Should you Use Cash or Miles to Book Airline Tickets


Planning your next trip? Wondering whether you should use money or miles to buy the ticket? Keep reading this post as it helps you compare these two options and make a prudent decision.

For those miles hungry people, who are always on the lookout for every opportunity to earn miles, redeeming them can be really rewarding. However, it is important to ensure you are getting the best value for your hard-earned miles. Mentioned below are 5 tips on how you can decide between spending miles and cash for your next flight.1.

1.Calculate the Rupee per Mile Value:

When you buy a ticket with miles, always check the price of the same ticket in rupee or any other currency you deal in the most. Doing this regularly will give you a sense of the average value of every mile in the rupee. With the help of this benchmark, you can easily compare and decide whether buying a particular ticket on miles makes sense or not.

2.Your Future Plans:

The decision could also be based on your future travel plans and goals. In case you are saving miles for a future family trip to an international destination, you might not want to spend it on a local domestic flight. In such a case, you can spend cash now and accumulate more miles, which can be redeemed for the big international trip for yourself and your family.

3.Expiry of Your Miles:

While miles have a fairly long shelf life, they are prone to expiry. In case you have been accumulating miles for years, it may be a good idea to log-in and check when your miles are getting expired. In case they are, it might be a good idea to use your miles now even if you get a low rupee per mile value than to risk expiry. While some programs have a date when the miles earned expire, a few also have activity-based expiry where the miles expire if you don’t do any activity of either accrual or redemption during the specified period. The latter is easier to manage as you have a wider option to save your miles from getting expired.

4. Your Membership Tier:

Most miles programs have tiers in their program, and the members are upgraded to these tiers based on their activity in the program. As you earn and use more miles, your tier is upgraded. The higher you reach, the better benefits you are entitled to. The benefits of moving up the tier could be more credits for lounge access at airports in a year, more complimentary seat selections in a year, a bigger discount on excess baggage fee, more complimentary miles, etc. Sometimes spending miles now and moving up the tier could be more beneficial.

5. Flexibility Offered:

Sometimes, booking an airline tickets with miles comes with added flexibility, such as it allows you for free seat selection or doesn’t charge on cancellations based on your tier. In such cases, buying a flight ticket from miles could make more sense, especially when you need that flexibility.

Making The Decision

Deciding between cash and miles could include examining various factors. However, the five factors mentioned above should not be missed. Use these tips and decide judiciously. Whatever you decide, don’t stop earning miles. It’s when you come to spend the miles, you realise how precious they are. Use every opportunity to acc

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