The single best advantage of frequent flyer points is to get into Business and First Class without paying the kind of money that an outright ticket purchase requires.
Airlines charging anywhere north of 7 times an Economy ticket for First Class on the same flight, 4-5x for Business Class and 2x for Premium Economy is the norm – so using points to get to the front of the plane more cheaply becomes the goal if you want maximise the value in your frequent flyer balance.
The basic maths mean that points get so much more valuable in Premium Economy, Business or First Class is simply that the cost in points of these trips is more like 3 x Economy for First Class, 2 x Economy for Business Class, and 1.5x Economy for Premium Economy.
Compare the multipliers between the paid fare and the points fare, and you’ll see that saving up your points can pay real dividends – if you place a value on travelling in Premium Cabins.
This doesn’t factor in the taxes and fees that are usually payable with redemptions with the major airline programs here. While these usually do increase a little as you move towards the front of the plane on points bookings, they are usually worth it – again, but only if you place a value on travelling up front.
I stress this point a few times – points can definitely be used for Economy travel to make your travels go further, but the points economy over here has most of us paying surcharges with our points redemption tickets, meaning that Economy tickets are often slugged with fees that eat up most of the benefit of using your points in the first place.
As such, the best value to be had (versus paying in cash for the same ticket) is in Premium, Business or First Class. However some travellers wouldn’t care less about travelling up front, and so getting great perceived value out of their points will be a lot harder if you don’t value travelling in this way.
For some basic tools to help you calculate the value of a point, you can check out the Points Value Calculators we’ve created, which let you have a crack at trying to calculate what you think a point might be worth.
Earning Points: First Principles
- Getting Started with Frequent Flyer programs
- Earning by Flying
- Buying points and miles
- Earning from Credit Cards
- Earning from Offers & Partners
- Ask Questions & Keep in the Loop
- Earning and Using Points – First Principles
Using Points: First Principles
- Who, What, When, Where and How?
- Flexible Points Programs
- Maximising Points value
- Qantas and Virgin Australia Key Partners
- Searching for points seats