Earn Elite Status: Organize Your Reward Points Before January 1

If you’re in pursuit of points for all the miles and hotel nights you’ve logged this year, the clock is ticking. While points remain intact as long as you’re an active member of the program, the progress you’ve made this year towards the next elite status level resets in January for most travel reward programs.

TripIt Pro is an easy way to monitor reward program activity for more than 120 different airline, hotel, transportation, credit card – and now OpenTable dining – reward programs in one place. We’ve also made it easy to add, edit or delete reward programs right from your smartphone.

Some elite status-seekers take “mile runner” trips at the end of the year to squeeze in one last flight or hotel stay, in order to qualify for perks like free upgrades and advance boarding in the new year.

If mile running is not in the cards, here are a couple of other ways to get the most bang for your reward point buck:

  • Convert hotel points into miles and vice versa, for maximum award-earning potential (check the conversation rate to make sure it’s worth it).
  • Even if you don’t fly the same airline or stay in the same hotel every trip, some programs allow you to earn points towards a different program (by using the other program’s member number when you make the reservation).
  • Many program points expire after a certain amount of activity, but activity doesn’t have to mean flying. You might be able to keep the points for another 18 months just by using miles to buy a magazine subscription or making a donation to a charity.
  • Need a few more miles to make it to the next level? You may be able to purchase them – and end up better off in the long run.

 

What’s your point-earning strategy for 2013?