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Eroding Air Miles
By Chris Clackum
(NBC News) Airline reward programs are already having a crisis of credibility.
A survey by MileCards.com found most travelers trust their bank, cable and telephone companies more than they trust their airline reward program.
Changes making it harder to earn and redeem air miles are getting a chilly reception.
Other airlines are expected to follow Delta's decision to change the way you earn miles, basing it on how much you spend rather than how far you fly.
That's why travel experts suggest you don't waste time figuring out other ways to earn.
"Reward programs aren't just about earning miles anymore. It's about earning dollars you can spend on airlines, hotels and many other things," said Orbitz.com senior editor, Jeanenne Tornatore.
That means credit cards or travel websites that offer loyalty rewards can be more effective at accumulating points, and aren't as restrictive as air miles.
They also say consider redeeming miles for more than just flying.
"Airlines are also making it easier to redeem for hotels stays and gift cards, so even if you don't want to redeem for flights there are still ways to maximize your miles," said Brian Kelly of ThePointsGuy.com.
Kelly also says these changes mean air miles are going to lose value quicker than ever now.