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[Braggarts Wanted] What's the highest value you've ever received from MR points?

[Braggarts Wanted] What's the highest value you've ever received from MR points?

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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:45 am
  #1  
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Talking [Braggarts Wanted] What's the highest value you've ever received from MR points?

We've all seen the valuation charts for MR points and we know that only a fool would take a paltry $0.01-$0.02 for their hard won points. I'd like to hear the best stories about how you've wrung every last cent of value from your MR points.

I recently flew IAH-NRT roundtrip in ANA F for 150k MR plus $300 fees. The cash value of the tickets would have been $22.6k, so I redeemed my points at a value of $0.149 each (later realizing I could have done a booking through Virgin at an even better value).

So, FT Amex cardholders, post your success stories here. Who among us will claim the title for highest MR conversion value?

Edit:
To counteract the surprisingly high level of thickness here, I'll rephrase the goal of the thread. I'm proposing finding a thing (plane tickets, a lakeside villa, whatever) that has a 'buy now' price tag for some amount of money, then finding a way to acquire said item with MR points. By applying the formula (item price tag) / (MR spent to get the item) we come up with a "cents per MR" number. The name of the game is to find the biggest cents per mile number you can. Forums users klanfa may have won with their clever trick, so I'll add a secondary rule that an ideal redemption would not have a limit to the number of redemptions available per person.

Last edited by RichardNixon; Nov 19, 18 at 2:29 pm Reason: Posters with autism
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:11 am
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$30.00 per point
It's kind of cheating but I (like many others) got $30 off $60 on Amazon by using one MR point.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:19 am
  #3  
mia
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Originally Posted by RichardNixon View Post
....150k MR plus $300 fees. The cash value of the tickets would have been $22.6k, so I redeemed my points at a value of $0.149 each....
First, you have to think about whether $22,500 is actually a meaningful yardstick for calculating the value received. I think it is not, and that the only meaningful metric is the cost of the ticket that you would have purchased if the award inventory had not been available. That ticket might have been in another cabin or an another airline.

However, if you had purchased a $22,500 ticket with a USA-issued personal Platinum card you would have earned 112,500 MR points -plus- miles from an airline program for the flight. You gave up all that by paying with miles. By my reckoning you redeemed not 150,000, but somewhere around 300,000 points, which reduces the value by half.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by klanfa View Post
$30.00 per point
It's kind of cheating but I (like many others) got $30 off $60 on Amazon by using one MR point.
$30.01, since the point also paid for part of the order.

(Yes, I did it too.)
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Old Nov 19, 18, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
First, you have to think about whether $22,500 is actually a meaningful yardstick for calculating the value received. I think it is not, and that the only meaningful metric is the cost of the ticket that you would have purchased if the award inventory had not been available. That ticket might have been in another cabin or an another airline.

However, if you had purchased a $22,500 ticket with a USA-issued personal Platinum card you would have earned 112,500 MR points -plus- miles from an airline program for the flight. You gave up all that by paying with miles. By my reckoning you redeemed not 150,000, but somewhere around 300,000 points, which reduces the value by half.
I donít agree with much of this logic although I know many people believe this.

First, with regards to the value of the points vs the cost of the flight, the cost is the cost. Now you can easily make the argument that if flight you used points for was more expensive than an equivalent cash fare on another carrier then the points really got you the value of the alternative cash fare, but the retail price of a flight is the measuring stick of what your points got you, regardless of whether or not you would have paid cash.

Second, the opportunity cost of paying cash vs redeeming points is another argument I donít like. Itís like saying if someone is nice enough to treat you to a $100 dinner it really cost you $4 in cash back from your Uber Visa or 400 MR from your Gold Card. Free is free (or at least what you ďpaidĒ for earning the points in lieu of getting cashback).
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:15 pm
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These types of posts are so ridiculous. OP would never pay the cash value for the fare anyway so the "value" OP received is meaningless.

Heck, I could value the flight at $100k get a higher "value" per point.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:25 pm
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I, on the other hand, can't understand the inability to see that something has an objective value. It has a price tag on it, it has a worth, and obtaining the item by other means should involve a trade of equal value. If someone gives you a Ferrari, would you say you got a gift worth $0 because you wouldn't be able to buy it in cash? One of the fun things to do with MR is to redeem them for things we wouldn't normally purchase because we don't value the item enough to spend cash on it, but if we can get it for free* then things look different.

Statman in particular is presenting a ridiculously obtuse argument by saying they can assign an arbitrary value to things, which isn't at all what we're discussing ITT. In my example, the plane tickets have a value. I can go to airline website right now and price out the tickets to see their cost. That's not pulling a value out of thin air nor am I assigning a personal valuation to the tickets (which, by the way, I would never pay $22k of my own money for).

To counteract the surprisingly high level of thickness here, I'll rephrase the goal of the thread. I'm proposing finding a thing (plane tickets, a lakeside villa, whatever) that has a 'buy now' price tag for some amount of money, then finding a way to acquire said item with MR points. By applying the formula (item price tag) / (MR spent to get the item) we come up with a "cents per MR" number. The name of the game is to find the biggest cents per mile number you can.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by klanfa View Post
$30.00 per point
It's kind of cheating but I (like many others) got $30 off $60 on Amazon by using one MR point.
Wow I forgot about that deal. A very good redemption value!
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardNixon View Post
I, on the other hand, can't understand the inability to see that something has an objective value. It has a price tag on it, it has a worth, and obtaining the item by other means should involve a trade of equal value. If someone gives you a Ferrari, would you say you got a gift worth $0 because you wouldn't be able to buy it in cash? One of the fun things to do with MR is to redeem them for things we wouldn't normally purchase because we don't value the item enough to spend cash on it, but if we can get it for free* then things look different.

