October 18, 2022
Last updated on | 
December 1, 2022

Why You Should Not Keep Air Miles for Too Long

With an entire industry centered around credit card points and frequent flyer miles, nowadays it’s easier than ever for travelers to enjoy airline perks. Some credit card companies are offering huge sign-up bonuses, making it possible for the average traveler to take a luxury vacation fairly quickly.

 

Other travelers like to hold on to their points for the long term. It all depends on your specific situation and how many miles you earn –whether you do it through credit card purchases, airline travel, and/or hotel stays. If you tend to accumulate miles quickly, your odds of losing out on points are relatively slim compared to someone who accumulates just a few hundred per month.

 

But the airline industry is a fickle beast, and it is not common for policies to change and airlines point to expire. Regardless of your situation, here are the main reasons why you should “earn and burn” miles and points on a regular basis.

 

Expiry Dates

 

Probably the most common way people lose their points is by letting them simply expire. This is a huge mistake because even if you don’t have cause to use them, you should still want to sell airline miles. Better to have a few extra dollars to show for it than nothing at all. Many airlines still set an expiry period on earned points, and to be fair, non-frequent travelers simply forget they have them.

 

If you don’t travel frequently but still have a long-term plan for redeeming your points, be very aware of when your airline miles expire. Set reminders for yourself every few months and check your progress, then depending on when miles expire, enact a game plan for redeeming those miles or cashing them in.

 

Devaluation

 

One problematic issue is that of airlines miles becoming devalued. This happens when an airline decides to drastically change its awards chart, which usually does not favor the customer. Mileage devaluation is the equivalent of currency inflation. It has happened to customers with lots of airline miles, hoping to turn them in for that dream vacation, only to have their hopes dashed when suddenly their points are far less in value after an awards chart change. It’s one of the dangers of holding points too long.

 

A Delta Skymiles devaluation seems to happen every few months to a few years by devaluing points on partner airlines. Even during the pandemic, Delta radically changed its awards chart with respect to redeeming points on partner airlines, forcing many customers to rethink their long-term travel strategy.

 

A Southwest miles’ devaluation happened back in April of 2021 when over night their points became less valuable. According to the report, Southwest Airlines did not give any notice to their customers of this change, and suddenly Rapid Rewards patrons realized they needed 6% more points to get that trip.

 

Across the pond in Europe, a possible Turkish miles devaluation happened back in May of 2021 when their awards chart did not jive with their actual redemption bookings, leaving many customers confused and wondering if a devaluation was taking place. This is the rub of smaller airlines – often times the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing and inconsistencies run amuck.

 

It is examples such as the above that behoove the traveler, frequent or not, to regularly redeem those coveted miles whenever possible.

 

You may want to google your chosen airline’s point devaluation history to determine if it would be worth it for you to join their program. Another good option is to cash your miles with The Miles Market. We offer instant payment for your miles or points with a secured end to end transaction. Request a risk-free quote today!

 

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