Are You Getting Your Best Points/Miles Redemption?


Nothing causes more analysis paralysis than this question, “Are you getting your best points/miles redemption?” You’ve done the work of earning all those credit card points and miles for that nearly free trip, and now you worry if you are doing it “right”. We see a ton of messages in our Facebook group where people are in panic mode about whether they did their redemption “right.” Let’s go over a few things today that might help you with that question.


Booking with Transfer Partners vs. a Portal/Using a Search Engine

Generally, you will get more value out of your points and miles by booking with transfer partners vs. booking through a travel portal. There are definitely times that booking in a portal is all that will work for you, but usually the best redemptions are made through transfer partners. Here’s a simple scenario of a one-way flight from Los Angeles to Paris in economy class on April 9th. The first is booking through the Chase Portal and the second is booking through a transfer partner. I used a search engine (points.yeah this time).


Screen shot Chase travel portal

The best rate I found on Chase’s portal.



Points.yea sit screenshot of flight LAX to Paris


This example proves my point—using a transfer partner will usually save you more points and miles. There are typically a lot more options with transfer partners. Using a search engine showed me a completely different and cheaper flight than the portal showed me.


Checking out the Cents Per Point/Mile

There are some pretty standard formulas to determine if the value you are getting for your points/miles is above average. This can make you feel more secure about your redemption. If you are getting a value of 2 cents per point/mile, that is considered a good redemption. You will usually get much more than that for business class redemptions.

If I was booking the Air France flight I used as an example above, here is what it would cost:

screenshot of flight cost LAX-CDG


There is a quick calculator here that can help you determine these values. In our example, I plugged in the transfer partner redemption and the taxes and got nearly 6 cents/mile, so that is a great deal. I can feel good about this redemption.


Screenshot of calculator results


The normal cent per point valuation if you were to cash your points and miles out is one cent per point/mile. If you are getting at least 2 cents, you are doing good. You will NOT always get as much as in the above example.

Remember That Free is Free

This is a huge reminder that you might not always get the best deal out there. Remember that time is money too, so don’t spend days running searches. “Am I getting my best points/miles redemption?” is not even a question I ask myself sometimes. If it works for you and your circumstances, then that is a huge win. Even we don’t always book the “best” deal. Recently I used 143K points to fly from San Francisco to Singapore in business class on Singapore Airlines.

I couldn’t get the Saver Award and I wanted to fly Singapore Airlines. I also had a healthy stockpile of points. This flight worked for my circumstance, and I didn’t lose sleep over whether I could have made a better redemption.


Business class seats on Singapore Airlines.

This redemption worked for me!


The flight would have cost me $4,772.00. When I checked the calculator today, I still got almost 3.5 cents per point. Could I have done better? Of course! But it was still a great redemption, and I loved it!


Bottom Line

Are you getting your best points/miles redemption? We all want to stretch our points/miles so that we have more for nearly free trips. By using the methods listed above, you can ensure that you sleep peacefully after you’ve made that award redemption. Additionally, remember that you can always earn more points and miles!

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