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Miles vs. Cash
How do I determine if it is better to spend cash or use miles for a ticket? CLT to SXM. Economy 65kmiles or $790 or 87.5k miles vs $1k (outbound F, return economy).
mchong, you need some sort of valuation for your miles. Ben and Travis have a few different posts on how to do this but in the end it is a subjective process. Once you know how you value your miles it should be straightforward to do the math and see what makes the most sense for you.
And you can see Ben’s valuations by going to the top of the page and clicking on [I]Start Here[/I] and then on [I]Value of Miles & Points[/I].
If you have any thresholds for cash tickets – based on the airlines redemption values you can put a valuation against your mileage currency.
Also, consider the fact that you will earn miles when traveling on cash tickets. Factor in the fees and taxes associated with the award ticket as well.
I value UA miles at 1.5c
For an econ award to Europe, they charge 30K Miles + Taxes/Fees
For the cash tickets, my net cost is like this:
Ticket Cost – Value of Miles earned – Value or Credit Card Points earned.
Which ever is better, I go that way. I know cash is king but sometimes I bite the cash way considering the fact that I would be closer to status or if that trip earns me miles that I can use for a pricey redemption in the near future etc.
Perfect advice above!
I think it’s also worth considering what else you might want to do with your miles. CLT-SXM is only 1600 miles (not even as far as Phoenix!), so redeeming for standard awards doesn’t seem compelling to me. I would rather use my miles for a trip to Europe (60k in Economy, 115,000 in business).