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Three ways to make your frequent flyer miles go further

SmarterTravel

It’s becoming increasingly difficult nowadays to cash in your frequent flyer miles for “free” travel. There are, however, a few strategies you can employ to make sure your hard-earned miles won’t go to waste.

  • Check your preferred airline’s partners. If you’re having difficulty redeeming miles on your main carrier, its partners may have award seats available to you. The websites of partnerships such as oneworld, SkyTeam, and the Star Alliance will have more details.
  • Inquire about redeeming miles as early as possible, so you can book your award seats right when they become available. This is especially important for popular travel periods such as major holidays. You can call and inquire about award seats 330 days in advance.
  • Use your miles for upgrades to first- and business-class, not for a free flight. With premium seating costing significantly more than coach nowadays, many frequent flyer experts recommend this strategy to get the most value for your miles.
  • Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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