Miles Aren’t Free: Establishing An Overall Value

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  1. BoardingArea

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    There has been a lot of buzz lately about the idea of free travel. The reality is that miles have a value just like any other currency you hold. You can choose to redeem them for a first class ticket, or for an economy ticket, or for a toaster. And in each case, you are getting different redemption values. It's not to say that any of those redemptions are wrong, per se, but you should at least be aware of how much value you are getting each time you redeem miles. You can use that information to set an upper bound on your personal mileage valuation. I explained that concept in Part 1 of this series, How To Value Your Redemptions. On the other side of the coin is mileage earning. Nowadays it's possible to earn miles in a lot of different ways, from credit card sign-up bonuses, to shopping portals, to mileage running, to plain old actual flying. Even though it may seem like it, most of these miles aren't really free. They either took some effort to obtain or there was a choice to earn cash instead, so there was a trade-off. The fact that you chose to earn miles instead of cash -- or not at all -- says a lot about how you value your miles. Just by undertaking a given activity, you are implicitly stating that you value your miles at more than it costs you to obtain them. This was the focus of Part 2, How To Value What you Earn. The post Miles Aren’t Free: Establishing An Overall Value appeared first on One Mile at a Time.

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