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Whether you can redeem airline miles for hotel stays depends upon your preferred airline as well as the hotel at which you’d like to rest during your next vacation. Some major air carriers, including United and American Airlines, enable their frequent customers to trade in their miles for hotel points. Using your frequent flyer miles, whether for a night at a swank hotel or a first-class seat upgrade, ordinarily requires careful planning well in advance of your trip.
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Building Airline Miles Without Necessarily Flying
You don’t have to fly a lot to gather enough credits to use airline rewards for hotel stays. Depending upon your credit rating and your personal spending plan, you can often apply for cards such as American Express Delta SkyMiles or Citibank AAdvantage; each ordinary purchase on these cards helps you quickly accrue frequent flyer miles. You can pay your cable bill on the card and build frequent flyer miles.
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Redeeming Those Miles
The first step toward your mission to redeem frequent flyer miles for hotel stays is to call or visit the website of your preferred airline. Ordinarily, you’ll need your frequent flyer number to setup an online access account if you have not already performed this step. Otherwise, you can call the customer service center of your airline to find out information such as your current mileage balance and whether you can exchange those miles for hotel stays.
You can login to your online account if you wish to try to book hotel stays without making telephone calls. Then select the appropriate option, depending upon your airline, to review the availability and basic requirements for trading frequent flyer miles for hotel stays. For example, United’s website offers a “Hotel Partners" category where frequent flyer members can book stays at accommodations chains such as the Marriott, Hyatt and the Hilton. On the other hand, American Airlines offers the redeem AAmiles option where you can book stays at Intercontinental hotels or receive Marriott “cash" gift certificates.
Select the appropriate option for your mileage balance and travel needs, whether it is a night at the Crowne Plaza or a gift certificate toward goods and services at a Marriott hotel. If you run into any problems, be sure to call the appropriate customer service number for assistance.
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Print any reservation confirmation or wait to receive the appropriate hotel gift certificate. If you expect a mailing that does not arrive within a few weeks, call your preferred airline’s customer service number. You should receive an email confirmation of your transaction with full details about when to expect delivery or what number to contact in the event of a problem. If you requested a printed gift certificate, be sure to directly call the hotel chain to make any reservations.