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 that 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 to a lot of money. It may make total sense for you to use points to get your family on a vacation even for those cheap seats. However, I travel a lot by myself and I prefer to save those points for redemptions with more value. Here are the reasons I seldom use points and miles for cheap 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, so that I can earn more points, and save my points for the more expensive flights.


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

Hanging out in beautiful Greece!

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 $1,200. 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 $4,000. I know many people who would prefer to save their points and sit in economy while flying international, but not this grandma! Flying business class is what I prefer to do and is the number one reason why I don’t use miles for cheap seats.


I Love Airline Status

I try and fly on one airline most of the time. Since I live near a United hub, Denver International, that is my preferred airline. If I purchase about $3,500 worth of tickets each year, I can maintain elite status. 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 couple of 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?

Airline Seats

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