Frequent Miler made a couple of posts with a basic guide to determining whether a booking is worth it when you use your points. His advice is pretty good, and presents good guidelines to figuring out if you should use points or not. However, it is also important to keep your goals in mind. If your goal is to minimize out of pocket expense of any kind, and you have earned your miles through signup bonuses (as opposed to regular credit card spending), then it’s perfectly acceptable to redeem awards that are “not worth it” by the guidelines presented.
at least until a better promo comes along, is AA’s announcement of double EQM (DEQM) for all flights/fares now until January 31, 2012. The gist of this is that on all flights, you get twice the miles in your account, and they all count towards elite status. So low level elite status can be obtained by flying 12, 500 miles in the month of January, and the highest elite level requires only 50,000 miles. See this post at View From the Wing for more info. The most intriguing take on this was from lucky at One Mile At A Time, who outlines how easily you can qualify for top tier AA status under this promotion over several days of flying. It is pretty extreme, but being able to get top tier status on AA seem well worth it under this promotion, and it is quite tempting to me…
At any rate, I do recommend reading that article, even if you aren’t planning to be a hard core mileage runner. It shows the value of being aware of your promotions and stacking them together, as well as the amazing wealth of knowledge that some of the old timers in this game have 🙂
On a side note, there has also been some speculation that this offer will be matched by UA/CO, as they share several hubs/markets with AA, and will not want to lose business due to this promotion…for now, that is pure speculation though.
Funny post by Gary at View from the Wing…there’s a bunch of links about Starbucks’ “elite” program, and a eureka moment on maximizing the miles you earn at Starbucks 🙂
No, I’m not referring to the Occupy movement. You’ll have to go somewhere else to read about them (they can’t really earn you free travel, so I don’t know why you’d bother :)).
I’m referring to a recent post by Rick @ Frugal Travel Guy. Flyertalk recently held a seminar over a weekend in Chicago, organized by Rick and a few others, where we all heard various presentations about a wide variety of reward and loyalty programs, as well as some of the more famous exploits of certain members.
Anyway, Nightline did a story on frequent flier miles and the “hacking” we do (see the full video at the link). The report features Rick from Frugal Travel Guy, so after the story aired just before Thanksgiving, Rick tracked how the traffic changed after the Nightline report. In the post linked above, he estimates (not with the most scientific methods, but close enough) that about 1% of the people that visited his site after the story aired actually reading the blog. The common held belief in the frequent flyer collecting / travel hacking community is that maybe 1% of people are actually willing to invest the time and effort and dedication to this game.
So are you in the 1%? 🙂