September 10, 2009

Consolidate Your Airline Miles & Hotel Points

Right now across two airline miles programs and a hotel point program I have the following balances:

Alaska Airlines = 45,608
Priority club = 5,500
American Airlines = 18,423

The 45k of miles with Alaska is almost but not quite enough to get two round trip tickets. The points on Priority club and the American Air miles are not enough to get anything much. Whats more with the points spread around I risk the chance of them expiring or otherwise never being used.

If I had done things right then I could have earned all those points towards my Alaska miles balance rather than having them spread around.

Most airlines and hotels have partners that you can earn points on. So the trick is to find which airline or hotel you want to get your points on and then try to earn points for that everywhere you can. Since I currently have the most miles on Alaska it makes sense for me to try and earn more Alaska miles. If I earn more Alaska miles I can get 2 round trip tickets faster.

Alaska Airlines partners:
Alaska Airlines, Air France, Air Pacific, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Era Aviation, Frontier Alaska, Horizon Air, KLM, Korean Air, LAN, Mokulele Airlines, Northwest Airlines, PenAir, Qantas

If I fly on any of those airlines then I can get Alaska miles credit for the trip. Likewise Priority club and American have many airline partners:

Priority Club partners:

Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, LAN Airlines, GlobalPass, Mexicana, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, VARIG

American Airline Partners:
Aer Lingus, Air Pacific,Air Tahiti Hui, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Brussels Airlines, EL AL, Finnair, Iberia, GOL, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airlines, LAN Airlines, Maley Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Quantas, Royal Jordanian Airlines

I could funnel all my miles or points into Alaska miles. I would then identify what programs allow me to put my points into Alaska and make sure I get Alaska miles anytime I use them. How to decide which airline or hotel to accumulate the points on will depend on which service you would use the most and get the most benefit out of.

Instead of getting priority club, American Air, Hilton and Marriott points I could get Alaskan Air miles for all of those. If you funnel all your airline and hotel stays into one mile or point program then you can cash in quicker and make better use of your rewards.

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