7. Hire a travel hacker
Ever want to throw your phone/mouse against the wall when the airline tells you that you can't use your miles? There are several services such as Points Pros and Book Your Award that know all the best hacks, but charge a fee to help. These guys bill up to $250 a person (less for larger groups), but can stretch your miles further than you ever thought possible.
8. Milk the award rules
Airlines have complicated rules for awards, most of which are designed to screw you; but sometimes, you can screw them back. In fact, it's an open secret that US Airways doesn't even teach its own employees the rules, so you may be able to book any award that sounds good to the person you happen to be talking to. Don't hesitate to get creative.
Another example: British Airways prices their tickets by the mile, so partner award flights like Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus or LA to Hawaii on American (which are just under 2,500 miles) are only 25,000 miles round trip in economy, and just 50,000 miles in business class.