5 Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel

As I recently talked to one of my friends, he asked what is the best way redeeming miles from credit card. Considering his credit card spending is small and accumulates to little miles every year.

I am sure this would apply to some of you too. Here are some of the ways you can maximize your miles for redeeming free tickets.

5 Tips for Redeeming Miles from Credit Cards

  1. Use miles for redeeming first or business class
  2. Generally the premium cabins may require more miles, but for every miles you spend you are getting more value out of it. Let me explain.Yes you may think Jakarta to Singapore flight may cost only 12,500 on Economy class Garuda Indonesia. But you are getting terrible terrible value from your hard earned miles. To effectively measure the value you are getting, you will need to compare on the same segment, have much would have cost you if paying the ticket outright versus how many miles required and applicable taxes.Ā garudaindonesia jakarta singapore 
    Redemption award
    Effective Rate
    Jakarta – Singapore Economy IDR1,200,000 12,500 Miles + IDR 601,100 =(1200000-601100)/13300/12500
    Jakarta – Hong Kong First Class IDR58,016,000 37,500 Krisflyer Miles + IDR 209,000 =(58016000-209000)/13300/37500

    Without even looking at the effective rate, I would tell you straight away, for economy flight Jakarta to Singapore, you are better off paying full fare flight. Simply because the taxes component is almost half of the ticket itself. šŸ˜‚

  3. Lets compare this with Singapore Airlines First Class from Jakarta to Hong Kong. If you are to purchase ticket, it would set you back at IDR 58 million or USD 4,300. If you use miles, it would set you back at 37,500 Miles and IDR 209,000 in taxes. If you redeem this ticket, you are getting 11 cents value for every miles you spend. Winning!!sq jakarta hongkong first class sq jakarta hongkong firstclassGenerally speaking, if you are getting 2 cents or more, you should redeem the miles. So my point is you should really consider how to spend your miles, especially your miles from credit card is limited. Be more patient and focus on collecting miles first. Your miles from credit card normally have 2 – 3 years expiry date. Once you have sufficient miles, then start comparing using above method.


  1. 2. Never ever spend on vouchers

Same rule of thumb applies here. You are not getting any value when redeeming vouchers of any kind. It is rubbish. Save your miles!

vouchers cimb

  1. Be flexible with your schedule

Airlines release limited seats on saver awards, so you need to be flexible with your dates. Saver awards tickets require fewer miles and airlines such as Singapore Airlines, have very limited availability. My suggestion is to be flexible with your dates search. If you can’t find the dates you want, you can try to waitlist the flights that you want. I cannot guarantee you will get the ticket, but it is worth a shot.

  1. Subscribe to airlines newsletter. They run promotion on award ticket redemption from time to time. I managed to snatch Jakarta to Sydney return on Garuda Indonesia Business Class for 50% off. Meaning it would only cost me 63,000 per return trip instead of 126,000. Winning!!

Maximizing your credit card miles and knowing what to redeem will increase your chances scoring first or business class tickets. Happy hunting miles!

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