Like most of us during the pandemic Alvarez didn't travel, so her Alaska miles piled up. A couple months back she started counting down the days till when she could book next year's travel to Mexico.
"I think it was in April, because we go to Puerto Vallarta every year, we have a timeshare down there," Alvarez says.
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That booking strategy was genius and here's why: during the pandemic, while we were working and staying at home, we kept earning miles and points by shopping online and having meals and groceries delivered. This while airports and hotels were empty and flights were flying half-full. Miles were going out; not many were being spent.
Ted Ross knows about this. He is senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com.
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"These travel companies have clearly suffered over the past year, and while they're bouncing back there's a lot of points and miles in the system," Ross says. "I think that they're going to be looking to liquidate those miles at ratios that are more favorable to them, so it underscores the point that you should use these rewards sooner rather than later. They're unlikely to get more valuable over time; in fact, they will probably lose value."
Not only that, Ross says it could get trickier to use our points: "Sometimes you run into various blackout dates and other kind of rules and regulations."
Bottom line for miles and points? Book soon, book often.
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