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73 Percent of Frequent Fliers Confused by Mileage Totals and How The System Works

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Apr 10, 2013 11:54 AM EDT

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Ever wonder how much miles you have, but never get around to checking, you are not alone, according to  ThePointsGuy.com report released on April 10, "more than 70% of Americans who have frequent-flier accounts or credit card rewards say they don't know how many miles and points they have. And 27% say they've actually forfeited some or all of their miles because of inactivity."

Brian Kelly-founder and operator of ThePointsGuy.com - said to USA Today, [what this study results mean] is that many consumers are essentially throwing away money by failing to keep tabs on their miles and other loyalty program points."

In today's world most miles or points expire after a year or two, so one has to use them or lose them and it is the latter that is happening more often.

"There's such an opportunity for people to be smart about it. It's a consumer issue," Kelly said to Today in the Sky. "Whether you're redeeming miles and points for first-class plane tickets, gift cards, cash back or something else, the cardinal rule is that you have to keep track of how many you have."

In fact, 27 percent of those surveyed for the reported stated that they found frequent-flier programs to be confusing. "Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the percentage grew to 31 percent when responses were counted only from those who admitted to having frequent-flier miles," reported USA Today.

However, there are different sites and ways to keep track and get notified of your miles.

Kelly said that one of those reliable places to see is AwardWallet.com.

Though, the study revealed that most americans don't understand how the miles or point system works, "50 percent--when including only survey respondents who admit to collecting miles," Kelly said that "there's still many other ways to use" points and miles. "For example, with American Airlines, you can redeem them for hotels. That's not going to be your best value, but it's still something. Whether you use them for magazines or newspapers ... at least do something. Don't just take money and essentially burn it up," according to USA Today.

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