Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Consolidating points

Company travel policy dictates that I travel on whatever flight/airline that is cheapest at the time. As a result I have joined most frequent flyer rewards miles program available in North America – I kid not. Then I also have hotel reward programs and all my other regular department store, grocery store, and gas customer loyalty cards. It was getting a little out of hand.

So I’m consolidating by doing two things.

First, I’m concentrating on collecting frequent flyer miles on only a few cards. Airlines have partnerships. Through partnerships I’m still going to collect miles on all flights but I’m going to collecting through one or two cards. For example, I can collect Air Canada points for flights on United Airlines. Similarly for car rentals and hotels, which usually have partnerships with frequent flyer programs. Of course for programs without partnerships I will still keep collecting on those.

Second, for loose ends…the cards where I collect a small amount of points per year and hardly use, I will check their website to see if they allow exchanges to other programs. Otherwise I will use points.com to exchange points into something useful. It may not be the greatest exchange rate, however, between that and not using the points at all I’d rather get a little something for them.