What kind of flight can United’s 25,000 miles offer you? How much are 2000 Southwest Points worth? Trying to assign a value to airline points and miles can be a hit and miss task.
Here at TBEN, we’ve created our own air mile reviews through a comprehensive analysis of hundreds of flights in eight air programs. But even still, it’s hard to definitively know how much a flight in points costs, as everyone knows that a Costco hot dog and soda combo always costs $ 1.50.
Thanks to airlines with reward graphics, it’s a little clearer how much it will cost to book flights in miles or points.
Airline Reward Redemption: Reward Tables and Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing: Some airlines have what’s called dynamic pricing, where the cost of booking flights in points or miles is loosely correlated to the cost in dollars. Meaning: A more expensive cash fare also costs more in miles.
Some of the largest airline programs that deal with dynamic pricing include:
Awards: Meanwhile, other airlines are using reward tables to set the cost of booking award flights. Along with the reward charts, the routes have fixed exchange rates. These fixed numbers can be based on factors such as travel time (generally broken down into three categories: standard, peak season, and off season), the region you are traveling to or the number of miles traveled (or a combination of all of these. things).
Price tables can be useful in removing guesswork about the cost of your flight. If you’re flying American Airlines from your home in Houston, Hawaii for vacation, you can know it’s 22,500 MileSAAver miles, no matter what time or day of the week you’re traveling.
The reward tables also mean that you can find redemption highlights, which are great deals just because your route is perfectly optimized for a relatively low point redemption (although it can actually be quite expensive when ‘it is paid in cash).
With that said, here’s your complete guide to airline reward tables:
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada Aeroplan doesn’t have an exact allocation table – but it does have something close. When booking award flights, you will come across what Air Canada calls “predictable pricing,” which is a kind of hybrid of award tables and dynamic pricing.
Of course, the price you pay in Aeroplan Points correlates with the price of the equivalent spot rate (if demand suddenly spikes, point rates can also be). But a published price table range eliminates the most confusion, making it easy to estimate how many points your flight will cost you.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Alaska Airlines Resources:
Alaska’s award flight reservation system bases the cost of flights on a combination of route popularity and flight distance. It also attributes miles to distance traveled (rather than dollars spent).
For flights within the contiguous United States and Alaska, award tickets start at 5,000 miles each way (that is, for travel less than 700 miles in the main cabin). But for longer flights within the contiguous United States and Alaska, expect to pay up to 50,000 miles for a main cabin seat.
Sometimes international travel through partner airlines can prove even cheaper. Economy class seats between US and Asia on Cathay Pacific are only 30,000 miles in Alaska, while seats on American Airlines between US and Australia are only 40,000 miles, this which can turn out to be a good deal when traveling during peak season.
There is also the Money and Miles payment option, which allows you to pay partially with miles and partially with cash (although this also tends to result in relatively low value).
American Airlines AAdvantage
American Airlines has a region-based pricing table with just a taste of the added dynamic pricing; this rewards table is a basis for how much you will need to spend, but expect to be flexible in finding travel dates. American Airlines also offers lower point rates during off-peak periods, so you may be able to save some points with even more travel flexibility. There are three types of reward redemptions: MileSAAver (usually the most limited availability), AAnytime, and Web Specials.
Flights within the 48 contiguous United States and Canada in the main cabin that are also less than 500 miles start at only 7,500 miles (the same first class route would be 50,000 miles). International flights can also tend to be a good deal, with MileSAAver main cabin seats between the US and Europe costing 30,000 miles, or 35,000 for flights between the US and Asia. .
ANA Mileage Club
The ANA Mileage Club uses a distance-based reward table, so shorter flights will cost less points than longer ones. Domestic flights in Japan, such as between Tokyo and Osaka, start at just 5,000 miles (longer flights are more expensive, like 7,000 miles to fly between Okinawa and Tokyo). Meanwhile, international flights start at 12,000 miles.
With so many partner airlines and relatively low rates to book with these airlines, the ANA Mileage Club is one of the best loyalty programs for booking flights with almost any other Star Alliance airline.
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways Resources:
Rather than an allocation table based on region, British Airways has an allocation table entirely based on distance. This is especially beneficial when you are taking short-haul flights within the same region, such as between Los Angeles and San Francisco, as opposed to long-haul flights that would otherwise be in the same region, such as between Los Angeles and New York. (in this case, you might be better off booking with an airline that has a price table based on region).
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Cathay Pacific Resources:
The Cathay Pacific frequent flyer program has a standard rewards table that determines the redemption of points by zones based on distance, so a flight between 1 and 750 miles would cost less than a flight between 751 and 2,750 miles .
While Cathay Pacific can have some great dealings – especially if you can find an ideal flight that reaches the upper end of the Cathay Pacific distance-based areas – many points and miles prefer to use Alaska Miles to book award flights on Cathay Pacific, such as list travel Alaska Miles to book a Cathay first class ticket in Asia.
Frontier Airlines Frontier Miles
the Miles border program (formerly known as EarlyReturns) is based on a defined rewards table. While there are no blackout dates, Frontier is limiting the number of award flights sold.
One-way flights on Frontier Airlines start at 10,000 miles for flights within the United States and Puerto Rico. International flights can prove to be a very good deal, with flights between the United States and Jamaica, Mexico or the Dominican Republic starting at 15,000 miles.
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Hawaiian Credit Card Transfer Partners: American Express Member Rewards
Hawaiian Airlines Resources:
Hawaiian Airlines’ rewards table is based on region, with flights to Hawaii starting at 7,500 miles for main cabin fares. Flights from Hawaii to the West Coast of the United States start at 20,000 miles, while flights to the East Coast cost 30,000 miles.
TBEN estimates Hawaiian miles at 1.1 cents each.
The bottom line
Reward charts have their pros and cons, but for airlines with fixed rewards charts (versus dynamic pricing), there is generally less correlation with bonus redemptions and cash fares. If you spot a sale of super-cheap cash plane tickets, you can’t get the same points or miles reduction.
Reward tables also mean plenty of room for trade in the right place, depending on distance traveled, regions you travel between, or time of year.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our choices for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those that are best suited: