If you have a travel rewards card or you've accumulated a lot of frequent flyer miles and you're ready to cash in your miles or rewards, you may be better off using them for upgrades to first class instead of free tickets. Here's why.
Photo by Alan Light.
The travel blog Triphunter explains how using your miles to actually book a flight may actually cost you more than buying a regular ticket and using your miles to upgrade to first class for each leg of your trip. They run the numbers and point out that by the time you finish paying the taxes, fees and surcharges that your miles won't cover along with the amount of money you've already spent to earn those miles in the first place, spending them on a free flight isn't really always a bargain.
If you travel frequently anyway, the money you spent earning the miles may be a wash, but if you only travel occasionally, it may not make a huge difference to you, but when it comes time to cash in your miles or rewards, you may get more bang for your buck by using them for upgrades to first class on your next flight instead of using them to get a "free" flight sitting in economy.
Ideally, you can get two or three upgrades out of your miles where you would have only gotten one round-trip ticket in coach for the same rewards. Besides, it's a great way to score a better seat. That said, Lifehacker Australia's editor takes a different view . . .