How to use miles when budget fares are just too good? - Seedly
 

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Asked by Jacinda Siew

Asked on 06 Apr 2019

How to use miles when budget fares are just too good?

I keep on accumulating my spend on a miles credit card, have close to 200k worth of Krisflyer miles, but haven't even redeemed a single mile since 4 years ago when I started this. The promo fares with budget airlines are just too attractive, I haven't actually flown a full class fare on a full service airline for a while now. How should I deal with this? Keep on accumulating miles?

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Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong, Founder at The Milelion
Level 6. Master
Answered on 08 Apr 2019

If you're looking to travel mostly within the region and you don't mind flying budget, then miles may not actually be right for you. You'd be better off with a cashback card which let you earn money towards paying for those budget flights. Miles tend to be more useful on long haul, premium cabin redemptions- with your 200K miles, you could easily redeem a round trip business class flight to the USA.

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Wallace Chai
Wallace Chai
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Dec)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 08 Dec 2019

If you think budget is too good for you then i think you better off get a cashback card instead. Usually for miles card are for those who often travel far where comfortable is the main concern cuz miles can be use to upgrade to another class.

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I would keep accumulating miles but look for an opportunity to use them on a long haul business redemption. As miles get devalued, we must also remember that we need to use them before their value drops. If you don't, the miles game might not suit you.

The difference between long haul budget airlines and long haul business class on a full service carrier is massive.

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Jacob
Jacob
Level 6. Master
Answered on 08 Dec 2019

Hi Jacinda, congrats on hitting close to 200k miles! That's an achievement, though it brings about a healthy problem that shouldn't bring you too much worries too.

My take is that everyone perceives value differently so there isn't a right or wrong or perfect answer to this. So long as you feel justified, that would work for this.

One way out is to purchase the attractive budget tickets, and redeem the miles on a long haul flight to reward yourself (or your loved ones) for accumulating these miles - something which you haven't done in a long time. It will be a true reward for all the hard work and efforts in this miles accumulation games over the past 4 years.

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Sanchit
Level 6. Master
Answered on 07 Dec 2019

Its a very fair concern and I was in your shoes a while ago (tbh, even now haha)

My view is, you should try and use the promo fair esp for short distances.

The way I use miles is mainly for long hauls esp for a nice trip, a fancy holiday etc. This might also be good with promo fairs however would def end up saving a lot more of your cash.

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Eveline Lau
Eveline Lau
Level 6. Master
Answered on 07 Dec 2019

Miles are of best value when you exchange for long haul flights, of at least business class. Unless you don't mind flying Scoot to Berlin and have zero intention to visit America in your life, far-away destinations are beyond the reach of budget airlines. Because of this, do consider spending your miles wisely by planning a far-away trip and splurge the miles on business or first class (if you can afford by miles). Moving forward, if your plan is to travel only within Asia and by budget airline, cashback might be a better option for you as you can actually realise the gratification at some point of time.

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Benjamin Wöng
Benjamin Wöng
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 07 Dec 2019

Generally the most value for money when redeeming miles is for long haul business class and first class redemptions, in which low cost carriers tend to not have routes to. Budget fares are great for short haul to medium haul routes, however you may prefer the comfort of flying business class to long haul destinations such as the USA or Europe.

I would suggest you research your preffered holiday destination and calculate how many miles it would require to redeem a business class return ticket and to use your miles soon. Remember airline loyalty programs tend to devalue after a few years. After you burn your miles, you may wish to change your credit card strategy as a cashback card would likely fit your needs better.

Happy travels!

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Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Dec)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 07 Dec 2019

Keep on accumulating miles. In my view, flying in comfort only works for flights that are more than a 5-6 hour radius.

Budget Air are good enough for short haul because you are confined in small sapce and have patience. However once the flight time gets too long, you will want nice meals, comfortable seats and more space; that where redeeming for good flights comes about and the opportunity to use your miles

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It is definitely remarkable and a good habit to travel on budget fares and keep on accumulating miles to this end.

Plan ahead and decide on a dream destination that you wish to travel to. Then exchange it for a comfortable business class ticket and pamper yourself for the hard work that you put in to accumulate the miles over the years.

Alternatively, you may consider to use the miles to offset some of your expenses - some cards allow this, but it is often not worth it as compared to having a cashback card itself.

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