Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Greg O'Connor, Pat Romanski, SearchStorage.com News, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan

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
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...