Every now and then I get round to updating my miles and points redemptions. I have been keeping track for almost 5 years and the results are pretty amazing to me!
The breakdown is here, but the headline figures are 118 flights and 47 hotel nights for a total of just over 1.3 million Avios and 1 million hotel points.
One of my flying friends has an Avios balance of more than what I have spent in 5 years, so it is not huge in some circles, but I did a little ‘back of the envelope’ maths to put this into some sort of financial context. I don’t keep a spreadsheet of each redemption and what the cash equivalent cost would have been – it is not always helpful and can give inflated figures, particularly when redeeming for First class travel or Gold Priority Rewards, or more upmarket hotels, like the InterContinental The Clement Monterey, below.
For my calculations I have given a ball part figure of £60 per domestic sector, £75 per European sector, £400 for a US return and £800 for an Australia return. These, as I am sure you will agree, are very conservative figures based on very good economy prices and ones which I would be, and have been, happy to pay. I have not added a premium for Business of First Class because, let’s face it, we often fly in cabins on miles that we wouldn’t pay cash for.
For the hotels, I have priced it at £60 for a budget hotel, like a Holiday Inn, £100 for a middle of the road Hilton or Crowne Plaza, and £150 for an InterContinental. Obviously these are very variable deepening on season and location, but I think it is fair and definitely at the lower end.
For the flights, my bottom end valuation came to £10,625 and hotels were £5,680, giving a total of £16,305-worth of travel paid for purely on miles and points. That is 107,000 miles – over 4 times around the world!
The European section accounts for over a quarter of this distance.
This is an incredible saving, and shows just useful these miles and points can be. I wonder where the next 100,000 miles will take me!