Although the latest thefts target Aeroplan miles, points fraud can wipe out thousands of dollars in value. In addition to monitoring miles balances, travelers should watch closely for any unauthorized changes to their accounts. You should track your rewards balance as you would your bank account and credit or debit card activity so you can identify fraudulent activity more quickly.
» Learn More: Crooks want your credit card points. Here’s what you need to know to keep your rewards safe.
How to keep your frequent flyer accounts safe
Because points and miles fraud shares some signals with identity theft, there are actions every frequent flyer can take to protect their miles. Including:
- Change passwords frequently: Security experts recommend changing frequent flyer account passwords every three to six months. This reduces the chance of identity thieves stealing an active password to an account.
- Never click on unrequested “change password” e-mails: Even though they appear to be from the frequent flyer program, these are often “phishing” attempts to steal passwords. When it’s time to change your password, go straight to the website.
- Don’t access points and miles accounts on unsecure networks: On an unsecured network, anyone can access transmitted data. When flyers access their accounts on unsecured networks, they may be unwillingly sharing their data with everyone else who is connected.
- Don’t share frequent flyer numbers or passwords: With a frequent flyer number or password, identity thieves have everything they need to steal miles. Never share an account number or password.
- Contact your frequent flyer program immediately with any changes: If you receive any notifications of account changes, contact your program immediately to alert it.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.