Last week a friend of mine told me that she had used Delta Skymiles for an upcoming trip between St. Louis and Washington, D.C. The cheapest fare for such a flight was around $302 round trip. Usually I advise people against using miles for domestic trips, unless they really have to or if the flight price is upwards of $500 round trip. Also, try to only use saver awards they tend to give you the best deal for your buck.
I advise against using miles/points for domestic trips – usually because those are low in price at different times of the year. Also, don’t use miles/points on domestic destinations unless the flight costs $500 and you really want to or need to go. For starters, it isn’t easy to earn miles/points in large quantities. To get to 25,000 miles takes a lot of spending or a lot of flying, obviously both require a lot of $$$, unless you take part in manufactured spending. (guilty)
Therefore, spending 25,000 miles on a $200 ticket is outrages because those $200 will never get you close to 25,000 miles. You may also want to consider elite status. I have status on Delta and American, but I only fly American now therefore I rather spend $200 on a flight and get elite miles than spend 25,000 miles and get no elite miles. I’m going to Los Angeles in a few weeks for $250, that will get me around 4,700 elite miles. If I were to spend 25,000 miles I would have wasted over $500 in miles and not get any miles towards elite status, which would be very silly.
What I’m trying to get at is that you should really only use your miles on international travel. I do not mean Canada, I mean Europe, Asia, South America, etc. Maybe even Central America is worth spending miles on but not Mexico, Canada or within the continental United States. Usually a saver award to Europe is around 60,000 miles and to Central & South America it’s around 35,000 miles – so those 25,000 miles could have almost had you on a flight to Peru, Ecuador or Costa Rica from the United States.
Fortunately, the miles my friend used were her fathers and not hers so it doesn’t directly affect her, but there goes the opportunity of her dad paying for another European getaway!