I’ve decided to start a new series detailing how I booked all the flights I will be taking. I haven’t paid full price on any plane ticket in years – regardless whether it is a revenue ticket paid with cash or a reward ticket paid with miles. With these examples you can get an idea of how the miles and points game can save you potentially thousands of dollars.
I am not claiming that I spent the points in the absolute best way and got the absolute maximum value out of them, but it fit the bill for me personally at the time. Often with award travel, value and flexibility are on two ends of a scale and you are always trading one for the other – you can’t have both unless the star aligns for you at the moment.
The purpose of these reports is to give you a way the points could be used, so you can modify it to your needs.
Throughout these reports, I will always include the following information.
1 – Out of pocket expenses
It’s always good to know the final out of pocket cost of the ticket. This includes the cost of any annual fees or cost to earn the miles – otherwise, if you spend $500 to earn the miles needed for a flight completely covered with miles, you might think you got an amazing deal since the flight was “free”. But it really wasn’t because of the journey you took to get the points.
I will also include the breakdown of any airport taxes, fees and fuel surcharge so you can get an idea of the cost if you were to redeem for part of my route. If applicable, I will also try to include my thoughts on if there are ways to get around the fuel surcharge or if it is worth it.
Cost breakdown example – including total miles, cash and details on each airport taxes.
2 – Total money saved
It’s always fun to see how much your award ticket would have cost if paid for by cash. As I mentioned in my earlier article, we want to get an idea of the CPM we got out of our redemption to see how we did.
I will be using google flights to price out all my legs.
3 – How I earned the miles
Too little blogs actually go into how they earned their miles, which is really the most important thing for us who are just starting in this hobby. It’s easy to say I redeemed 300k Avios points for this amazing super exclusive flight – but for most of us, we don’t have 300k Avios lying around. Granted, most famous bloggers probably get their miles through referrals, partnerships or manufactured spending; but I certainly don’t.
If there was a clear and defined way I got the miles needed for the trip, I will certainly let you know exactly which card bonuses and the strategy I used to get the required miles.