access to Admirals Club at zero extra charges for authorized users
  • Users who spend $40,000 or more will be automatically qualified for 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles
  • Free foreign transactions
  • The first bag checked in of authorized users will not be charged

Note that the American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles will not be available to users who had previously opened or closed Citi AAdvantage in the last two years. All other users are eligible to receive the offer but it is always best to consult with other cardholders or a reliable mileage broker before making a decision.

What Flyers Should Know About Airline Mileage Account and Buy Back of Reward Points

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For many of the airline loyalty programs, airline mileage account expires if flyers don’t use the reward points or keep the account active for a time period by booking flights, making purchases in participant stores, etc. For instance, in the American Airlines AAAdvantage program, the airline mileage account will expire if flyers keep the account idle for 18 months.

However, most airlines let flyers reactive the airline mileage account post expiry for a reasonable cost mainly because airlines know that some flyers are bound to forget the expiration date. Usually, the standard cost to buy air miles back is 1.7 cent or lower, and that is the same price flyers would end up paying to buy reward points when they open the airline mileage account. Some airlines also have tiered pricing system, which encourage flyers to buy expired reward points back as a lot and that would be quite the redemption for flyers.

If 500,001 to 750,000 air miles expire from MileagePlus program of United Airlines, flyers can buy them back for $700. At the same time, in the AAadvantage program of American Airlines, buying back 250,001 to 500,000 air miles would cost flyers $2,000. Flyers would end up paying less than one penny either ways if they are to buy back points from MileagePlus or AAadvantage program as a lot.

Know When Airline Mileage Account Expires

For flyers abroad, the expiration policy of airlines varies especially for non-US airlines. For instance, Singapore Airlines mileage account would expire post three years of opening the account, even if the account stays active. Similarly, travelers need to reactivate their KrisFlyer account by paying subscription fees after three years. The Alaska Airlines, on the other hand, would close the Mileage Plan™ account post two years and delete the balances, but has a plan to reinstate air miles for a $75 subscription fee for one year post deletion.

Mileage brokers would send reminder mails to your e-mail ID if and when the airline mileage account is nearing an expiration date so you can do the needful to keep the account active. All said and done, selling airline miles to third parties online would gain flyers some liquid cash and let them keep the account active. Keep participating in loyalty programs, sell miles to flyers wanting to advance book tickets, but never let the airline mileage account of airlines expire.

Do Airlines Make More Money Selling Miles Than Seats?

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This may sound crazy, but if you are a person who carries an airline branded credit card in your wallet, your daily visit to Starbucks or iTunes selections plays an important role in keeping the airline industry in the United States happy and fat.

For many carriers such as American Airlines or Delta Air Lines, the credit card programs are a golden goose. Studies show that every mile fetches anywhere from 1.5 cents to 2.5 cents to such airline companies. The big banks in the country amass these miles and then distribute them to the cardholders.

Users who pay an annual fee for these cards to get the miles are a sure bet for the banks. Most of these users will have more than average income and will usually spend more on the cards, leading to generation of merchant fees for the bank. These users also maintain high credit scores meaning that they will pay their bills on time and so they are not a risk to the banks as they experience only a few defaulters.

Airline miles program, formally known as loyalty programs, has developed into a high margin business that has grown much in value and size among the airline consolidations and the carriers are eager to increase the credit card rolls to see their loyal members spending more. Alaska Airlines, for instance, started to tie a small percent of their 19,000 employees’ performance pay to the growth of their credit card with the Bank of America.

Many of the investors failed to appreciate the importance of these programs to airline profitability among the stability consolidations, says Joseph DeNardi, who is a senior airline analyst with Stifel Financial Corp. in Baltimore. He has repeatedly explained that the investors do not have much insight into the billions of dollars that the large banks pay to have these affiliations. “Airlines are earning upwards of 50 percent of [income] from selling miles to a credit card company, which we believe is a great business to be in,” DeNardi wrote.

Beyond the cash, the carriers also get other benefits from the cards, as the deals remain unaffected and profitable in both good and bad times. “In a recession, that [bank] business will go down, but it should provide a very high cushion to the airline,” DeNardi said. “That’s the real benefit here: It speaks to downside protection for the industry better than anything else.”

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