About 40 percent of people who accrue frequent-flyer credit never redeem it. According to the results of a study conducted in the U.K. by Collinson Latitude, “rewards seem to be beyond reach or are simply not attractive enough.”
I suspect that most folks covering this story conclude by offering some tips about how to avoid losing miles. My take is different: If you find you aren’t using your miles, stop accumulating them and find some other reward on your credit card.
Chances are, many—maybe most—consumers who don’t use miles don’t travel enough to accumulate meaningful balances. Instead, they get their miles mainly from their credit cards. If that’s your situation, you’re really better off getting a credit card that gives you one-and-a-half to two miles for every dollar you charge. Especially if you’re looking mainly for domestic travel in economy class, with all the problems scoring award seats, you’ll likely get more bang for your buck by applying the cash reward toward a ticket.
So unless you fly a lot, stick with a good rewards card and let the travel credit go.
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