5 mistakes to avoid when redeeming your points

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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If you have worked hard to build up your reward points the last thing you want to do is watch them go down the drain because of a few mistakes you wish you knew to avoid. Knowing the best way to use your reward points will help you know which one will offer you the best value for your points. We have also put together a list of things that you can avoid so that you don’t waste your points.

1. Spending your points on gift cards or products

Reward cards have made it possible for card holders to go beyond just using their points to redeem for flights, but you could also use your points for a gift car or purchasing products at a reward store. They might have various offers that may be tempting, but when you measure the items against big ticket items such as upgrading your seat on a flight or getting a free ticket to your favourite holiday destination, you will realise that you will not be getting the full value of your points.

2. Flying with the wrong airline

Frequent flyer programs have evolved to offering ideal routes that are cost effective with partnered airlines. If you plan your routes in advance you will be able to find when to book your flight for less using your points and which airline is best for the airline you are travelling to without being slapped with a possible penalty for using your points for an airline that is not partnered with your frequent flyer program.

3. Not family pooling your points

Most frequent flyer programs offer credit card holders to share their points with other family members. However, failing to snatch up the opportunity to open an account to family pool your points to, which basically means transferring your points, you could be missing out on a big opportunity. Family pooling points can help you and your family quickly gather points that can be used for your next family vacation to help reduce the costs. This can also be a great way to prevent your points from expiring. Remember to add your family members to the program so that they can start using it.

4. Failing to sign up for deals

Searching the web for hours on end for a good deal that is available can be tiring, but by simply signing up to your rewards program newsletter or your airlines notifications you will be able to know when the best deals are on the market, which in turn can help you book your flight in advance. The plus side to this is that it can help you save money while earning more points.

5. Not booking business class for your next trip

There are ways that you can build up the current points you have without reducing them. One mistake that some people tend to make is spend the points they have because they are low. However, you can build your points up significantly by upgrading to business class for your next flight, which can also help you maximise the value of your points.

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