Your Loyalty Resolutions for 2016

It’s never too late to set resolutions and goals for the rest of the year. When it comes to loyalty programs, set specific goals now to reap the rewards down the road.

Here are six loyalty resolutions you can make this year to get the most out of your rewards.

Sign up for multiple loyalty programs

While you may have a favorite airline or hotel chain that you like to rack up loyalty points with, it’s not always possible to book with those airlines or hotels every time you travel.

Consider diversifying your loyalty portfolio to really reap the benefits.

If you’re taking a flight or staying in a hotel that isn’t one of your preferred brands, consider signing up for its loyalty program so you can earn those points as well. If you’re going to be spending money with a hotel or airline, there’s no reason not to join their loyalty program and earn the corresponding points that come with your patronage. Even if you’re not able to accrue enough points for a free night or flight, there’s plenty of ways to use lower levels of points to keep your wallet full and travel experience smoother. For example, some programs, like JetBlue TrueBlue, give you the flexibility to spend your points on everyday items, like as gas, coffee and magazine subscriptions.

Whip your loyalty points into shape

One of the most common resolutions we make each year is to get into shape, whether it’s by eating healthier or exercising more often.

You can take a similar approach by whipping your loyalty points into shape.

Chances are, you likely signed up for a loyalty program a few years ago and have since forgotten about it, or perhaps you have unspent loyalty points weighing you down. Use the New Year as an opportunity to take a full inventory of all loyalty programs you’ve signed up for and the points you’ve earned to date.

Without even realizing it, you might have already earned enough points to upgrade your next flight or book a hotel stay free of charge.

Go digital

Once you’ve signed up for additional loyalty programs and accounted for all the points you’ve already earned, you can avoid losing track of your rewards in the future by going digital. Check for programs online or apps on your mobile device that allow you to easily keep track of all your loyalty programs, track your balances, swap between programs online and even make purchases with your hard-earned points.

Donate loyalty points to charity

Is one of your 2016 resolutions to up your charity work or donations? Look no further than your favorite loyalty programs. Southwest Rapid Rewards is just one example of a rewards program that enables its customers to donate points to charity. Southwest Rapid Rewards members can donate points to featured charities to cover that organization’s travel needs. For more charitable ways to use your points, check out my post on using points and miles for good. 

Gift loyalty points

If a friend or family member is celebrating a significant life event this year, like a wedding or milestone anniversary, consider gifting your unspent rewards points.

 They can redeem your points can be redeemed for airfare, hotel stays, upgrades and perks. For example, the United MileagePlus program gives members the opportunity to either transfer their loyalty points to another account or buy loyalty points as a gift. In doing so, you can gift something the recipient truly wants while making sure your hard-earned loyalty points don’t get forgotten.

Set a loyalty savings goal

Goal-setting is an important part of your personal, professional and financial life. Why not consider setting a loyalty points goal this year? If you’re planning a getaway in the near future, determine how much money you’ll need to save and how you can offset the costs of the trip by earning and redeeming loyalty points. Earning loyalty points can be as simple as using your airline or hotel credit card while filling up at the gas station or shopping for groceries.

Once these points are earned, using a digital loyalty program offers a variety of options to save up and redeem points.

By adding one or more of these tips to your overall list of New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be set up for loyalty success throughout the year and beyond.