In order to use this calculator, you first need to determine your own value of a frequent flyer point – see step 2, below. It’s not possible to assess whether to use points compared to just buying a ticket without valuing a point for yourself first.

  1. Find a redemption and equivalent paid fare you wish to compare. Note down the cost in points; the taxes and charges you’ll be charged on the award booking, and the comparative ticket cost, as if you were paying for the fare outright.
  2. If you haven’t done so already, calculate how much a point is worth to you, personally – see either the simple or advanced point value calculators, I’d recommend using the advanced calculator for this purpose.
  3. Input the cost in points into the redemption cost field, the total taxes and charges in the currency you have been given, your own point/mile value, and the comparative ticket cost.
  4. If you like, the calculator will store all of your inputs until your next visit, so you don’t have to input these again.
  5. Pressing Calculate! will yield
    • Your total redemption cost, in $ – the total value or cost of the redemption, after factoring the value of your points plus the associated taxes/charges
    • The cost or benefit of using points rather than paying for the ticket
    • The value per point achieved on the redemption, and the equivalent monetary return or loss on each point if you made points to use a booking.

A person driven solely by these numbers would always choose to redeem points if, and only if, it costs less to use points then it would to pay for the fare.

Of course this may not be the case – for example, if you don’t have much cash lying around but have a load of points you want to use, then it’s going to make more sense to use points, rather than cash.