Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ideas on Redeeming Low Balance Frequent Flyer Accounts

By Mike Grasso

I'm often asked what to do with a few thousand miles stored in a frequent flier account. Since most airlines require 25,000 miles for a free domestic award redemption, it may take quite some time to bump that mileage balance high enough for a free flight. One idea is to redeem miles for a magazine or newspaper subscription, which require as little as 400 miles.

Here are some examples:

Magazine subscriptions
-12 issues of Conde Nast Traveler for 600 miles AAdvantage miles
-12 issues of Wired for 400 SkyMiles
-50 issues of Business Week for 1600 AAdvantage miles

Newspaper subscriptions (mileage may vary by market)
-8 weeks of the San Francisco Chronicle (7X weekly) for 1534 SkyMiles, 1840 AAdvantage miles or 2300 MileagePlus miles.
-39 weeks of the Wall Street Journal (6X weekly) for 2626 AAdvantage miles or 3282 MileagePlus miles.

Many airlines also allow you to redeem miles for dining certificates and airport lounge access. You can even donate small sums of miles to charity. To take advantage of these and other offers visit your airline's frequent flyer page to view all redemption opportunities.