New year, new you… right?

While you’re certainly hoping to be the best you can possibly be, it can be hard to start off the new year on the right foot, especially when you’re still paying off December’s credit card bill. After a holiday season well spent — enjoying the holiday cheer, long-awaited family time, and gingerbread lattes — January can be rough on your wallet. Between your travels, gifts, and elaborate meals, sometimes it’s tough to recover from the holiday season, financially speaking.

But you don’t necessarily need to drain your bank account to start the new year in the black. Remember all the loyalty points you accumulated last year? Instead of letting them waste away in loyalty purgatory, why not use them to ease the post-holiday burden on your budget?

We’ve got some ideas to help you get started making the most of your loyalty points this winter.

  1. Book your flight with miles. Every time you pay for a flight, you input that impossible-to-remember string of letters, digits, or both, hoping that one day it’ll pay off but never really knowing how close you are to that day. Well, now’s the time to take the next step: find out how to put all those saved-up airline miles to good use.
  2. Reserve your next hotel stay with rewards. If you travel often, you’re probably enrolled in one or more hotel loyalty programs. Over time, these programs add up to free stays, upgrades, and even spa or dining gift cards. Before you book your next hotel reservation, read up on your rewards and turn your year-round travel costs into January savings.
  3. Redeem points for gift cards. If your points have piled up this year, you can exchange those loyalty rewards — whether they come in the form of store loyalty points, airline miles, or hotel rewards — for cold, hard store credit. Or, you can skip the gift card and go straight to the good stuff. Both United Airlines and Hilton’s HHonors hosts an extensive online stores where you can exchange your points for merchandise.
  4. Keep your resolutions and stay within your budget. Trying to get fit this 2018? As worthwhile as they may be, gym memberships, fitness classes, and the like can be pricey. Instead of spending money out of pocket, use your points to get your body in shape while still looking out for the well being of your bank account.
  5. Get your January groceries with loyalty points. Everyone loves a good holiday meal, but the ingredients can cost a pretty penny. On the bright side, all those dollars spent add points to your loyalty balance, which you can use to cushion your spending this January.

It’s important to bear in mind that each reward program is different from the next. So, be sure to read the fine print and take note of how far you can stretch your points.

While loyalty programs are a useful way to get more for your money, their sheer number can be overwhelming. They’re disparate, disconnected, and dissociated — making them difficult to track and harder to redeem. In fact, Americans waste nearly $100 billion in unclaimed reward points every year.

But what if you could exchange all your rewards points for one another and spend them anywhere you’d like? What if, instead of exchanging your points for gift cards, airplane tickets, or hotel stays, you could trade it for cryptocurrency or domestic currency?

At qiibee, the decentralized blockchain-based loyalty ecosystem, we’re turning these what-ifs into realities. We believe loyalty programs should be flexible, convenient, and secure. Check us out. :)

Disclaimer: All the information in this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal, accounting, or investment advice of any kind. This article does not represent a solicitation for investment, nor does it represent an offering or sale, public or private, of any kind of financial instrument, security or otherwise, in any jurisdiction.