Your Frequent Flyer Rewards Program Miles May be Worthless-If you don’t use them soon!
If you’re like me and use a rewards credit card to purchase everything from pencils to making utility payments to rack up the miles, buyer beware. The airlines are drastically changing their rewards programs in an ongoing effort to cut costs. The miles you have in your account today may not be worth what you hope tomorrow.
With increasing costs, the airlines are looking for ways to compensate the loyal customer who racks up lots of flights and usually pays top dollar for business class seats. Their loyalty is crucial. Leisure travelers usually base airline choice mainly on price. Their loyalty, if any, is worth very little to the airlines.
The changes to the rewards programs are coming as a surprise to many members. Most rewards programs’ members don’t realize that award miles depreciate in value almost immediately. Often, points are worth less when they are used than when they were earned. Expect to see more and more airlines get away from a published awards chart. The unpredictability and lack of reliable IT systems to keep up with the ever changing awards value, is too great of a risk for the airlines to take.
If you are hoping to use your frequent flyer miles to fly home for the holidays this season, you might want to take a second look at how many miles it might take for you to claim your reward; chances are that the number has risen.
Contact the awards department of your membership program to get the most up to date rules and changes to their program. It just might save you a huge disappointment down the road when you get ready to use those reward miles.