Why you may want to use your airline points sooner rather than later


People ready to fly again may want to prioritize redeeming their airline miles, rather than trying to earn new ones.

A glut of unused reward miles may push airlines to change their frequent flyer programs in ways that could disadvantage some customers, warns ValuePenguin, one of LendingTree’s financial research websites. 

A review of annual filings of five U.S. airlines — Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue — shows reward program liabilities grew to a combined $27.5 billion last year, a spike of 11.6% over the year before, according to ValuePenguin.

Additionally, a rush to redeem miles is expected at a time when the badly battered airline industry needs cash-paying customers at the ticket counter.

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