Frequent flier miles and travel rewards are worth money and just like money can be stolen right out of your account or wallet. Most of us just let them accumulate in our frequent flier or mileage rewards accounts without much thought until it’s time for a flight upgrade, vacation, or redemption for merchandise. Thieves think of loyalty points or frequent flier miles as currency and that is why they target mileage and loyalty accounts for theft because they are valuable.
How Thieves Steal Frequent Flier Points
Thieves just need access to your account to book flights or hotels with your points or to transfer the points out for cash, gift cards, or merchandise. So how do they get access to your online accounts? The answer is by phishing scams and password theft. Once they have your login credentials they are in your account and your valuable points are at risk.
How to Protect Your Miles
Follow these actions to mitigate the risk of having your account hacked.
- Check your account balances regularly so you know how many points you have. Once a month is a good rule of thumb. if you notice any changes not authorized by you report them.
- Rip up or shred boarding passes immediately after your flight as they can have your account number plus your name printed on them.
- Use a strong and complex username and password, remember you’re guarding valuable points.
- If your login suddenly doesn’t work, contact the airline or credit card points program administrator.
- Set up email auto alerts that are sent went points are withdrawn. Look under the “settings” tab to set up auto alerts or contact the site customer service team for advice on how to do so.
- Use a points manager program where you consolidate and track all your points and miles. A good one is Awardwallet.com as they will notify you of any withdrawals.
- Don’t use free public WiFi to access your frequent flier account.
- Don’t put your frequent flier account number on your bag tag.