How to cash in credit card points for airline tickets

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There are a many credit cards geared toward the frequent flier, allowing points to be earned through purchases and redeemed for discounts on airfare and for free flights. Online account access for credit card users has made tracking points and redeeming airfare rewards more accessible. You need to use your points before they expire.

Check your latest statement to see how many points you have accumulated since your last redemption.

Log onto your credit card account. Click “Rewards” or “Redeem Rewards.” This may vary depending on your card issuer’s website.

Browse through the available rewards until you see selections for airfare rebates or air miles. You might also be able to type “airfare” into a search tool on the “Rewards” page.

Select the airfare rebate option that matches your flight needs and is within your current point balance. Depending on your card issuer, airfare rewards might be issued as miles, destinations (such as within the continental United States), or as a set dollar amount (such as $150).

Click on “Redeem” or “Add to Cart” next to the airfare reward you want. Enter the quantity in the text box next to the reward. For example, if you have 224,000 points and a round-trip ticket costs 100,000 points, you’ll want to enter “2” to ensure you get two tickets.

Click on “Redeem Rewards” or “Checkout” and confirm the redemption. Print the final confirmation page since it might contain instructions on contacting the airline in advance for bookings or a link to blackout dates.

Call your credit card issuer and ask to redeem points for airfare rewards if you cannot access the rewards online.

Order your airfare rewards well before travel, but pay attention to expiration dates. Rewards might be good for a set time period after redemption.

Some rewards cards carry an annual fee; if you do not redeem enough points in a given year, you might be paying more for the card than you get in rewards.

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