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Whether you’re speculatively booking flights or hotels, using rewards is a much safer bet.

Airlines almost universally will not allow you to change or cancel a paid basic economy fare.
Hotels offer flexible cash rates that are often 10% higher than the nonrefundable prices.
By reserving travel with airline miles and hotel points, you have exponentially more flexibility to change your travel plans.
Read Insider’s guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.

Several years ago, I lost $1,500 in nonrefundable hotel stays when my travel plans to Dubai fell through.

I may never get over forfeiting such a sizable chunk of money. What I have done ever since is avoid prepaid travel like the plague. There’s a better way to book rock-bottom rates while minimizing the damage if your itinerary changes.

If you make any habit of booking nonrefundable travel, you should be using airline miles and hotel points instead of money. That’s because the airfares and hotel rates you’ll get are significantly more flexible than paid rates.

Let’s take a look at the benefit of using airline miles and hotel points over booking with cash.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Why airline miles are better than cash

After the coronavirus blithely ravaged the travel plans of every person on earth in 2020, airlines began to swap their harsh ticket change and cancellation restrictions for more customer-friendly policies. Many airlines now offer free flight changes.

There’s a glaring exception to these new leniencies: basic economy fares. Basic economy is the cheapest fare option airlines sell which are tangled in red tape and restrictions, the most egregious being that you can’t cancel them — and you often can’t change them.

Take a look at the current cancellation policies when booking the lowest fares with popular North American airlines.

Airline

Cash …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Ultimate flexibility to change or cancel plans is the biggest unsung benefit of airline miles and hotel points

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