Indochina Airlines

Determining When to Use Points and Miles to Book a Flight

Determining When to Use Points and Miles to Book a Flight

Using factors and miles to e book your flights is nice. Not solely do you get monetary savings, however you should use your factors to e book flights that might not be possible when paying money.

Think about flights in Singapore Suites, Emirates top quality, and ANA top quality; as a rule, these flights price over $10,000 for those who have been to pay money, placing them far out of attain for almost all of us (except you’ve got a stash of factors!).

However, there are nonetheless instances when it’s possible you’ll decide to e book a ticket with cash over miles. For instance, if a paid flight is excessively low cost, you’d really lose cash for those who used your miles to e book.

This is as a result of miles are price actual cash, and you need to solely use them when the value is true. In this text, we’ll stroll you our technique of figuring out if a flight is price utilizing miles to e book. We’ll begin out by discussing factors and miles valuations and then dive into figuring out the cent-per-point worth of a flight.

Let’s dive in!

What Are Points and Miles Valuations?

Calculator on a table
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Always maintain your mileage valuations in thoughts whenever you use your factors and miles to e book a flight. Image Credit: Charles Deluvio through Unsplash

The very first thing you need to do when deciding whether or not or not to e book an award ticket is to discover the most affordable approach to e book the ticket in query. If you’ve got a stash of transferable factors and airline miles, undergo your stash and discover the most effective switch companions and award charts to use.

Hot Tip: New to factors and miles and don’t know the place to begin? Check out our newbie’s information for a crash course on incomes miles.

Additionally, discover the price of a paid ticket. You can use a web site like Google Flights or Orbitz to discover the value of a ticket simply — simply search as for those who have been reserving every other paid flight.

For instance, say you need to e book a flight from New York (LGA) to Chicago (ORD) and the typical price of a paid ticket is $175. You even have 100,000 Delta SkyMiles miles, 25,000 United MileagePlus miles, and 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards factors.

United and Delta each make use of dynamic award pricing, which means that the value of award tickets varies based mostly on the date of journey, passenger load, and different elements. So, the very first thing you’d need to do is search each the Delta and United web sites and discover the mileage value of the ticket.

In this case, the mileage price was:

  • United MileagePlus: 10,000 miles
  • Delta SkyMiles: 8,000 miles

Likewise, you possibly can switch American Express Membership Rewards factors to e book the LGA to ORD flight for 9,000 British Airways Avios or 10,000 Avianca LifeMiles.

Hot Tip: If redemptions are the identical price throughout a number of mileage applications, use whichever mileage possibility you worth much less. We’ll talk about mileage valuations later within the article.

For this instance, it could take advantage of sense to e book your flight utilizing Delta SkyMiles because it has the bottom award price. However, you shouldn’t e book simply but.

First, you need to discover the cent-per-point worth of redeeming your 8,000 hard-earned SkyMiles for this $175 ticket. You can discover this by merely diving the money price of the ticket by the variety of SkyMiles required. The math appears to be like like this:

$175 (price of a paid ticket) / 8,000 SkyMiles = 2.18 cents per level

To us, this is a superb use of factors as we — per our month-to-month factors and miles valuation — worth Delta SkyMiles at 1.0 cents per level at a minimal. This is over twice our assigned worth, so we expect it’s a nice deal!

On the opposite hand, flights between New York and Chicago could be actually low cost — typically as little as $50 one-way. This would provide you with a valuation of solely 0.625 cents per level, making it — per our valuations — not a nice deal.

So the trick right here is to at all times evaluate the flight’s money price to the variety of miles required to e book the flight. If it’s beneath your valuations, you need to contemplate paying money. On the opposite hand, you might have considered trying to use factors for those who get a worth that’s at or above your assigned valuations.

But how do you identify the worth of your factors? We’ll talk about within the subsequent part of this text.

Determining the Cent per Point Value of a Flight

Your miles and factors can go a great distance, so ensure that to assign every foreign money a worth. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Now, there are a couple of the way you possibly can assign values to your miles and factors: the simple approach and the laborious approach. Here’s an in-depth have a look at how you should use each of those valuation strategies to assign values to your bank card factors, airline miles, and lodge factors.

The Easy Way to Valuate Your Points

Here at Upgraded Points, our workers pays fixed consideration to the happenings of the miles and factors world. We meticulously observe every new devaluation, change in phrases and circumstances, and promotion that pops up amongst all the main airline, bank card, and lodge loyalty applications.

