Reaping the rewards of your frequent flyer program

My sister used to work for a multinational company, and her job entails traveling all over Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. She made sure she’s a member of the frequent flyer programs of all the airlines she flew with and she was able to redeem the miles she earned. She also have credit cards that has a tie-up with airline frequent flyer programs.

I followed her example, and I am now a member of Philippine Airline’s Mabuhay Miles program, Singapore Airline’s Krisflyer and Qantas’ Frequent Flyer. Since my work doesn’t pay for my travels, I earn considerably lesser miles than she ever did. However, I still manage to get a sizable amount of miles thanks to my Manila-Melbourne flights.

I have enough for a round trip ticket via Philippine Airlines to one of the places in my Philippine destination list. The miles won’t be expiring until 2010, so I still have ample time to earn more. However, I’m pretty impatient (not to mention broke and itching to travel) and I am thinking of redeeming the miles this year.

So the question is, do I use it to travel to one of my 2008 destinations or wait until I have enough for an international trip? If I’m going to use it for an international flight (within Asia), I would need to earn twice the amount of miles I have right now. What to do, what to do?

[poll=3]

 
How does this work anyway? I know I have a form to submit to redeem my miles, but how many weeks prior to my intended departure date do I redeem to ensure that I get to travel on the date I wanted? Answers to any (or all!) of my questions are much appreciated 🙂

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 9 Comments
  1. estan says:

    just wait for it. 2010 is still too far.

  2. dyanie says:

    patience is a virtue! 😉

  3. Anna says:

    Don’t eat the marshmallow… yet!

    Just my 0.02. ^^

    Sure, you want to focus on the Philippines this year.

    …But do you still want to focus on the Philippines in the next couple of years?

    Dadadunnnnn..

    But still! Up to you!

  4. yam says:

    Hi! I think this is my first time to leave a comment on your blog.

    From experience, you can just call the PAL Reservations hotline to book a ticket using your Mabuhay Miles. However, they have a limited number of slots per flight for those using their miles. The earlier you book, the better. The last time I used miles for a HK trip (good for two people) I only had to pay for taxes.

    Hm. I can be impatient, so I was planning to choose “Yes! This may be your only chance to finally buy a ticket to Puerto Princessa” but you can always avail promo fares from local airlines, like the recent P1 fare promo from Cebu Pac. Save it nalang for an international destination, kung kaya outside Asia, why not? Mas mahal ang fares sa non-Asian destinations e. :p

  5. Christina says:

    Young Padawan:

    I cannot vote on your poll for some reason. But go to Palawan! Go!! Go!!!!

    Because Palawan may not always be the beautiful laidback destination it is now. So go see it before the tourist hordes ruin its charm.

    Then, start saving up for Hong Kong afterwards. Hey you need something to look forward to this year, not in 2010, right? 😉

    Cheers, Christina (in Brooklyn)

  6. nina says:

    Estan: Onga, it’s better to wait. I would have to keep a tight rein on my impulsiveness though!

    dyanie: Korek ka dyan, sister! I don’t think I have this virtue though XD

    Anna: Good point. I actually have a couple of invitations for trips out of the country later this year. But we shall see how long I can hold out lol

    yam: Yay, a new commenter! Thank you so much for the info. Di pala basta basta makaka-redeem, I need to plan ahead din pala. I’m actually starting to lean towards using the miles for international travel OR (providing I would get enough miles) Mabuhay class upgrade.

    Christina: True, true! But with the cheap fares, I might as well buy my tickets for Palawan (via PAL) and earn more miles. But yes, I MUST go to Palawan this year!

  7. davidd (aka puuikibeach) says:

    I tried to vote, but when I selected “Yes! This may be your only chance…” I was met with a “please choose a valid poll response” error message. Maybe this poll is rigged!

    Use the miles now. I’ve had some friends get burned when an airline changed the miles policy. They do that sometimes, you know.

    Besides, using the miles now when you have no money is the best time, because… well, you have no money, but you can still go!

    I just looked up photos of Palawan on-line. You HAVE to go, so you can report back, in true travel-blogger style, whether it’s really as spectacularly beautiful as it looks, how much does it actually cost to visit the area… and… there’s an underground river? That is so cool!

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  9. Pau says:

    how do you claim ur miles if your going to palawan? i wanna know how coz i can’t seem to find it anywhere on their website.. (or maybe i’m blind enough for that to see.. ^,<)

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