Today (January 15, 2016): the best websites for frequent flyers.
With the proliferation of online booking services, the planning in air travel is becoming more and more the responsibility of the passenger. Confronted with a passionate desire for award seats and elite upgrades and an increasingly complex system to book them, every frequent flyer needs as much unbiased information as possible to maximize his/her travel experience at minimal expense. I hereby give you an overview of the best websites that help you to make the most of your miles.
Think I forgot one ? Share you favorite frequent flyer website or blog in the comments section.
AwardWallet provides a free service that helps you keep track of all your reward programs, such as frequent flyer miles, hotel and credit card points. AwardWallet supports more than 600 loyalty programs – air, hotel, car rental, credit card and others. Founded in 2004, AwardWallet quickly became a popular choice for both road warriors and casual travelers. Today, over 355,000 active members rely on AwardWallet to manage over 75.9 billion miles & points representing $1.518 billion USD in value. AwardWallet is not affiliated or related to any of the loyalty programs offered by the airlines, hotels or credit cards identified on this website or tracked and monitored using the AwardWallet service.
Why do I advise you to join AwardWallet?
- There are an estimated 10 trillion unused frequent-flier miles in circulation worth over $165 billion.
- 20% or more of all frequent-flier miles don’t ever get redeemed.
- Avoid unanticipated reward expirations and account closures.
- Stay on top of your assets.
When launched in 2001, Toronto based Points.com addressed a deeply felt need of loyalty tracking members, point junkies and mileage aficionados: the ability to easily transfer miles between different accounts. Points.com, which is free to join, is currently the only place on the internet where it is allowed to legitimately trade points and miles. In addition, Points.com facilitates the purchase of miles and points (since many airlines and hotels process points puchases through Points.com), and it offers the possibility to redeem your points or miles for retail gift cards or for Paypal credits. The site currently has 2.6 million users from 200 countries. However, don’t get too excited about this as it comes at a cost, with high transaction fees and terrible exchange ratios. Nevertheless, there are a few scenarios where it makes sense to use Points.com:
- When you are short of just a few miles to book an award ticket, and you need miles to post in a very short amount of time, then it can be an option to purchase or exchange miles.
- If you have a small number of miles in an airline or hotel programme that you are never going to use, and which may be expiring, then Points.com is better than nothing.
It does take quite some effort to get basic knowledge of how to collect and spend miles & points in the most efficient
manner. If you want to gain insights into the world of loyalty and optimize your own loyalty account(s), then one of the best things you can do is subscribe to the newsletters of expert bloggers, so that you will be instantly updated on promotions and receive tricks for earning or spending your precious miles or hotel points. I have signed up to the newsletter of 6 blogs, and this has helped me tremendously to travel with huge discounts, and even for free. You can find more info on these blogs in one of my previous posts (I will have my own frequent flyer section on this blog in the very near future).
- One Mile at a Time (my favorite blog)
- The Points Guy
- Loyalty Lobby
- Million Mile Secret
- View from the Wing
- Head for Points
With increasingly limited availability of award seats on planes and more and more miles and points flooding the system, finding a Business Class tickets for a reasonable number of miles is harder than ever. However, with ExpertFlyer you’ll stay on top of what flights to take, the fares to pay, where to sit on the plane and how best to maximize your elite upgrades and frequent flyer miles. ExpertFlyer gives you a way to check availability of award tickets and upgrades on many airlines, and for a small monthly fee, you will receive an instant notification when an upgrade (or an award seat) becomes available. You can always try out ExpertFlyer with a free subscription for 5 days.
FlyerTalk features discussions and chat boards that covers the most up-to-date traveler information. It’s an interactive community dedicated to my and your favorite topic: travel! That’s right: all travel, all the time. The FlyerTalk forums are open for business 24 hours, 7 days a week. Even better, all travelers — from vacation travelers to mileage junkies — are welcome in the community. You just choose a forum and you can get to the business at hand general travel, airports, destination, luxury hotels, dining information, and – the forums I like the most – conversing about programs and how to make the most of your miles and points: