AA miles = ? dollars

 
Old Jan 20, 09, 7:41 am
  #1  
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AA miles = ? dollars

Is the exchange rate of 45000 miles for a $500 fare a good rate?
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Old Jan 20, 09, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by badatz View Post
Is the exchange rate of 45000 miles for a $500 fare a good rate?
I would say no, it's not a good value. AA miles are some of the better ones out there. I'd normally look for an $800 or more ticket, at a minimum. In particular, AA's Y tickets to South America at saver rates are only 40k, the last time I checked, which is a pretty good value.

I think you can also convert them to Hilton points, which is a nice feature.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by badatz View Post
Is the exchange rate of 45000 miles for a $500 fare a good rate?
There is a vast range of opinion on the value of a mile, but for 1.1 cents I would jump on it (assuming these are AA miles and not DL or US).

[Edited to add:] I'm assuming you're getting the miles, not using them. Otherwise, reverse the logic as Jaimito Cartero pointed out.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by Gandhi90s View Post
There is a vast range of opinion on the value of a mile, but for 1.1 cents I would jump on it (assuming these are AA miles and not DL or US).

[Edited to add:] I'm assuming you're getting the miles, not using them. Otherwise, reverse the logic as Jaimito Cartero pointed out.
To clarify-

I am thinking of going on an organized tour. If I get to the starting point myself and return by myself, the operator will give me a $500 credit.
The miles needed to get there and back on the specific AA Award is 45000

Is it worth cashing in the miles or paying the cash
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:46 am
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I would definitely pay the cash. 50K miles or less can get you a transcon RT in F, or an offpeak RT to Europe, Asia or deep South America in Y.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:46 am
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It's pretty terrible, actually. For example BOS-LHR-BOS in business in September is (does a quick, non-optimal ITA search) around $3050, but can also be had for 100k miles. The leverage there is slightly better than $0.03/mile. Careful planning can get much better leverage than that.

Pay cash.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:54 am
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I would forego the $500 credit but it depends if you're going to be able to put your miles to better use. Only you know your own personal circumstances and how you're likely to use your miles in the future. The actual transaction in question though is not a good use of miles. I recently booked a trip EZE-JFK-EZE for 40k miles - the fare was $960. Just to give you some perspective....
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:56 am
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As the OP is PLT, I would also have him/her factor in the calculation around the EQM he/she would have earned in order to reach PLT for next year. Not sure what the routing here is but I always think of trips in terms of percentages for attaining my annual goal. For example, I view JFK-LHR (R/T) as a 7-percenter. For PLT, it's a 14-percenter. There is indeed value for that. Another way to look at is is that (in addition to the actual paid fare) I would pay a higher fare, versus an award, for a transcon flight versus a short haul. All about opportunity costs.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ktakahashi View Post
As the OP is PLT, I would also have him/her factor in the calculation around the EQM he/she would have earned in order to reach PLT for next year. Not sure what the routing here is but I always think of trips in terms of percentages for attaining my annual goal. For example, I view JFK-LHR (R/T) as a 7-percenter. For PLT, it's a 14-percenter. There is indeed value for that. Another way to look at is is that (in addition to the actual paid fare) I would pay a higher fare, versus an award, for a transcon flight versus a short haul. All about opportunity costs.
I partly agree with what you say: One must take account in these calculations of miles not earned. But I don't understand the claim that for a PLT, EQMs double. Status bonus miles don't count toward elite qualification unless there has been a huge change I am unaware of.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 12:30 pm
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In general, this is not a good use of miles, as others have indicated, but this decision is very personal. I have a good friend who uses miles to purchase his Admirals Club membership every year. Since he is EXP, he has to use 40,000 miles instead of $300. But since he doesn't use the miles to fly much, that is worth it to him. So everyone will have a different answer to the key question here, which is: if you didn't use the miles for this, what would you use them for? When you ask that question to yourself and answer it, that answer will tell you what to do.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 1:46 pm
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Thanks for all the advice
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Old Jan 20, 09, 1:59 pm
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I would pay cash. As others have suggested, it is really up to you.

However, if the airfare for your tour is very expensive, it may not be a bad idea to redeem miles plus $500 credits.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Drummer View Post
I partly agree with what you say: One must take account in these calculations of miles not earned. But I don't understand the claim that for a PLT, EQMs double. Status bonus miles don't count toward elite qualification unless there has been a huge change I am unaware of.
Sorry if my statements were confusing. The double (7 versus 14) has nothing to do with bonus miles. As EXP, that route is 7% of my goal to 100k. For PLT, it's 14% of goal to 50k. Hope this clears things up.
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Old Jan 21, 09, 4:58 am
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Cash is king. Use the miles.

Still not convinced?

Compare the number of posts on Flyertalk telling you how to earn miles to the number how to earn Cash.
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Old Jan 21, 09, 5:37 am
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What do you have more of that you're willing to dispense with? That is why the question is so personal. It's hard to predict the future of miles, cash is more certain.
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