9 Ways to Make Travel Miles or Points Go Farther

ways to use or earn miles and points

Whether you work remotely from home or away, or travel occasionally on vacation – here are travel tips by our team to help maximize the value of your miles. Included are ways to use your airline and travel miles.

Next up: we’ll blog on the rise of mobile devices – and how to save time at home and work with them.

1. Miles or points for accommodations

You can use travel miles or points for stays, but did you know you can earn miles or points in booking your accommodations?

For example, Southwest Airlines lets its Rapid Rewards members book accommodations at selected hotels and earn points toward travel on the airline. This can be particularly useful if you need to top off your points for a rewards flight.

Southwest points bonus

Meanwhile, Expedia lets its Expedia+ rewards members earn bonus points from time to time for certain bookings or booking on the mobile app.

expedia rewards+
2. Use miles or points for gift cards and other purchases

View the retailers on your mileage or points plan shopping page. You may be able to use your miles or points, if you don’t have enough for a flight, for gift cards, merchandise, subscriptions for magazines or services.

Relatedly, if you choose to use a charge or credit card, a travel rewards card can earn you miles or points for purchases that you can pay off during the card’s grace period or by the due date. You can opt for a no annual fee card, moreover, to earn miles or points on purchases you make anyway like kitchen or home goods.

On Amazon.com, for instance, you can redeem some American Express Membership Rewards points directly on the checkout page for Amazon purchases.

If you prefer, you can, like at Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic, earn miles or points for shopping at some retailers.

Delta Skymiles

earning and using travel miles
3. Get discounted miles to fill small mileage gaps

Airlines sometimes run promotions letting you buy a batch of miles of your choice at a discount or earning bonus miles. This may be helpful when you need a few or several thousand miles to have enough for a booking; you can view the offers or promotions page of your mileage or points program.
4. Use miles for local experiences

From tram rides up to great views and museum tickets, to weekend activities, you can use your miles to budget for local dining and experiences.

For example, Asia Miles which partners with several airlines like Cathay Pacific and American Airlines have offered winery visits in Australia, rock climbing and other adventures.

Asia miles
5. Pool your miles as a family

JetBlue has offered families a way to pool miles toward reward flights. Rather than transferring miles from one family member to another, you may be able to pool your JetBlue TrueBlue miles to earn a reward flight faster. Learn more at the JetBlue link below.

JetBlue miles
6. Gift or transfer miles to a friend or loved one

Know someone who’s saving for a trip, like an international trip? Your airline may let you give or transfer miles toward someone’s dream trip. Be sure to look for and understand any fees charged; it may be easier to book them a ticket on their desired itinerary with your miles.


Caffe della Pace, Rome

7. Request earned missing miles or points

If you booked a flight or accommodations and didn’t provide your member number, visit your points program website and request them within the allowable period. You’ll need your booking info, and if you’re just signing up the program may give you credit for a recent booking.
8. For last-minute travel when available

While booking earlier generally provides the widest range of options and lowest fares, if you need to book a last-minute trip you may find a better deal using your miles than paying the available fare. So check the cost of a trip in miles as well as dollars, or the currency you’re paying in.
9. Provide your mileage or points number when renting a vehicle

Often forgotten, you can earn by providing your mileage or points number when booking a vehicle; also, check your airline’s mileage or points program page for any special discount code or bonus points.

These tips can help you maximize value from your miles and points.


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