03/24/2015 12:16 pm ET Updated May 24, 2015

Top 10 Ways to Make Travel Rewards Programs Go the Distance

On March 1, United joined Delta, jetBlue and Southwest in rewarding price paid for a flight rather than miles flown in its frequent flyer loyalty program. Other airlines around the world have or are expected to make similar shifts. As points become harder to acquire and quick to expire, the price in points for a ticket continues to rise, blackout dates block key travel windows and fees and tax charges for "free" tickets become more common. You have to work harder and be smarter to cash in on past travel for future adventures. At, we say "game on!" and have compiled these tips for getting the most out of rewards programs from airlines and everyone else.

Top 10 ways to make travel rewards programs go the distance