Earning your frequent flyer miles is a straightforward and easy process. You just have to sign up with the airline you prefer to use, purchase tickets, and earn your points for every mile you travel. Redeeming those points can be another issue altogether. With blackout dates and limited seating, redeeming your points can be frustrating at the best of times. Here are just a few suggestions to make redeeming your points as easy and straightforward as earning your frequent flyer miles.

First of all try and be loyal to one airline. By keeping all your points with just one airline, you will be able to consolidate all your points in one location. This will make redeeming them easier. Before registering with an airline for frequent flyer miles, look at their restrictions and terms for their point system. Read all the fine print to ensure that you are not surprise when you try to redeem your points. Also verify the minimum of points needed before you can start redeeming your frequent flyer miles and their expiration dates.

Try and use partner companies, such as rental car agencies and hotels, when you travel to earn additional airline points. Most airline will inform you of their partner companies and by using them, you can increase your points. But never pay extra for services from partner companies just to earn additional flyer points.

Once you have accumulated your points and are ready to redeem, contact the booking agent to see what seats are available and when they will be available. Try and book in advance. Since airlines typically only have a small number of seats available for frequent flyer miles, booking in advance will ensure that you are able to obtain a seat on your choice of flight. Also try be flexible with your dates of travel this will also help you obtain an available seat. Another item to keep in mind when trying to redeem your frequent flyer miles is to never try and use your points around major holidays. Most airlines have these dates blacked out due to the high volume of travelers.

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Also remember you can sometimes redeem your points for gift certificates instead of airline tickets. Some companies will allow you to transfer your frequent flyer miles to redeem for gift certificates. If you points are about to expire and you are not planning an upcoming trip, this might be an option to consider. Instead of losing your points, you will be able to redeem them for useful items.

The frequent flyer points program is a wonderful way to reward travelers for their loyalty to a particular airline. Accumulating points are easy but sometimes redeeming points can be a little tricky. Always plan ahead and be flexible when trying to redeem your points. Keep the restrictions and expiration dates of your points in mind. Don’t feel as if a plane ticket is your only option for redeeming your points. Take advantage of your frequent flyer miles and use them to benefit you.