3 Times When Paying MORE Miles For Your Flight Makes Sense

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3 Times When Paying MORE Miles For Your Flight Makes Sense

You didn’t read that wrong, there are in fact times where paying more miles for your flight makes sense.  I can think of three such instances where it makes sense to pay more miles than you need to for your flight.  Let’s take a look at three instances in more detail before you think I am going insane.

Because Of Transfer Bonuses

There are often transfer bonuses for secondary frequent flier programs like British Airways Avios or Virgin Atlantic miles.  These miles can be used to book flights on American Airlines or Delta Airlines among other airlines.  Let’s say the flight is 30,000 miles if you use British Airways Avios but only 25,000 if you use American Airlines miles, you would use AA miles for sure right?  What if those BA Avios that are in your account are from when there was a 40% transfer bonus?  That would be the equivalent of 21,429 miles that were transferred to your account.  Making the British Airways Avios the better deal.  Similar situations happen with other currencies like Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

To Avoid Booking Fees

Another time it makes sense to pay more miles for your flight are to avoid close in booking fees.  American Airlines likes to charge $75 if you try to book an award flight within a few weeks of departure.  You can avoid that fee if you book the flight with British Airways Avios.  Would saving the $75 fee be worth paying 30,000 miles for the flight vs 25,000 miles for the flight? If you are points rich then I say do it, since you should always be using your miles!  This works for United with Krisflyer or LifeMiles as well.

Better Cancellation Policies

The third and final time it may make sense to pay more miles for a flight is if you need flexibility.  If you are not 100% sure that you can make the trip or are making a speculative booking it may be better to pay a little more to keep flexibility.  If you book that 25,000 mile American Airlines flight for 30,000 British Airways Avios then it is possible to avoid the cancellation fee should your plans fall through.  You would only be out the taxes and fees on the BA booking ($11.20 for round trip domestic travel) vs a reinstatement fee of $150 with AA.


Sometimes it makes sense to pay a little more depending on the situation.  The cheapest option is not always the best option.  Have you ever paid more for a flight because of one of these three scenarios?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Just paid 95k krisflyer miles for a 5+ hour flight…just happens to be the best F cabin in the world and on my wife’s birthday. She was able to get the saver award for 50k, and rather than waitlist and hope for the best, decided to shell out almost double for the experience together. I can not wait!!!!

  2. I routinely book with Avios just for this reason. Direct flights under 2k miles in distance are cheaper than AA charges, no close in booking fees, easy to cancel if plans change, plus a transfer partner from Amex. Fun fact: PHX (where I live} to BWI (where grandma lives) is 1999 miles distance, can’t cut it much closer.


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