Thursday, August 21, 2008

Whose Miles are the Most Valuable?

View from the wings and frugaltravelguy mention how they value their miles, I would like to share my thought on this topic. Personally, I think miles should only be spent under these three ways.

1 Business/ First class ticket

2 Last minutes travel, still should looking for premium cabin first because most airlines will release more Business/First seats as getting closer to departure date.

3 hard to reach/non popular destinations, those places normally have higher fares due to no competition, still should look for business/first class cabin first.

Then how much do I value them in each programs, the highest value should go to British Diamond Club, there is no single program can really compete on BMI redemption value, I have a summary on BMI redemption in here.

Like any other programs, BMI has its disadvantage too. The miles requirement to Asia area/from Asia area is generally very high (except from Asia to certain Europe countries) compare to United. So I value United miles in second because their advantage to Asia area.

Then third place goes to American Airline because all miles credit count toward lifetime status, which 1Million will get u lifetime Gold and 2 million get you lifetime Platinum. Also, from Asia to South Pacific, AA program will be a winner.

Then next is Delta/NWA, I still give them relatively high value due to its Intra Asia business award, especially with Delta, you can have one stopover and one open jaw.

I do not give US airways miles too much value because they are hard to earn from flying after eliminating Elite bonus miles. Also, those India call center people are horrible; they have no idea of anything. It is a hard work when you try to redeem US airways miles. However, US airways do have good redemption value to some locations, but still not worth the hassle.

Continental Airlines is the only program I have no account with because I can not find any advantage on their program. However, once CO joins the Star alliance, things will be different.

If you travel frequently on Short haul flight (like LAX-SJC) and served by Southwest Airlines, their Rapid Rewards program is an option for you.

I have wrote a topic on best redemption value for each airlines, you can read them here

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