Travelling using miles is a great benefit where you could fly to destinations which otherwise you might not dream of going to (as it would be too expensive for you to afford it). But there are times when you want to change those award tickets or completely cancel the trip you once planned with so much of time and effort. Most airlines would charge you a fee to cancel the award and redeposit the miles unless you have some sort of elite status with them which would waive off those cancellation fees. Let's face it, airlines wants to monetize any opportunity you throw at them as that's one of the revenue generator for them. But most often you will find creative ways of getting around this limitation. Although I do not provide any guarantee that it would work 100% of time and YMMV, but I can guarantee that it would work more often than not if one thing falls in your favor, and that thing is "Schedule Change".
What is Schedule Change?
Most airlines allow you to book award tickets for almost 330 days in advance. Since airline industry is dynamic in nature there could be routine changes to the schedule due to certain route additions/deletions or change in partnerships between the airlines or some changes due to airport maintenance requirement. All this could entail change in either departure or arrival time of flights which accounts for "schedule change".
How does schedule change help you?
Since each and every airline has a different policy regarding schedule change (and this info is often unpublished), its hard to predict what would work and what would not. But below are few instances which could very well help you to be qualified for a full refund of miles with no cancellation fees for your award tickets:
How to increase the probability of schedule change to affect your itinerary:
So knowledge of above would help you save your buck in the inadvertent circumstance where you could no longer take that trip and would still want to avoid those hefty cancellation or miles redeposit fees.
You have heard about the ways to earn those big bonuses for credit card signup or for doing any of the airlines partner activity. But at times you would fall short by few miles (0 to 100 miles) to reach that award redemption and the best available option would seem to be "purchasing" the miles from the airlines. Since the airlines only allow you to buy miles in multiple of 1000 and that too they have additional fee associated with it, it is better to know few other tricks which could be useful at times. In this post I would like to show you few ways of filling up those "small" miles need.
Audience Rewards: Audience Rewards is one of the ways to earn miles/points if all you need is few miles. Every week they publish a trivia which earns their own show points as well as partner airline/hotel miles/points. Answering these trivia takes 2-3 minutes and could earn 10 to 18 points. The beauty is that you need not be an expert to answer these questions as you can find the answers at Inacents blog. The link to the blog is here. Currently you can earn miles for US Airways and Delta Airlines, earn points for Starwood Preferred Guest and also earn BestBuy Reward Zone points. This could also be useful to get some activity on the mileage account so as to avoid expiration of the miles.
Opinion Place: Opinion Place is where you can take surveys and earn Amazon or PayPal Credit. But the hidden gem of this program is that could also choose to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The only caveat is that you need to be qualified for the specific survey which depends on few factors like your interest, liking etc, but once you qualify you can earn anywhere from 75 to 150 AAdvantage miles and at times 225 miles per survey. Although it could take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to do the survey, it could be worth if you want to protect your miles from expiring or are short by few miles for that next award ticket.
E-miles: E-miles is another place where you could earn e-miles currency which can be redeemed for partner miles or points. The biggest drawback is that since you earn in e-miles currency you can only redeem them for actual airlines miles or hotel points when you reach 500 or multiple of 500 e-miles. Also you can only redeem for the partner airline/hotel program you specified while joining the e-miles program. You earn 5 to 10 e-miles for doing activities like watching a video or enrolling for e-miles vendor programs or just answering few questions. You could earn quick e-miles if you are ready to spend some money on some of their vendors. It is a useful program as you could choose any earning partner from multiple partners while enrolling.
e-Rewards: e-Rewards is another program that awards e-Rewards currency for doing surveys. The advantage of this program over e-miles is that it allows redemption of its currency for any of the large number of airline partners or hotel partners. The trick here is if your primary intent is to earn airline miles you should enroll through any of their hotel partners or vice-verse. This way although you are limited to redeem e-Rewards points towards the hotel partner you used during enrollment you are free to redeem e-Rewards points on all the available airline partners. Since, this is invitation only program, you must enroll in any of their partner airline/hotel programs to receive the invitation (Although this is generally the case you can use the links from "New girl In the air blog" to enroll).
One of the way’s to accumulate miles in the airline frequent flyer program is to collect points in one of hotel programs which allow point conversion to miles. Most often than not the conversion ratio from points to miles is bad but still there are few exceptions to this. So, why would you want to transfer points to miles?
Let’s look into more details about the good hotel programs purely from points to miles conversion perspective.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG): SPG is one of the few programs which provides great transfer value:
Wyndham Rewards (WR): WR is another program which provides great transfer value:
Apart from Starwood Preferred Guest and Wyndham Rewards there are bunch of other hotel programs which could potentially earn higher miles at times due to lucrative seasonal promotion offers. Some of the hotel programs which are useful for points to miles conversion are listed below.
Hyatt Gold Passport
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