Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Miles

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | North America' started by UsingMiles, Aug 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. UsingMiles

    UsingMiles Z Representative

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    Guest Post Courtesy Of: Jimmy from TravelByPoints – Your Point Man for Free Travel with Miles & Points
    Collecting airline miles, though rewarding, can often be confusing and even frustrating because there are so many different programs and award redemption charts. Don’t let that deter you! The fact that all mileage programs are not created equal can actually work in your favor to help you get the best bang for your mileage buck for international travel.
    To start, first ask yourself two questions:
    1. “Where would I like to go?”
    2. “What is the best (or cheapest) way to get there using miles?”
    While I can’t help you much with question #1, I’d like to make it easier for you to answer question #2.
    After reviewing the award charts of four major US-based airlines, including United (“UA”), US Airways (“US”), American Airlines (“AA”), and Delta Airlines (“DL”), I have put together a CliffsNotes version of the best award redemption values for each of the major international destinations from the United States.
    In order to take advantage of some of these travel bargains, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the magic phrase “travel flexibility.” That means being willing to travel during the off-peak season and/or planning your trip well in advance (as much as one year). All miles quoted below are for round-trip saver-level award travel (US Airways does not allow one-way awards and Delta charges full round-trip mileage for one-way travel, while UA and AA charge 50% for one-way travel).
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    With your dream destination in mind, you can use the table above to quickly determine how to focus all your efforts on earning the miles you need in a single program. All four airlines quoted above belong to global airline alliances, so even if you are flying a different airline, chances are you can still credit your miles to one of the four listed in the table.
    At the end of the day, the reason most of us collect miles and points is to see more of the world and create unforgettable memories with the ones we love. Getting the most mileage out of our hard-earned miles means even more trips and more opportunities to share the travel love. That Spring Break trip to Rio you’ve been eyeing for next year? Fly US Airways off-peak and pay only 30,000 miles for a round-trip ticket instead of 60,000 (or take a friend for the same number of miles!). Want to surprise your significant other with a luxury trip to Paris? Fly in January/February and score a business class ticket for less than the normal coach redemption! With a little creativity (and flexibility), the possibilities for stretching your miles are endless.
    Happy travels!
    P.S. For more details on the various award charts and zone definitions of the major US airlines quoted above, check out the following.
     
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