Statman in particular is presenting a ridiculously obtuse argument by saying they can assign an arbitrary value to things, which isn't at all what we're discussing ITT. In my example, the plane tickets have a value. I can go to airline website right now and price out the tickets to see their cost. That's not pulling a value out of thin air nor am I assigning a personal valuation to the tickets (which, by the way, I would never pay $22k of my own money for).

To counteract the surprisingly high level of thickness here, I'll rephrase the goal of the thread. I'm proposing finding a thing (plane tickets, a lakeside villa, whatever) that has a 'buy now' price tag for some amount of money, then finding a way to acquire said item with MR points. By applying the formula (item price tag) / (MR spent to get the item) we come up with a "cents per MR" number. The name of the game is to find the biggest cents per mile number you can.
But objectively your rational requirement was to get from IAH to NRT more or less on those dates and the best option in the class you booked likely cost less than $22k, especially if booked in advanced if possible. that's the value you need to compare to
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post


I donít agree with much of this logic although I know many people believe this.

First, with regards to the value of the points vs the cost of the flight, the cost is the cost. Now you can easily make the argument that if flight you used points for was more expensive than an equivalent cash fare on another carrier then the points really got you the value of the alternative cash fare, but the retail price of a flight is the measuring stick of what your points got you, regardless of whether or not you would have paid cash.

Second, the opportunity cost of paying cash vs redeeming points is another argument I donít like. Itís like saying if someone is nice enough to treat you to a $100 dinner it really cost you $4 in cash back from your Uber Visa or 400 MR from your Gold Card. Free is free (or at least what you ďpaidĒ for earning the points in lieu of getting cashback).
I have actually paid out of pocket instead of using points BECAUSE of the points I would earn. If you're in the points game, you really should consider those missed points as a "cost" added to the ticket. But you need to watch out that you don't get into an endless cycle of always paying cash compared to points because you'll miss earning those points.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
.... the cost is the cost. ....
The quoted cost is only the asking price, and it includes both transportation -and- rewards points (miles) redeemable for a discount on future travel. Unless I am a regular buyer of longhaul first class tickets I do not know the market price, and when I redeem miles for an award ticket I receive transportation, but not the discount on future travel which is built into the price.

You are correct that when someone buys me anything I lose the opportunity to earn rewards from buying it for myself. But the value of the money saved always exceeds the value of the rewards lost, and in any event I don't judge the value of a gift by the money cost.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
First, you have to think about whether $22,500 is actually a meaningful yardstick for calculating the value received. I think it is not, and that the only meaningful metric is the cost of the ticket that you would have purchased if the award inventory had not been available. That ticket might have been in another cabin or an another airline.

However, if you had purchased a $22,500 ticket with a USA-issued personal Platinum card you would have earned 112,500 MR points -plus- miles from an airline program for the flight. You gave up all that by paying with miles. By my reckoning you redeemed not 150,000, but somewhere around 300,000 points, which reduces the value by half.
I agree with the part I emphasized, but it's a little more complicated than that. I recently used 310,000 MR points for a RT, SFO-DXB (15hrs45min) in F on an A380 (showers!). What would I have paid for that? Maybe $6,000. Possibly $7,000. So by that measure, I got about 2 cents per point.

But...I'm going to be in an absurdly luxurious private little cabin on Emirates! It feels like I'm getting something worth a lot more than $7,000. Not the >$17,000 retail price, but somewhere in between.

The idea is that we can sometimes enjoy a product or service more than what we are willing to pay for it.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
The quoted cost is only the asking price, and it includes both transportation -and- rewards points (miles) redeemable for a discount on future travel. Unless I am a regular buyer of longhaul first class tickets I do not know the market price, and when I redeem miles for an award ticket I receive transportation, but not the discount on future travel which is built into the price.
I understand—you don’t get the ancillary benefits when booking a flight with points—no elite miles, no flight miles, no points from credit card. But depending on your travel habits, those ancillary benefits may never matter. I never book paid airfare with cash for personal reasons. I always book with points, so I discount all of the above. I collect points so I never have to pay for airfare and I haven’t paid for a personal flight in probably 10 years. Others may be spending signficant amounts of money on airfare and then this is definitely a consideration when choosing which flights to pay cash and which to redeem miles.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 8:58 pm
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i saw this post and knew exactly where it would go. sure enough, i was right.

someone gave me a lamborghini but i guess it isn't worth much since i would never buy one.

sorry but anyone who subscribes to that reasoning is simply wrong. the price of an airline ticket in F is the price of an airline ticket in F. just because you wouldn't have chosen to spend that money does not in any way change the cost of the ticket and thus the value per point that the OP is referring to.

and lost opportunity is not a concern in this situation either. just because you don't earn points/miles by not buying the ticket doesn't mean that you lost them.

the OP started a valid and entertaining thread only to be hijacked by a bunch of party pooping worry warts.

so in the spirit of the original post, i used to get 11 to 15 cents per BA Avios, many of which were transferred from MR. When you factor in the occasional bonus, the return on $ charged to my card was ridiculous. I couldn't understand how it was sustainable and i guess it wasn't since it's impossible to get that value today.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:17 pm
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Every year Iíve bought a couple of $550-ish one-way tickets. Not last minute, necessarily, but often short hops from an AA hub to some unlucky small city theyíve got by the throat. Some trips were back when the short hops were 4,500 Avios and some more since they increased to 7,500 Avios. When transferring in at a 40% bonus, this at one time meant upwards of 17 cents/MR point, and still today means upwards of 10 cents/point.
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