After the overwhelming success of last week’s blog post covering four things you shouldn’t spend your points on. I decided to write a post covering the other side – things that are great value!
Long haul premium cabin bookings
It’s no secret in the frequent flier community that one of the best ways to get epic value for your points is by spending them exclusively on long haul reward tickets in Business or First class. These tickets often represent amazing value for money as long as a few key criteria are met. These bookings usually require flexibility and planning to get the most out of your options. I wrote a post about that here if you’re interested.
Other criteria include the comparison of points to cash ticket prices. This is complex, but must be done to ensure you’re getting a good deal. There’s no reason to spend points if the cash ticket equivalent is cheaper. A secondary factor to this is comparing the fare rules of both tickets. Do they have equal flexibility for example, probably not?
As well as comparing cash ticket prices, you need to look at the taxes and fees involved in the transaction. It’s very possible the taxes & fees wipe out any residual value in the ticket and therefore pricing all of this up together is extremely important. Some airlines and routes have higher fees than others. It’s best to know these things ahead of time rather than finding out after the fact.
These long haul bookings get even better in value when you combine them with things like the AMEX 2-4-1 voucher which halves the amount of Avios needed on BA bookings. The vouchers can be a little difficult to use, but under the right circumstances, they provide a huge value boost that may make all the difference.
Generally, the longer and more exclusive the flight is, the higher value you are squeezing from your points.
One of the secrets I’m guilty of harbouring is this one. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been able to employ this ‘hack’. Book a cash ticket in a lower cabin such as Economy or Premium Economy and then use points to upgrade. It’s almost impossible to get bad value by doing this. There are several things to consider like the cost of the underlying ticket, how many points it will cost to do the upgrade, whether an upgrade is or will become available and the additional cash fees to do it. But if you can get those factors right, you’ll probably have the cheapest ticket in the entire cabin.
All things considered, it’s almost always a fantastic use of points from a monetary point of view. The downside is that the upgrade availability can be limited. This strategy also requires time & effort to track and implement.
Partner airline flights
This option is by far not a home run like the other two. It’s also one of the hardest things to do. But it is very possible to find great deal’s on partner airlines of your airline of choice. You can often get reward tickets on their flights for reasonable points and low cash fees. The more quirky the route, the more likely you are to find a deal. Fifth freedom flight’s especially can offer some options in this area.
Want to make sure you’re getting a fair deal? Drop us a line, we’re happy to help.