While it’s almost always true that your miles and points are more valuable if you redeem them for flights and hotel stays, most programs now offer non-travel related awards such as merchandise and gift cards. And if you are weary of travel or just want to save some cash and buy items with miles and points, a new website can help you find merchandise awards.
Rewardingyourself.com has an extensive database of awards. Type in an item you would like to buy and you can view all of the different programs offering that item for miles or points. For example, a search for an iPad came up with 22 matches, including iPads and iPad accessories. You can also browse by categories. Click an item and you can see the number of points or miles required, along with the highest and lowest prices offered by online retailers. The tool isn’t 100 percent accurate and the prices quoted for online retailers don’t always match the item you search for, but the website is helpful for figuring out what your miles and points can buy beyond travel. RewardingYourself is also available as an app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone.