Making the Most of Your Flier Miles

Business owners, sales reps, and the like rack them up in so many different ways. Here's how to avoid squandering a valuable asset

After Mark Scharff and his wife had twins 16 months ago and bought a house, he decided it made more sense to use his 1 million assorted frequent-flier miles on the ground than in the air. So the Chicago sales rep for a New Jersey scale-and-balance company went to Points.com, where he exchanged miles for retail gift certificates through Holiday Inn (IHG )'s Priority Club plan. Then he bought new kitchen appliances and a big-screen TV at Sears (S ) Roebuck. He also has a $300 credit at Home Depot (HD ), where he plans to buy garden gear.

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