Updated on 08.28.14

#24: Frequent Flier Miles

Trent Hamm

25 Rules to Grow Rich By

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index.

Rule #24: Don’t redeem frequent-flier miles unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles you spend.

Throughout this series, I have often criticized the rules on this list for either being far too limiting or being flat-out wrong. For once, I’m going to issue a big compliment to the list.

This rule is completely spot on.

In fact, the same holds true for any “points” program you might be in. If you can’t get more than a dollar per 100 points in the program, hold off on using the points. Lots of credit cards have points programs linked to travel. Check out Best Rewards Credit Cards and Best Travel Credit Cards.

Here’s the trivial edit to the rule:

Rewritten Rule #24: Don’t redeem frequent-flier miles (or points from any bonus program) unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles (or points) you spend.

You can jump ahead to rule #25 or jump back to rule #23.

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  1. FrugalTrader says:

    I usually aim for the 3% rule. Any reward that i’m claiming should be worth at least 3% of the total amount that I had to spend on the credit card. So if the reward is worth $100, I shouldn’t have to spend any more than $3333 to obtain enough points to redeem it.


  2. rodgerlvu says:

    thanks. you are the most intelligent person i ever met…

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