Welcome!

Search Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Shelly Palmer

News Feed Item

Six Holiday Shopping Tips from Loyalty Program Experts

UsingMiles.com Founder Shares Hidden Tricks for Using Points and Miles to Stretch Your Gift-giving Budget

DENVER, Colo., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tapping your loyalty accounts for holiday purchases is like finding extra money under the sofa cushions at Christmastime -- but consumers need to know the hidden tricks and have an intelligent game plan to get the most benefit out of their points and miles.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110407/LA78848LOGO)

"Everyone wants to stretch their shopping holiday budget. And redeeming loyalty program points is one of the best and most underused ways to do that," said Krista Paul, founder of UsingMiles.com, which enables users to track and manage their rewards programs all in one place.

"People stay up all night waiting for Black Friday retail specials, and then they max out their credit cards and stand in line to put gifts on layaway," Paul said.  "But if they just take advantage of the reward points they worked hard at earning all year long, they might not need to borrow money to buy the things they need over the holidays."

U.S. consumers have an aggregate total of $48 billion in points and miles in their loyalty program accounts, studies show.  "People don't think of their reward points as money.  But they really are like a second currency or a hidden bank account that can be used for 'buying' travel, merchandise, gas, groceries and even grande skim lattes," Paul said. 

Paul offered five tips to help consumers save money by "burning" their loyalty rewards over the holidays and also earning more rewards to use in the New Year:

  1. Get organized. The average consumer has three credit cards, belongs to 18 rewards programs, and gets 25 emails a week from Groupon, LivingSocial and other daily deals websites.  They're unable to keep up with the mounting pile of loyalty e-mails and flyers.  Loyalty websites such as UsingMiles were designed to eliminate the clutter.  UsingMiles.com allows consumers to manage more than 210 loyalty programs all in one place, while tracking their balances, bonus offers and even their daily deal vouchers from a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
  2. Think of all your points and miles as a "second bank account."   The holidays are a great time to use up those rewards.   Frequent flyer miles, for example, can be used for free travel as well as for purchasing a wide variety of merchandise and services, including jewelry, housewares, electronics, toys, sporting goods and more.  You can use them to send flowers or download music and movies – or give miles to friends or family members as a gift.  Check airline websites for details.
  3. Don't let miles and points expire.  An estimated $16 billion worth of points and miles lapse every year as a variety of expiration dates and deadlines come and go - often without disclosure to consumers.   On UsingMiles.com, consumers can sign up for e-mail alerts warning them in advance when  points will expire.  Then instead of losing points, consumers can redeem them for items that can be stashed away for holiday gift-giving later in the year.
  4. Book holiday award travel early. Getting an award flight during the holidays isn't easy, but your chances of scoring a free ticket will increase if you plan ahead. Generally, airlines release award tickets between 330-345 days before departure. Start searching at this time and you may get lucky. To make the process fast and efficient, UsingMiles allows consumers to simultaneously search multiple reward programs for available award seats.
  5. Pay for holiday purchases with a credit card that provides rewards points.  Virtually all airlines and major hotels offer credit cards that can be used to earn miles or points.  Banks and major card companies also offer cards that give points that can be redeemed for travel on multiple airlines.  Many of these also give generous sign-up bonuses that can earn you a free trip once you start using them for purchases. While using a loyalty card for gift buying can be a good strategy to accumulate more points and miles, be sure to compare APRs, annual fees and mileage expiration policies, and consider whether you can afford to pay off balances each month. 
  6. Use your points and miles to help others. What better time than the holidays to donate miles to a charity to help a person in need?  Airline loyalty programs partner with a long list of organizations, such as Make-a-Wish, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross and Feeding America, and enable donations from their websites. 

"There's so much value that consumers don't take advantage of in loyalty programs," Paul said.   "At UsingMiles.com, we're dedicated to helping people get the most benefit out of their rewards points with a minimum amount of time and effort.  And, over the holidays, when people are making purchases almost every day it seems, saving money by earning and using awards can be a real lifesaver!"

About UsingMiles

To simplify people's hectic lives and improve redemption, UsingMiles.com aggregates all of a family's membership and loyalty programs – programs like United MileagePlus, Marriott Rewards, Kroger, Starbucks and Groupon – into a single dashboard, and protects them against expiration. Points, miles and credits are organized to use like cash, as second currencies available to spend. UsingMiles provides tools, such as an advanced travel search engine, to help members earn more points and finds efficient ways for families to spend their second currencies.

SOURCE UsingMiles

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...