Author Topic: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?  (Read 786 times)

Tami1982

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Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« on: April 14, 2018, 01:53:53 PM »
Hi guys!  Huge opportunity just came along and I'm planning a trip, woot!  I'm leaving in SIX DAYS. 

I have 130,000 american airlines air miles.  Looks like it would take 25,000 miles plus $86.50 in fees for the trip vs $285 cash for the round trip flight.  I feel like cash may be a better value here, but I'm torn.  Any ideas/hacks for getting each way for less than 12,500 miles?  Sadly, there are no airports near my location that qualify for the Reduced mileage award. 

Thanks!

Catbert

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 04:35:40 PM »
No hacks, but I agree cash seems a better deal in this case.

sokoloff

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 04:44:49 PM »
I value them around a penny a mile mentally. I collect so many of them from work travel that I should probably start valuing them less (so that I'll use them more often for personal travel), but right now, it's $0.01/mile.

Six days out, there's not that much you can do and $285 R/T cash isn't bad at all.

Tami1982

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 04:49:16 PM »
Now that I'm actually running scenerios the cheaper flights end up with me having to get a hotel or kill 24 hrs in an airport.  Once I adjust times to anything close to decent, price jumps to $440 at which point miles seem to make more sense.  And I can get the flights I want for the miles.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 04:51:23 PM »
For 17,500 miles, I can fly on Alaska from Kauai to Denver, which is typically a $350-$400/flight. I value miles closer to 2 cents each.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 05:22:07 PM »
I say use the miles. They only have value if you're willing to spend them on travel you would have done anyway. At a penny per mile, you're sitting on $1,300 sitting there doing nothing for you. Maybe someday a trip will come along where the cash value would exceed a penny per mile, but now you have an opportunity to get almost a penny out of them. By using them, you get to keep $200 of your actual money invested and earning a return for you.

JLee

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 05:41:28 PM »

Tami1982

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Re: Air miles or cash? Where is the tipping point?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 05:42:24 PM »