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A winning miles strategy

If there’s one thing that both frequent travelers and smart savers know for certain, it’s that saving up money or airline miles is a reliable, long-term strategy for both planned and unexpected expenses that can—and will—arise in the future. It’s not difficult to find new and unique ways to save and earn, either. But the difference between having savings and putting them to work for you? That comes down to one thing: strategy. It may sound simple but keeping your longer-term goals in mind is a great way to ensure that you maximize your experience when it comes to both saving money and earning miles.  

Creating Your Strategy

The most effective strategies for saving and earning often take into account an extended timeline, since travel conditions can be impacted by the unexpected and saving money (as well as earning miles) can take some time. Consider both your financial and personal goals while you plan: Where would you like to go, how do you want to get there, and when? Do you plan to fly business class? Is it a solo trip, or is the family tagging along? Will you need to dip into savings for extra money to make your goals happen, or is your primary goal to earn miles, boost your mileage balance and have miles on hand to redeem in the future?

With a Bask Savings Account, you earn one American Airlines AAdvantage® mile instead of interest for every dollar that you save annually —a unique strategy that combines the benefit of putting money into a savings account with the ability to earn miles just for saving money instead of spending. The value of an AAdvantage® airline mile depends on how you redeem it, which can serve as a great starting point for how you build your strategy.

To get the best cash return on your miles, think big. Set a goal to save up your miles for the next time you plan to travel, and avoid spending them on anything else. That will help you not only increase the value of your miles, but also ensure that you have enough miles to reach your destination whenever you need to get there.

Timing Is Important

Picking your travel dates in as far in advance as you can could give you a leg up in the process — especially if the dates are distant. Scope flight prices in advance and keep in mind that airlines might have blackout days for some of the busiest travel times, like late December and early January. If your dates aren’t set in stone, you might find that adjusting by one or two days can yield significant price changes. That said, keep in mind that unexpected travel needs can and do arise — and tickets in such situations can be very expensive. This is another area where earned miles can provide great value, because if you’ve put a smart mileage earning strategy in place, you can dip into your miles instead of your savings.

Maximize Your Miles

The miles-to-cents value of an airline mile can vary, but not all miles are created equal. Their worth ultimately comes down to how they’re used. For example, trading them for international travel or to upgrade your cabin class are ways to maximize miles.

Put simply, you want your miles to translate to the highest possible value. It’s best to use them toward one big trip instead of several small trips. A business-class seat might set you back double the miles that a seat in economy would, but by saving up to experience an international flight from the comfort and convenience of an upgraded cabin — or redeem miles for a longer-haul flight that takes you farther — you might get the best return.

Assess Your Current Situation

Once you’ve picked your destination and dates, you’ll need to figure out how many miles you have — and the best ways to earn more. In another recent article, we’ve laid out some of the options you have for earning miles across a variety of platforms, as well as how to manage the miles you’ve already accrued. In the meantime, a quick way to start earning miles without actually traveling is by taking a look at your savings. If you have money sitting in a traditional savings account, you might want to consider opening an account with Bask Bank and saving it there, where you’ll earn AAdvantage® miles instead of annual interest.

All In All…

Keeping a solid plan in mind and sticking with your strategy will help you not only increase the value of your miles, but also ensure that you reach your savings goals — and your next destination — on time.

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