Why I Don’t Use Miles for Cheap Seats


I don’t use card points and miles for cheap seats. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, but I have some reasons I’d like to share with you regarding why I’ve made that choice. Free is free, though. If you are buying 4 airline tickets domestically, I know it can add up. It may make total sense for you to use points to get your family on a vacation, even for cheap seats. However, I travel a lot alone and prefer to save those points for redemption with more value. Here are the reasons I seldom use points and miles for flights.


I Travel Internationally

International travel is my jam. I love to see the world, and international flights are generally more expensive. For this reason, I usually save my points/miles for those flights. There are many cheap domestic flights, so I prefer to just pay cash for those, on a credit card, of course, and save my points for the more expensive flights.


woman in red dress sitting in front of white building with blue shutters

I Love Business Class Seats

Not only do I love international travel, but I also love international travel in a business class seat. It’s all about spreading out and getting some sleep! If I received a 70,000-mile bonus from an airline credit card, I could get 2-3 domestic flights. These flights would be worth about $1200. But, if I saved those miles and used them for a one-way business class seat, I am getting more value for my points because that flight could be worth over $4000. That is what I prefer to do and the number one reason why I don’t use miles for cheap seats. Saving them for the expensive seats is a plan I prefer!


I Love Airline Status

I try and fly on one airline most of the time. Since I live near a United hub, Denver International, is my preferred airline. I can maintain elite status if I purchase several tickets yearly. Because I really enjoy getting economy plus seats for free with my elite status, I pay for my cheap seat versus using my miles on them.


I Don’t Want to See My Stockpile Dwindle

Although I have millions of points, I don’t want to see my stockpile dwindle over a seat that is under $200. Call it that scarcity factor. I really like to have a nice stockpile of points so I can pick up and go at a moment’s notice. Going to Maui and London in a matter of a few days was possible because of a healthy stockpile.


Bottom Line

Many people use their miles and points for every flight they can use them on. These are several of the reasons I don’t use my miles for cheap seats. What about you? Do you have a strategy for when you do or don’t use your miles on flights?

Airplane seats

Share this post

  1. Frank k says:

    Smart and 100% agree

  2. Jillian says:

    I am blown away that you have millions of points but seemingly use a healthy number of them yearly too. Is this what those of us new to this hobby can expect if we keep it up and follow THM advice or is millions of points a total anomaly?

    • Pam says:

      I would say that most people could earn a million a year, but most won’t. We get 4-6 cards yearly, and so do our spouses. I also pay estimated taxes, so I get new cards every time to do that. A lot depends on how quickly you can meet the minimum spend, but there are many people who consistently earn a million points/year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know the most popular card for beginners? 

click here

Affiliate Disclosure: Travel Mom Squad uses affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you use our links when applying for a credit card at no extra cost to you. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. We have not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Thank you so much if you use our links!

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by credit card issuer. All opinions, reviews, and recommendations are expressed by the author, not the credit card issuer.