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When to Redeem Arrival Miles for an Economy Class Ticket

Photo credit: Luke Lai / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Luke Lai / Foter / CC BY-NC

Earning and redeeming traditional frequent flyer miles isn’t always the best way to go. Sometimes, it makes more sense to buy a ticket and redeem Barclay Arrival Miles for it. This is especially true in terms of value received from miles earned through spending. It sometimes takes more spending on a co-branded credit card than the Arrival Plus in order to redeem an economy award. I’ve put together a table outlining the award redemption requirements of the major airlines, the amount of spending required with co-branded cards to earn those miles, and the price point where it makes more sense to redeem Arrival Miles.

Aside from the calculations included in the chart, it’s also important to consider distance-based award charts like Avios and price-based programs like US Bank’ Flexperks for the best possible redemption value.

 Alaska American United
US & Canada25,000 - 40,000 miles25,000 miles25,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $555 - $888Ticket costs less than $555Ticket costs less than $555
Intra-State10,000 - 35,000 miles25,000 miles20,000 miles (distance under 700 miles)
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $220 - $775Ticket costs less than $555Ticket costs $444 or less
Hawaii40,000 - 60,000 miles35,000 miles off-peak

45,000 miles saver
45,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $888 - $1,330Ticket costs less than $775

or

$1,000
Ticket costs less than $1,000
Mexico35,000 - 40,000 miles25,000 miles off-peak

35,000 miles Saver
35,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $775 - $888Ticket costs less than $555

or

$775
Ticket costs less than $775
Central America35,000 - 40,000 miles30,000 miles off-peak

35,000 miles saver
35,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $775 - $888Ticket costs less than $666

or

$775
Ticket costs less than $775
South America30,000 - 60,000 miles30,000 - 40,000 miles off-peak

35,000 - 60,000 miles off-peak
40,000 - 60,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $666 - $1,330Ticket costs less than $666 - $888

or

$775 - $1,330
Ticket costs less than $888 - $1,330
Caribbean35,000 miles25,000 miles off-peak

35,000 miles saver
35,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $775Ticket costs less than $555

or

$775
Ticket costs less than $775
Europe40,000 - 65,000 miles40,000 miles off-peak

60,000 miles Saver
60,000 miles
When to Redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $888 - $1,440Ticket costs less than $888

or

$1,330
Ticket costs less than $1,330
Asia50,000 - 105,000 miles25,0000 miles off-peak to Japan, Korea

32,500 -35,000 saver
70,000 - 85,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $1,110 - $2,334Ticket costs less than $555

or $715 - $775
Ticket costs less than $555 - $1,885
Middle East80,000 - 100,000 miles90,000 miles85,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $1,775 - $2,223Ticket costs less than $2,000Ticket costs less than $1,885
Africa80,000 - 100,000 miles75,000 miles80,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $1,775 - $2,223Ticket costs less than $1,665Ticket costs less than $1,775
Oceania/Pacific80,000 - 100,000 miles75,000 miles70,000 - 80,000 miles
When to redeem Arrival Plus milesTicket costs less than $1,775 - $2,223Ticket costs less than $1,665Ticket costs less than $1,555 - $1,775

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Ariana Arghandewal

7 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post! Quick question: what’s the diff between the US/Canada row and the intra-state row? And why is intra-state N/A for US Airways?

    • Intra state are just flights within a single state (i.e. SFO – LAX). Only certain airlines offer intra-state flights and US Airways isn’t one of them. If you’re going to use miles for an intra-state flight on USAir, it’s the same cost as flying out of state.

      • I thought that’s what was meant here, however I wasnt sure because US Air does offer flights where departure and destination are in the same state (i just found a flight on US Air for San Diego to Sacramento via LAX). or are you only speaking of award bookings?

  2. It makes complete sense for sure if the flight is under an hour…like when i go from los angeles to las vegas…the flight is like 40 minutes…its not even long enough to drink the compd coffee..so in that situation always cheap seats…

  3. Nice chart. I can see the value but that’s a lot of MS when you mention a ticket cost in the thousands of dollars. If it’s not MS where the arrival points are earned, the clientele wouldn’t need to bother deciding this cause they would have the funds to just by the ticket. $1000 in Arrival miles is from $50k in spend.

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