Airlines

TPG’s favourite award redemptions – The Factors Man

Whereas we have seen common bank card switch bonuses and elevated sign-up bonuses in 2023, this yr has additionally had widespread award devaluations. Throughout the final couple of months, Etihad Airways slashed all accomplice candy spots, Virgin Atlantic spiked award charges on some premium-cabin ANA awards and Alaska Airways elevated Japan Airways awards by as much as 100%, to call a number of.

So, after so many devaluations, eight TPG staffers weigh in with their favourite award redemptions which might be nonetheless round.

Listed below are a few of our favourite, dependable makes use of of factors and miles.

Flying Blue promos and upgrades

An Air France Boeing 777-300ER business-class cabin. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Each month, Air France-KLM Flying Blue releases Promo Rewards. Brian Kelly, The Factors Man founder, booked 4 business-class awards from Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport (EWR) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) for 41,250 miles every. And as he factors out, there are routine switch bonuses to Flying Blue.

The present one-way economy-class Promo Rewards begin at 11,250 miles on routes like Chicago’s O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD) to Prague Airport (PRG). If you issue within the present 25% Flying Blue switch bonus from American Specific Membership Rewards (switch bonus ends Might 22) and Chase Final Rewards (switch bonus ends Might 15), you possibly can switch simply 9,000 factors to e book these awards — that is a cut price for a transatlantic flight.

Flying Blue additionally not too long ago added free stopovers to its award tickets. I booked a one-way KLM business-class ticket from San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) to Delhi Indira Gandhi Worldwide Airport (DEL) by way of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) for 95,000 miles. Due to the stopover, which requires calling Flying Blue to e book, I will spend a few days in Amsterdam to recover from jet lag earlier than persevering with to India — or, put in a different way, the Flying Blue stopover allows you to go to two cities for the value of 1.

Associated: Fast Factors: Use Flying Blue’s hidden calendar search software to search out higher award tickets

Utilizing airline miles for home flights

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Scott Mayerowitz, our government editor, has gone again to the fundamentals of utilizing home airline applications to e book easy home economic system tickets for his household. In any case, most home awards help you change or cancel flights with none charges.

Whereas he acknowledges this is not all the time the easiest way to stretch airline miles, he places a excessive value on flexibility lately. It is even a good way to e book some backup flight choices.

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Clint Henderson, our managing editor for information, additionally has been utilizing his airline miles for home flights. On a latest journey to Alabama, Clint had the selection of reserving an economy-class ticket for $500 or 42,000 Delta Air Strains SkyMiles. As an alternative, he booked top notch for 49,000 SkyMiles.

Associated: How Delta SkyMiles match into my factors and miles technique

Utilizing miles to improve

Hawaiian Airways lie-flat business-class seats on the Airbus A330. WALLACE COTTON/THE POINTS GUY

Scott booked 5 one-way economy-class tickets from New York’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) to Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG) by way of Honolulu’s Daniel Okay. Inouye Worldwide Airport (HNL) on Hawaiian Airways for $424.41 every. He then utilized 50,000 HawaiianMiles to every ticket to substantiate lie-flat business-class upgrades to Honolulu and top notch for the brief hop to Maui. Higher but, Scott transferred his American Specific Membership Rewards factors to HawaiianMiles throughout a 20% switch bonus promotion in September.

It is extremely unlikely he would have ever discovered 5 award tickets (and even one) in a premium cabin on one other airline (he tried).

And Scott is not alone. Clint observes that purchasing economic system or premium economic system on Air France or KLM generally is a nice worth, whereas utilizing 30,000 Flying Blue miles could be a good way to improve to enterprise class with no taxes or charges.

Associated: Here is tips on how to use airline miles for a first-class improve

Brief-haul redemptions

DINENDRA HARIA/SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET/GETTY IMAGES

Brief flights generally is a excellent method to redeem journey rewards, too.

As senior author Ben Smithson suggests, you possibly can nonetheless use 4,750 British Airways Avios plus 17.50 British kilos (round $22) for British Airways short-haul flights as much as 600 miles in distance (i.e., flights from London to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, and so forth.). As Ben says, “It is nonetheless probably the greatest redemption offers within the trade.”

As well as, earlier than reserving your subsequent United Airways home flight, verify award availability on Avianca LifeMiles and Turkish Airways Miles&Smiles. If award area is out there, these applications are likely to cost fewer miles than United MileagePlus — they usually additionally accomplice with quite a few transferable bank card currencies.

Associated: Your final information to looking award availability for the key airways

Transatlantic Iberia enterprise class

CHRISTIAN KRAMER/THE POINTS GUY

Iberia has some interesting award charges for its business-class routes to Europe.

Director of content material Nick Ewen booked a round-trip Iberia business-class flight from Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA) to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) by way of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) for 103,000 Iberia Plus Avios plus round $400 in taxes and charges. Had he ended his travels in Madrid, the flight would’ve been simply 85,000 Avios for the spherical journey.

Brian can be a giant fan of Iberia’s low award charges to Europe. In March, he used round 42,000 Avios plus $40 per particular person to e book six one-way business-class Iberia awards from JFK to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) in Porto, Portugal, by way of Madrid.

Off-peak East Coast flights to Madrid (between 3,001 and 4,000 miles) value simply 34,000 Iberia Plus Avios and round $120.

Associated: Among the best award flight candy spots is now simpler to e book

Dodging resort charges at Hyatt properties

TANNER SAUNDERS/THE POINTS GUY

Zach Griff, one in all our senior reporters, factors out that the World of Hyatt program continues to offer a lot of worth. Although Hyatt elevated award costs at over 200 lodges earlier this yr, you do not pay resort or vacation spot charges on most Hyatt award stays. At some properties, this will prevent $50 (or extra) per night time.

Moreover, top-tier Globalist members are exempt from parking expenses on most award stays. Hyatt’s award stays begin at simply 3,500 factors per night time for off-peak Class 1 redemptions.

Associated: 5 simple methods to maximise Hyatt award redemptions

Excessive-end Oneworld redemptions

Qantas enterprise class on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Senior bank cards editor Matt Moffitt is a giant fan of Qantas’ lie-flat seat, scrumptious meals and cozy pajamas. When saver award area is out there, you possibly can e book Qantas enterprise class from the U.S. to Australia for 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles or 80,000 American AAdvantage miles. You may add home connections on all sides with award area for no further miles.

Qatar Airways Qsuite. ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY

Matt additionally likes the improbable dine-on-demand meals choices {and professional} customer support supplied in Qatar’s non-public Qsuite. You may e book the Qsuite to Hamad Worldwide Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, for 70,000 British Airways Avios or 70,000 AAdvantage miles when enterprise saver area is out there.

Furthermore, if you e book a connecting flight in enterprise class to a Gulf nation, the short-haul flight is marketed as top notch, so you possibly can benefit from the ultra-exclusive Al Safwa first-class lounge throughout your connection in Doha.

SAMANTHA ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

There’s one last luxurious Oneworld redemption that Brian recommends: For 80,000 AAdvantage miles, you possibly can e book Japan Airways top notch from the U.S. to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND).

Associated: 9 superb first-class seats you possibly can nonetheless e book with factors and miles

Backside line

With will increase in award pricing and candy spots going to the chopping block, it is easy to really feel discouraged. That is why we suggest routinely redeeming the factors and miles you earn, since journey rewards are depreciating property.

Whereas some would possibly attempt to save sufficient factors for a long-haul premium-cabin flight, a short-haul skip can even show to be a stable method to save on airfare.

Both approach, you should utilize this text for inspiration as you start to map out your subsequent journey.

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