A fact you learn when you get started with miles and points is that the earning part is relatively easy. You don’t have to learn a lot to get going and jumpstart those balances. This can cause problems down the line if you get too enthusiastic so here’s a list I made of what you should do if you’re rather new to the game.
Redeeming your miles and points for rewards can be a bit more difficult. For starters, there’s the availability problem. Unless you’re in a fixed value program like Southwest or JetBlue, not all flights have award tickets available.
Even if you find an available flight, if you have transferrable points there are numerous programs you have access to, and each of them might charge a different amount of miles and fees for the same award ticket.
If you can keep track of every award in every program, good for you. I know I can’t. But that’s not as much of a problem as it used to be…