A co-worker passed this along to me (knowing how obsessed I am with points & miles) and wanted my opinion if the GMA crew did a solid job discussing the world of points & miles. Furthermore, a bunch of you may have seen this as it was on national TV, so let’s break it down!
Generally when I see mainstream media discuss our little hobby, I see a lot of misinformation and generalities that wouldn’t apply to most individuals. However, in this piece, I think GMA actually does a fair job discussing when to use and not use points and miles.
A few of the good things they discuss:
- The biggest mistake people make is not getting full value for their miles. They go over the example of using miles for expensive flights like NY to Seattle instead of using them for NY to Miami as the NY to Seattle flight will almost always be more expensive. So since those flights cost the same amount of miles, use them for the more expensive flight!
- GMA brings up how confusing understanding miles can be and I think there is some truth in that for novices in this game. It can be overwhelming at first and I’m glad they didn’t downplay this notion to make what we do super easy and made for everyone (hey this is why my consulting and award booking services exist :p )
- And probably the best point they make, do not redeem your miles for car rentals or merchandise online. This is by far the worst value you could possibly get for miles, so simply don’t do it.
GMA wasn’t perfect though as they discussed a very specific example where you could upgrade an economy ticket to a business class ticket for only 15,000 miles. The amount of miles greatly varies depending on the program and some even charge an additional co-pay (i.e. United) and most of the time, only certain economy tickets are eligible to be upgraded – the lowest, most discounted economy tickets (which is what most people buy) may not be upgradeable in some cases.
Watch the video and look forward to more specific posts in the future on my site where I’ll go into much more detail on some of the items they discussed.