Because of this, we publish a month-to-month factors valuation article that exhibits our up-to-date valuations of all the foremost factors applications.

We discovered our preliminary valuations by making a handful of redemptions — some home financial system, some enterprise class worldwide, and extra — with every factors foreign money and calculated the typical worth of all factors.

Then, every month we regulate our preliminary valuations to mirror adjustments in award charts, new routes, normal award availability, and different information surrounding the factors foreign money in query. We even define our reasoning for these adjustments within the Movers part of the valuations article.

So, the simple approach to decide the worth of your factors is to merely refer to our valuations information. We suppose our valuations give a good baseline for figuring out the worth of your factors and will help information you in the direction of getting the most effective worth whenever you redeem your miles.

The Harder Way to Value Your Points

Alternatively, you possibly can determine your individual factors and miles valuations.

There are a few methods to do that, however our private favourite is by discovering 3 (or extra) kinds of redemptions you take advantage of, figuring their cent-per-point worth, and then averaging these values collectively. The extra redemptions you add, the extra correct your valuations grow to be.

Here’s a fast instance we developed for United MileagePlus miles:

  • Domestic short-haul financial system ticket: 1.1 cents per level
  • International long-haul enterprise class ticket (U.S. to Europe): 3.1 cents per level
  • International long-haul financial system class ticket (U.S. to Asia): 1.45 cents per level

In this case, you’d have a 1.83 cent per level worth assigned to your United MileagePlus miles.

This is comparatively simple to do with airline miles and lodge factors, but it surely will get harder with transferable factors currencies due to their huge variety of switch companions.

To discover valuations for transferable factors currencies, you possibly can carry out the above train with all of a program’s switch companions, or simply the companions you suppose you’ll use probably the most.

Then, take different elements under consideration just like the cent-per-point valuation for redeeming in the direction of paid flights and cash-back.

Of course, you’re free to modify these valuations to your liking, too. You might want to tweak the calculated worth for redemption flexibility, the benefit in which you’ll be able to cancel award tickets, and the benefit of reserving on-line. There’s no set valuation for these elements, so you need to determine how a lot they imply to you.

Covering a Cheap Flight With Points

Booking Flights With The Chase Travel Portal
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Using the Chase Travel Portal could be a good use of miles when reserving a low cost paid ticket together with your factors. Image Credit: Chase

What occurs whenever you discover a flight you need to e book, but it surely’s a dangerous use of airline factors?

Aside from paying for the ticket with money, you may as well use the Chase Travel Portal or Citi ThankYou Travel Portal to e book your flight. In brief, these journey reserving portals allow you to use your bank cards at a mounted cent-per-point price to e book paid journey.

Chase Travel Portal

CardTravel Portal Redemption Rate (Cents Per Point)Chase Sapphire Reserve®1.5Chase Sapphire Preferred® card1.25Inokay Business Preferred® Credit Card 1.25

Citi ThankYou Travel Portal

CardTravel Portal Redemption Rate (Cents Per Point)Citi Premier® Card1.25Citi Prestige® Card1.0

As you possibly can see, these portals nonetheless supply much less worth than our factors valuations. However, in some instances, they’re a higher deal than for those who have been to e book a low cost ticket utilizing switch companions. Make certain to evaluate your choices earlier than you e book to see what reserving technique gives the most effective deal.

Since these portals course of redemptions as paid tickets, you’ll nonetheless earn airline miles whenever you fly.

Hot Tip: Make certain to add a frequent flyer quantity to all redemptions made by bank card journey portals to reap the benefits of incomes airline miles.

Using the Chase Travel Portal

Using the Chase Travel Portal is a super-easy approach to redeem your Ultimate Rewards factors in the direction of paid journey. Here’s a have a look at how to e book an airline ticket utilizing the portal.

  1. Log in to your Chase account and click on in your Ultimate Rewards stability on the backside of the display.
    Click The Travel Button Chase Travel Portal website
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    Click the Travel button to be redirected to the Chase Travel Portal. Image Credit: Chase
  2. Click the Travel button on the ribbon on the high of the Ultimate Rewards portal display.
    Enter Your Travel Info Chase Travel Portal website
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    Enter your journey data on the Chase Travel Portal. Image Credit: Chase
  3. Enter your flight vacation spot, origin, and date within the field on the middle of the display. Then, click on the inexperienced Search button to view all obtainable flights.
    Searching For Flights On The Chase Travel Portal
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    You can view the factors price of your flight in contrast to the money price on the Chase Travel Portal. Image Credit: Chase
  4. All flight choices can be introduced in the midst of the display. You can view the factors price to the best of the flight’s data alongside the money price of the flight. When you discover a flight you want, click on the Select button and you’ll be taken by the reserving course of.

