The Essentials

How Much Are Frequent Flyer Programs Worth?

You might not be flying a lot right now, which probably means you’re also not redeeming a lot of your hard-earned frequent flyer miles.

So what about those frequent flyer programs? They’re more valuable than ever — at least for the airlines. United, Delta, and American Airlines have each mortgaged their frequent flyer programs to raise much needed cash (between $6.5 billion and $9 billion a piece).

The frequent flyer programs have actually saved these airlines from a possible bankruptcy.

But it also proves the point of how much the frequent flyer programs are worth.

But there’s a danger now that the airlines might move to raise mileage redemption levels and actually devalue the program for consumers.

The takeaway here is to think up to 330 days out, and redeem your miles now for trips you want to take later this year.