How much are frequent flyer miles "worth"? Five route/fare scenarios:


Class of service


Typical round-trip fare if purchased, including taxes

Typical miles required round-trip (airline)

Taxes/fees on frequent flyer ticket

Value proposition What your miles are worth including taxes/fees (cents/mile)

New York to LA




25,000 to 60,000


Poor value. Your miles are worth 1 to .4 cents each. The good news is that it’s usually easy to find seats at the 25,000 mile level on this route, if you’re flexible in your flight times and dates.

Chicago to Bangkok

Business class

Star Alliance partner using US Airways Dividend miles



$100 (approx.)

Assuming you can find seats, your miles would be worth 7 cents each, which is good value.

LA to Honolulu

First class



75,000 to 180,000


Most likely you’ll have to fork over the full 180,000 miles for this popular route, so your miles would be worth just .8 cents each

San Francisco to New York

Economy to Business class upgrade


$2700 for business class, upgraded from $600 economy class


$100 co-pay roundtrip

Great way to spend miles. For 30,000 miles you get $2700-$700=$2000 in value;  your miles are worth 6.6 cents each

Dallas to London

Business class

British Airways

$5300 (nonstops)



For 100,000 miles you get $5300-$665 in value for 4.6 cents per mile.

All products and services mentioned on Airfarewatchdog are independently selected by our team of expert travelers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

More Stories You'll Love