Top Airlines for Your 2023 Holiday Travel Using Points


Utilizing Reward Points for Holiday Travel in 2023

(NerdWallet) – For those considering utilizing accumulated points and miles for holiday traveling in 2023, take note. The traditional money-saving strategy of redeeming points for flight bookings is not as straightforward as it once was due to most U.S. airlines switching to dynamic award pricing.

Dynamic Award Pricing and Its Impact on Holiday Travel

Dynamic award pricing may cause a surprise increase in the number of points required for flight bookings, especially during high-demand periods like Thanksgiving and winter holidays. This means that redeeming points for holiday flights might not provide the same value as it used to, and may even end up costing more points than you might expect.

Analyzing the Value of Airline Miles for Holiday Travel

NerdWallet’s annual analysis of airline miles provides valuable insights into point redemption during the holiday season. The study reveals that points are generally worth less during the last week of December. Depending on whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, different strategies might be beneficial to maximize the value for your points.

If you’re flying domestically, two strategies are suggested:

  • Opt for airlines like American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, where points have high holiday valuation, thus requiring lesser miles for holiday bookings.
  • Alternatively, use points in airlines like Frontier Airlines that have increased point value during holidays compared to regular times.

Maximizing Point Value for International Holiday Travel

If you’re planning an international holiday trip, consider using airlines like ANA (All Nippon Airways) or Singapore Airlines. These airlines not only rank top in Skytrax’s rankings but also have stable award flight prices due their maintained award charts. You can get considerably high value on these airlines for your points during the holiday season.

Moreover, you can book flights on these airlines using your accumulated points from your travel credit card if these airlines are partnering loyalty programs of AmEx and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Money-Saving Strategies for Holiday Travel Bookings

Whether you’re paying in cash or redeeming points, you can use similar strategies to save money on your holiday bookings. These include:

  • Flying on less popular days to avail lower prices
  • Combining cash and miles for payment
  • Planning international travel when most are going domestic (like during Thanksgiving week)

Remember, while redeeming miles can lower your travel costs, it’s essential to ensure you’re not spending more miles than a booking’s worth.

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