TPG readers reveal their best-value points and miles award redemptions

Jan 5, 2020

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We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers to share their cheapest, best-value points and miles award redemptions. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

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Readers’ best-value flight redemptions

From memorable flights in ANA first and business class to an entire round-the-world adventure courtesy of airline miles, our intrepid TPG Lounge members never fail to impress and inspire us when it comes to epic flight redemptions.

“Just booked 30,000 Delta SkyMiles to fly from Detroit to Munich round-trip in the main cabin. That’s 4.1 cents per point in value based on today’s cash price. Pretty happy about this one!”  — Ray O.

“15,000 AAdvantage miles for a business-class ticket from San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) and 15,000 AAdvantage miles to fly from Buffalo (BUF) to SFO in business class. Both had lie-flat seats and cost $800 in cash, so the value was over $0.05 per mile.”  — Brad P.

“Just recently redeemed for a flight from Houston (IAH) to Tokyo (HND) flying NH (ANA) in business class for 85,000 miles. Even with the fuel surcharge, it amounted to $0.11 per mile.” — Tom S.

“Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN) to Bali (DPS) and back to EWR for our family of four for 320,000 miles thanks to United’s Excursionist Perk. The cash price was more than $23,000 and we came home via Taipei on EVA Air’s Hello Kitty flight, which was super fun for our kids. $0.07 per mile.” — Lauren C.S.

“15,000 AAdvantage miles for a nonstop round-trip flight from Phoenix (PHX) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) this month.”  — Cheryl C.

Related: The best travel credit cards

One TPG Lounge reader used points and miles for a trip to Kauai. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
One TPG Lounge reader used points and miles for a trip to Kauai. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

“125,000 Delta SkyMiles per ticket for my wife and me to fly in business class from Phoeniz (PHX) to Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR), London City (LCY) to Amsterdam (AMS), and Lisbon (LIS) to AMS to Salt Lake City (SLC) to PHX. The LAX-LHR leg was on Virgin Atlantic thru Delta. I’ve tried getting a general idea of what that would have cost in cash and it’s always at least $6,000-$7,500.” — Jorge N.

“I got a deal through American Airlines once for a first-class ticket on Cathay Pacific. I looked at the actual cost of the flight and it had gone up to $14,000. I got the ticket for 67,500 AAdvantage miles, so that’s about $0.20 per point.” — Daniel N.

“Flew from Atlanta (ATL) to Seoul (ICN) to Osaka (KIX) for 80,000 miles in a Delta One Suite when the A350s came out. Connection was in business class on a Korean Air 777. Ticket was pricing at $7,800.”  — Scott M.

“40,000 AAdvantage miles [to fly from] Hong Kong to Sydney in Cathay Pacific business class.” — Brian B.

“320,000 miles and around $200 in taxes for to fly business class from Charlotte (CLT) to San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) to Cairns (CNS) outbound on Qantas and from Auckland (AKL) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Charlotte (CLT) inbound on American Airlines. This was for two people and the total price would have been over $18,500 if we’d bought them.” — Stephen C.

“130,000 miles transferred from American Express to Emirates for a round-trip first-class flight from Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH), plus about $1,000 in taxes. The cash price was about $15,800 unless you booked way in advance for about $8,000.” — Clark T.

“18,000 miles to fly nonstop (round-trip) from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) on Delta in March 2019. It was during a 24-hour Delta SkyMiles flash sale. I got lucky and grabbed four seats. The flights were on Virgin Atlantic, too.” — Rob E.

“About to book Qatar Airways’ QSuite from Boston (BOS) to Doha (DOH) to Zanzibar (ZNZ) for 75,000 American AAdvantage miles per person for four people. Cash tickets are around $8500 each.” — Rob R.

“In 2016: 40,000 United miles to fly United and Turkish Airlines from Oklahoma City (OKC) to Chicago (ORD) to Istanbul (IST) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL). Paid for the Air Asia flight from KUL to Sydney (SYD) and also an LATAM flight from SYD to Auckland (AKL). Return trip was AKL to SYD to Dallas (DFW) to OKC via Qantas and American using 32,000 AAdvantage miles per person. A round-the-world trip for 73,000 miles and $450. Probably could not do it today due to devaluations.” — Ryan B.

Qatar QSuite from Cape Town (CPT) to Doha (DOH) to Sydney (SYD) for 75,000 miles. I think it was more than $10,000 at a time.” — Kinnier L.

Have you had a chance to fly in Qatar
Have you had a chance to fly in Qatar’s fabulous QSuite yet? (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.)

“56,000 miles for an $8,800 business-class seat from Denver to Geneva on Lufthansa.” — Carin H.

“My first redemption was the best for me. 50,000 miles for two round-trip tickets from New York (JFK) to Athens (ATH) upstairs on a TWA 747.” — Jon W.

“100,000 Etihad Guest miles to fly in American Airlines business class from Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR) — I bought two one-way tickets. Got a 40% transfer bonus from American Express so only used 72,000 Amex Membership Rewards points and paid about $30 in taxes. Round-trip would have cost $10,000 so putting it at $5,000 for each one-way values my award ticket at 13.9 cents per mile.” — Stephen H.

“Gotta be JAL first class from New York (JFK) to Tokyo (NRT) for 75,000 AAdvantage miles per person after a credit card rebate. Cash price was around $14,000 per person, so we got a value of over $0.18 per mile.” — Kyle P.

“Transferred 85,000 Amex Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic with a 30% bonus, then booked a round-trip ticket from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT) on NH (ANA) in first class. 85,000 points + $250 in taxes for a $23,000 flight. Worth every point!” — Peter H.

Related: Choosing the best Amex card for you

Readers’ best-value hotel redemptions

Some of our TPG Lounge readers mentioned how they were able to save by cashing in their precious points for bucket-list-worthy hotel stays around the world, including in New York City, Cancun, the Bahamas, the Maldives and a great redemption during The Masters in Augusta.

“380,000 Hilton Honors points for a five-night stay worth $8,200 in an overwater superior bungalow in the Maldives.” — Ryan M.D.

“25,000 points for Hyatt Ziva Cancun over Christmas break. The cash price was between $800 and $1,100 a night.” — Denise R.

Doesn
Doesn’t a trip to Hyatt Ziva Cancun sound great right about now? (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.)

“200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for five nights at The Royal at Atlantis over Christmas last year, while nightly rates were around $1,200.” — Doruk S.

“It would probably be the Park Hyatt New York at Thanksgiving for $1,300 in cash or 30,000 points.” — Drew T.

“36,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a room for three nights in Augusta, Georgia, during The Masters Tournament that was [going for] $1,199 a night. Value: $0.09 per point.” — Chris K.

Related: Maximize your wallet with this perfect quartet of Chase cards

Featured photo of a Delta One Suite by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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