Let’s say you got a coupon from Nordstrom’s good for any pair of shoes in their store.
You’ve been needing a new pair of running shoes… Maybe you should use it for that.
Ummmmm. NO! The coupon said ANY pair of shoes!
- Pay cash for the $80 sneakers
- Use your coupon for the $2200 Jimmy Choos
Use the same philosophy for traveling and you’ll NEVER pay for an expensive flight again.
- Only pay cash for mistake fares that are 50% to 90% off.
- Keep a stockpile of points for everything more expensive than that.
But unless you want a “George Costanza Wallet” full of credit cards, you have to be wise about how you spend your valuable frequent flyer points. Just because you have 50,000 frequent flyer points, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal by using them to fly to Hawaii.
- When flights are $850 or $1000 a piece – by all means – pay the $22 in taxes and use those points!
- But when you can regularly find mistake fares for $280, you’d actually be a lot better off paying cash for the flight and saving your points for a more expensive trip some other time.
Huh? How is $280 a better deal than $22?
No matter what frequent flyer program you’re with, your points can usually be converted to cash in one form or another for a minimum of a penny per point. That means that 50,000 points is worth at least $500 in cash (and if used wisely, those points can be worth as much as $3000). Using $500 worth of points on a fare you could pay $280 for would be a huge waste. (Just like using a “free pair of running shoes” certificate would be a waste on some $80 running shoes.)
In a nutshell:
- Always be on the lookout for mistake fares that might fit your schedule and never pay cash for a flight that is more than 50% below normal normal prices (preferably 90% off).
- Always keep an emergency stash of at least 50,000 frequent flyer points and use them for ALL flights that aren’t at least 50% off. (In other words, if it’s not on JGOOT.com – you should probably pay with points.)
You’ll travel more, you’ll spend less, and you’ll spend WAY less time trying to find good deals when good deals aren’t available via traditional methods.
Don’t have frequent flyer points? Click here & discover how to get 50,000 to 100,000 points in the next couple months (and learn how to calculate what a “good” price for a fare is no matter where in the world you’re flying.)