Like many of you, I have the desire to travel and see world, one incredible journey at a time. In recent years, I’ve spent many hours researching airline award charts, as well as following several internet influencers who are experts in maximizing the value of airline miles and credit card points. Here’s a brief summary of my findings. Points and miles are generally worth one to two cents each, and your first goal is to have the mindset to turn them into nickels and dimes. Your second goal is to learn the basics of airline partnerships. Common names are One World, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam. For example, I’ve found that you can fly from the west coast USA to Australia using American Airlines miles to book Qantas tickets, right on American’s website, as easy as buying any normal ticket online. There are a plethora of examples which work for coach and/or business class.
For starters, American Express Membership Rewards Points, American Airlines Miles, and United Miles (works better for United partners) have the most flexibility. JetBlue and Southwest are worthwhile to accumulate for domestic and Caribbean travel, but can’t be used with other airlines, and have little to no business class options, with the exception of Jet Blue’s “Mint” cabin found mostly on longer cross country flights, like FLL-LAX, and JFK-LAX.
At our next strategy and review meeting, be sure to share your travel goals, and we can see if we can maximize the value of your points and miles, while elevating your travel experience.