Yesterday, my suspicions that AviancaTaca would de-value their award chart were confirmed. North Americans will be disappointed to see business class has increased by 5,000 miles to the Middle East, Africa, and South or Central Asia while first class has increased by 15K miles when traveling from North America to the Middle East, North Africa, Central & South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and other areas in Oceania. First class to South Africa has increased by an incredible 50K miles! There are no changes on economy pricing – at least, not yet. And all of this is on no notice.
My point here is not to report on this change, though. Loyalty Lobby has a comprehensive look at the changes on their award chart and I’d highly recommend checking their page if you’ve dabbled with Lifemiles. Certainly, you may begin re-thinking whether or not buying miles at ~1.3 cents is still a good deal (my vote is it’s not if your purchase is for entirely speculative travel).
With Marriott’s award pricing change also fresh in my mind, I’d like to remind you that miles and points are meant to be spent, not to simply be collected.
I have met a lot of people in this community with one million or more miles sitting in their accounts. Many of them have easily hit two or three million. Guys: it’s time to start burning. Inflation is a reality when it comes to loyalty programs (and even if it isn’t, why do you bother collecting millions of points if you aren’t going to use them?).
By all means, I’m not suggesting you waste your points. Keep enough miles in your collection so that you have enough for that dream trip to the South Pacific you want to take next winter. Save a few for emergencies. Then, consider which of your other travel goals you can put on the calendar by spending some of your miles today. If you need inspiration on how to use your miles, I have a few ideas.
I have burned more than a few points in the past six months and I’ll admit it’s a little weird to see your balances dwindle. I have a secret, though: any guilt you may have felt spending those points will disappear as soon as you’re at a new destination having the time of your life. Your balances will build back up anyway and then you can have fun earning miles again.
Earning miles is only half the equation. In fact, I’d say it’s only a third of the equation. I’m in this for the rewards…are you?
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