Never Use Miles to Fly Here, Experts Warn
Don't waste your miles on these destinations.
Miles can be extremely useful when it comes to flying, and learning how to use them to the fullest can make air travel a whole lot better. They can provide you with free flights and a first-class experience when it's not something you would ordinarily splurge on. Even more? Miles can provide hotel stays. However, using them carefully is key. And in some cases, you might be better off saving them. Read on to discover where you should never use your miles to fly to.
Don't use miles on domestic flights.
According to Tim White, Founder of MilePro, you should "never use miles to fly on domestic flights because it's simply not worth it." "The additional amount of miles you need for international flights isn't dramatically much more, meaning that you get way more bang for your buck if you use your miles for international flights," he adds.
Frequent flyer miles are basically an airline's version of currency, and you want to stretch your money as far as it can go. Think of when you're at the grocery store, and you compare the prices of name- and store-brand items. You need to do the math when booking a flight—that kind of strategy makes a difference.
Domestic flights are usually cheaper in general.
According to JohnnyJett.com, domestic airfares are more budget-friendly than ever. What does that mean for you? "Using miles for even the cheapest award seats on domestic flights is a worse deal than it's ever been," the site explains. If the average ticket costs $346 at 25,000 miles, buyers would be getting "about $1.34 cents of value for each mile (after factoring in the taxes you have to pay even on award tickets)." And that's definitely not how you want to spend your hard-earned miles.
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Credit card points could come in handy for them instead.
If you decide not to use airline miles for a domestic flight, that doesn't necessarily mean cash needs to be used either. Since credit cards tack on various points, those can be an option, too. Travel + Leisure says you should initially "find the flights you want and look at how much paid airfares are versus mileage redemptions." After doing that, "divide the cash price over the number of miles needed, and you'll get your per-mile value." If the number is less than what you'd get by simply redeeming your credit card points for the same flight, book your ticket right through your credit card's website.
Save your miles for an overseas trip.
It might be tempting to use the miles to cover a flight to Florida for a wedding or California to visit a friend, but let them take care of an international getaway. You want to receive the best bang for your buck. JohnnyJet.com explains that "spending 25,000 (or 60,000) miles on a domestic round-trip flight means you can't use those as part of an international trip that you'd never pay for out of pocket–especially in business or first class."
Although the advice is to be sure you're going as far as possible with your miles, that doesn't mean that it's never a good idea to use your miles on domestic flights. They can be great for last-minute trips or when the airfare prices have dramatically increased. In general, though, be strategic when it comes to spending those miles. That way you can spend more on the fun stuff, like fancy dinners and once-in-a-lifetime excursions.