And that’s all there’s to it! You’ll give you the option to use factors to cowl all or a part of your flight within the Chase Travel Portal, so this additionally makes for a great way to expend small quantities of factors for those who plan on closing a Chase bank card.

Using the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal

The Citi ThankYou Travel Portal is remarkably related to the Chase Travel Portal. It’s simply as simple to use, and the reserving course of feels a lot related. Here’s a have a look at how to use your ThankYou factors to e book a paid flight by the portal.

  1. Log in to your Citi account and click on in your ThankYou Points stability on the right-hand facet of the window. This will take you to the ThankYou portal.
    Click The Travel Button On The Top of The Screen Citi ThankYou Travel Portal
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    Click the Travel button to go to the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal. Image Credit: Citi
  2. Now, hover over the Travel button on the high of the display and click on the Flights button from the drop-down menu. Then, you’ll be taken to the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal.
    Enter Your Flight Details Citi ThankYou Travel Portal
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    Enter your flight search standards and press the Search Flights button. Image Credit: Citi
  3. Enter your flight particulars like flight origin, vacation spot, and dates on the middle of the display and click on the blue Search Flights button on the backside of the web page.
    Viewing Flights in The Citi ThankYou Travel Portal
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    View your factors price by trying to the best of the flight’s particulars. Image Credit: Citi
  4. Now, you possibly can search by obtainable flights. Like on the Chase Travel Portal, all flight choices will present their factors and money price to the best of the flight particulars. You can e book a flight by clicking the blue Select button beneath the flight’s pricing.

You can use your factors to cowl some or all of a paid ticket by the Citi ThankYou Travel Portal. Just notice that you have to use your Citi card to pay the rest of the flight ticket for those who go for partial fee with factors — different playing cards should not accepted.

A Word on Amex Travel and the Capital One Travel Portal

It’s price noting that American Express and Capital One have their very own journey portals too. However, they’re not often a nice deal.

Unlike Chase and Citi, all Capital One playing cards can solely redeem flights at 1.0 cents per level by the Capital One journey portal. This isn’t a nice use of factors, so we extremely advocate utilizing different factors (or money) to cowl low-cost paid tickets. Then, think about using one in every of Capital One’s superior switch companions to get extra worth out of your Capital One miles.

On the Amex facet of issues, there are solely 2 cases wherein we’d advocate utilizing Membership Rewards factors to cowl airfare booked with Amex Travel.

The first is if in case you have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. This card has a 35% factors rebate on some flights booked by the Amex Travel portal, so that you successfully get 1.35 cents per level in worth by Amex Travel. To put this into perspective, a $100 flight would price 7,407 factors with this card.

Likewise, the American Express® Business Gold Card has a 25% rebate on some flights booked by Amex Travel. This remains to be a fairly strong deal regardless of not being fairly pretty much as good because the Amex Business Platinum card’s profit.

Something to notice about this profit is that the factors (both 25% or 35% of the redemption) are rebated to your account inside a few weeks of the redemption. Unfortunately, this implies you want to have sufficient Membership Rewards factors in your account to cowl the transaction at 1.0 cents per level on the time of reserving.

Also, bear in mind how we mentioned “some” flights when explaining the function? You can solely use this profit on 1 airline of your selecting OR when reserving a first or enterprise class ticket. So in case your airline of alternative is United Airlines and you need to e book an financial system ticket with American Airlines, you possibly can solely redeem at 1.0 cents per level.

You can select this airline yearly within the Airline Benefit part of your card’s Benefits display.

Final Thoughts

In this text, we confirmed you the way to decide if a flight is price reserving with factors.

As a normal rule of thumb, at all times discover the cent-per-point worth of a redemption of a flight earlier than you e book with factors. Only e book a flight if the worth meets or exceeds your mileage valuation — if it doesn’t, contemplate paying money or utilizing another technique of reserving your flight.

Let us understand how you identify your private level valuations within the feedback — we’re excited to hear from you!

The data concerning the Citi Prestige® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not supplied nor reviewed by the issuer.

Read more How many travel points for a flight – Indochina Airlines

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