Miles and More Part 7 – Redeem your miles for maximum value

We will update our Miles-and-more tutorial series during next weeks.Today we will finally cover the best way to redeem your miles into flights to get the maximum value out of your miles.

For what can you redeem your miles?

There are many possibilities to redeem your miles for. Economy, Business & First class flights can be booked to fly all over the world. Many of the possibilities will have a very poor value, therefore we will show you what you should be looking for. Be advised that when booking a redemption, a surcharge applies, therefore it is important to know your possibilities.

NEVER redeem your miles for the following flights

In general the worst possibility to use your miles is for economy flights in general (some few exceptions exist, see below), and for Business class flights within Europe.

Often the surcharges for a economy class redemption within Europe for a mileage ticket is higher than the price you would pay for a normal ticket. Furthermore the requested miles are also nearly sufficient to get you a business class flight to the middle east during some promotions. For intercontinental economy fares the same applies. Regarding an intra business class redemption within Europe, it is just not worth your miles as in most cases, you will have a normal recliner seat and it would be a waste of your miles.

Flights which give you the best value

Mileage bargains

One of the best ways to redeem you miles for business class flights is with the Miles & More mileage bargains. Each month, Miles&More publishes a list of destinations where you will get a heavy discount on the miles needed for a redemption. You can visit the site here: Miles & More Mileage bargains.

Here, only business class flights are attractive. Usually the flights can be booked starting from 4 months in advance until the 5 and a half month following the actual month. For example the June mileage bargains are usually available to book from 1st October until 15th November.

The available destinations differ depending on your origin (you can book mileage bargains for a lot of departure countries), and the destinations also vary from month to month.

To give you an example, if available the following discounts apply for a business class round trip redemption(to & from destination):

  • Arabic Countries, for example Dubai: 70000 40000
  • USA, for example New York: 105000 55000 miles
  • Middle Asia, for example Delhi: 105000 55000 miles
  • East Asia, for example Shanghai: 135000 70000 miles

You still have to pay a significant amount of surcharges, but due to the mileage discount it is well worth it.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Business class to Baku for 310€ and 40000 miles.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

You still have to pay about 500€ but only 55000 miles and you fly out of your home town.

Domestic flights in the US

A one-way business class (domestic first) redemption within the US will only cost you 19000 miles, and economy is already available for 15000 miles. So if you need a flight within the US, this is definitely worth considering, as the surcharges are negligible.

Redeem your miles for maximum value
International first class flights

You will pay around 550€ surcharges but you will fly first class. You can even book most of Lufthansa's partner airlines offering a first class online.

Business class flights from regions where only minimal surcharges apply (Brazil/Hong Kong)

If you happen to need a one-way flight out of Brazil or Hong Kong, you should consider redeeming your miles. These countries prohibit surcharges for airline tickets, so you will only pay minimal taxes. for example surcharges of not more than 100€ apply out of Hong Kong in any class you fly.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Domestic flights in China

Within China, you can redeem your miles for a domestic flight for 15000 in economy and 20000 in business class. As you can see business class flights are the redemptions with the most value. The surcharges are usually below 20€. As China is a huge country you could get quite a good deal as flights as long as 4000km are available at these prices.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Economy or Business class redemptions with SAS and LOT

Out of Europe, the only intercontinental economy class redemptions you could consider are those with SAS or  with LOT, as they do not impose ridiculously high surcharges. If you need an intercontinental flight but are short of the miles needed for business, check for those two options.

But also business class flights from each origin where SAS or LOT are available impose a negligible amount of surcharges. So those 2 airlines are always a very good option to redeem your miles.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Flights with Avianca, Asiana and ANA

Avianca mostly operates within South America but a few routes to Europe are available as well. With surcharges of not more than 100€, your miles are good invested here.

Also within Asia you can fly relatively cheap with Asiana and ANA,

Redeem your miles for maximum value

214000 COP are around 60€

Flights between Australia and New Zealand

For 17000 miles in economy or 35000 miles in business class, you can fly between Australia and New Zealand for around 150AUD in taxes and fees.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Other possible redemptions to get some value out of your miles

Intercontinental Business class flights

Redeeming your miles for normal intercontinental business class flights, you will often not achieve the best value due to the surcharges imposed by the airlines. But it will still be cheaper than booking normally and is an option if you need a flight to a specific expensive destination. Be aware that one-way flights from the US to Europe are usually very high in surcharges. Try to avoid one-way flights here from the US.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Economy class flights from regions where only minimal surcharges apply

Here the same applies as for the business class redemptions. From Brazil and Hong Kong you will pay no surcharges on your flights.

Redeem your miles for maximum value

Conclusion

It is always good to redeem your miles for maximum value. Sometimes however your dream destination is not a sweet spot, than at least look not to waste too much value by avoiding the worst possible redemptions.

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