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I recently commissioned The Princeton Group to conduct a national survey to find out how much people know about and are using their miles, and the results were very interesting.

It turns out that 73% of Americans who have frequent flyer miles don’t know how many they have and 59% said they don’t know how these programs work.

73% of Americans with airline miles don
73% of Americans with airline miles don’t know how many they have.

The other interesting facts to come out of the survey were that only 67% of us collect reward miles and points at all, and of those, 27% of people admit that they have let some or all of them expire.

Perhaps the most surprising fact? That those in the 18-29 age bracket are actually the worst at keeping track of their miles – 80% of them admitted they don’t know how many they have! Come on Gen Y – you’re supposed to be the tech savvy ones! With so many apps and tools for tracking miles and points, this just doesn’t make sense.

27% of people have let miles expire.
27% of people have let miles expire.

What also doesn’t make sense is why so few people are keeping track of their points and miles when there are such good resources out there to do so easily. Miles and points are a form of currency. They are worth money. Sometimes they are worth a lot of money – depending on how you redeem them. The bottom line is that your points and miles are an asset and they are worth keeping track of.

Given these results, I’ve decided to host a reader contest and giveaway to make sure that no one’s miles go unused anymore.

A lot of people - nearly 60% - don
A lot of people – nearly 60% – don’t know how frequent flyer programs work.

Now that the sun is out and shining and we’re all starting to think about summer travel, I think it’s time we all did a little spring cleaning, starting with our miles. So I’m going to be giving away some premium memberships to both TripIt Pro and AwardWallet to readers who enter my contest as well as a 30-minute personal phone consultation with one of them to maximize their personal points strategy.

Airlines have gotten more aggressive lately about blocking tracking sites’ access to account information, so not all of these are able to actively track your points, but there are workarounds and it’s still good to have all your information in one place that’s easily accessible.

TripIt Pro Prizes: Give Me Your Best…And Your Worst

I have six free one-year trial memberships to TripIt Pro to give away. TripIt Pro includes features like: tracking all your frequent travel account information including balances and expiration dates, instant alerts about flight delays, cancellations and gate changes (often before airlines themselves even notify you), the ability to automatically share your travel plans with contacts and complimentary 1-year memberships to Hertz #1 Club Gold and Regus Gold.

TripIt is a great resource for keeping track of your points and miles.
TripIt is a great resource for keeping track of your points and miles.

I’ll be giving three of these away to the readers who submit their best stories about how they have kept track of their points and used them for a valuable redemption. 

I’ll give the other three away to the readers who worst stories about letting their points or miles expire. We’ve all done it, and the first step to recovery is admitting failure.

All winners will be selected at random from those who submit a valid comment using their email address at the bottom of this post.

Meanwhile for those of you who don’t end up winning, you can still try out TripIt Pro with a free two-month trial subscription – just redeem it by May 31, 2013.

AwardWallet Plus Prizes: Share On Facebook

One of the services I use for tracking my points and miles balances is AwardWallet, which has a basic membership that tracks balances and travel plans, notifies you when your balances are set to expire and allows you to share your travel plans. They also have a premium membership called AwardWallet Plus that does all that in addition to displaying historical account balance changes, allows you to export award balances into spreadsheets and will display unlimited award expiration notices.

AwardWallet Plus will keep track of your miles and tell you when they
AwardWallet Plus will keep track of your miles and tell you when they’re set to expire.

I am giving away unlimited six-month AwardWallet Plus memberships to new users and also some OneCards that allow you to customize all of your mileage accounts onto one physical card for your wallet.

To win these prizes and get the AwardWallet Plus sign-up codes, go to my Facebook page and share the photo of me using my AwardWallet account. We’ll give six-month memberships to AwardWallet Plus to new AwardWallet subscribers (you can’t have had an account in the past, free upgrades to 100 members who share the photo, and the 50 OneCard coupons to another 50 Facebook fans who share it as well.

50 Facebook fans can win free OneCards from AwardWallet by sharing my photo.
50 Facebook fans can win free OneCards from AwardWallet by sharing my photo.

It’s spring and we all have to get our houses in order, starting with our points, so these free memberships to some of the best miles-tracking services out there are my way of helping folks maximize their miles and not let them go to waste!

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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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