Frequent Flyer Miles are becoming a hot topic of conversation as more young travellers look for ways to bankroll their RTW tickets without putting down cash. This week we speak with the crew from AwardWallet, who are currently tracking around 8,500,000,000 miles and rewards points.

To listen to our interview with Alexi Vereschaga and Steve Gempeler, hit play below or find episode 188 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:

Managing miles

Managing over eight billion miles makes AwardWallet experts in how to keep track of all your miles, statuses and expiry dates. And that’s big business for us little guys when you think that every mile which expires is a trip we’re not taking.

8,500,000 miles sounds like a lot, but they estimate more than 10 trillion miles are currently sitting unused in people’s frequent flyer accounts. Combined, that’s an awful lot of travel.

An automated system

How many reward programmes are you a part of? Alexis Vereschaga, founder of AwardWallet, was shown a massive pile of cards by a friend. Each card represented a loyalty programme, and there was no way to track what was going on with each of them, what points were about to expire, what status was currently held with each programme.

His solution? Store you logins securely with one system, have that check all your programmes and calculate when points expire. Their system can now automatically check over 280 loyalty programmes. Not only that, it can automatically build itineraries based on your bookings, and you can share both your reward balances and trip plans with family or friends.

Etihad plane by Simon_sees on Flickr
Manage your frequent flyer miles and be on the plane!

Stop your miles expiring

Over time, most frequent flyer miles with expire, unless a certain “qualified” activity extends the life of the points. But a qualified activity doesn’t always mean a flight or a hotel stay. Shopping through an approved store might also be a qualified activity, or perhaps buying miles directly from the airline.

Buying a $25 t-shirt could potentially save you tens of thousands of miles … and that might be a very good purchase.

Earning miles

The topic of conversation, of course, turns towards earning miles. In addition to flying, Steve suggests the following resources:

The Travel Hacking Cartel

The Cartel is a membership-based alert system for great frequent flyer bonuses. The cartel stores a constantly updated series of deals and bonuses on the website and can either email or SMS you when new deals are added.

Note: Indie Travel Podcast partners with the Cartel; we get a commission if you join through this link.

The Points Guy

The Points Guy blog displays new deals that he comes across each day.

Miles Buzz

The Flyer Talk forums are full of the curious and the obsessed: those that make frequent flying their hobby. The miles buzz thread has ongoing updated deals and promotions.

It was interesting hearing about managing frequent flyer miles from those in the industry. To listen, hit play above or check in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud. Read more related resources on our frequent flyer miles page.

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