Miles and Points or Low Prices — Which Would You Choose?

An interesting winter sale is currently on with which you can save up to 50 percent on room rates for stays of a minimum of two consecutive nights at participating hotel and resort properties in Kazakhstan, Israel and 23 countries in Europe; and this flash sale from Conrad Chicago with which room rates can be procured for as low as $11.14 per night is technically still in effect but the supply of rooms may be depleted by now.

Miles and Points or Low Prices — Which Would You Choose?

Although whether or not points can be earned on stays booked through the flash sale by Conrad Chicago was likely but not definitively clear, IHG Rewards Club points will NOT be awarded for any stays booked through the aforementioned winter sale — but savings on the room rates were potentially significant.

To be overly simplistic, frequent travel loyalty programs were originally created to give incentives to their members to travel more; and if they did, a reward was earned — such as a free flight or a stay at a hotel or resort property at no charge. Members who enjoyed the rewards saved money as a result. To this day, some “bloggers” still brag about how they travel for free and you can do it too if you read what they write in their articles: yes, you too can guzzle the finest champagne and the most expensive caviar while both traveling as a passenger ensconced in a plush lie-flat seat aboard the airplane, jetting yourself on your way to the three-story suite which awaits you at the downtown hotel.

Okay. Let us get back to reality.

To be fair, I have had my share of enjoying opulent travel free of charge or at a ridiculously low cost aboard airplanes, staying in suites at hotel and resort properties, and even renting luxury cars, thanks to miles and points — and there is also an opportunity cost which is usually involved…


…but what if you just want a flight or a room at a significantly low price — assuming we are not discussing a fleabag hotel or a seat aboard an airplane with six inches of pitch and charging you an ancillary fee for the amount of air which you breath? If that opportunity was offered to you on a regular basis by travel companies, would that wean you off of the miles and points bandwagon — or, at least, not participate as much in it as in the past — especially as frequent travel loyalty programs are just not as generous these days as they were in years gone by?

Obviously, many variables and subjective factors are involved which should be considered before arriving at a definitive answer. Earning elite level status is a major benefit in many frequent travel loyalty programs…

…but I am curious as to what you would choose: continue to earn miles and points — or low airfares and low rates on hotel rooms and rental cars which you currently use?

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Miles and Points or Low Prices — Which Would You Choose?”

  1. DaninMCI says:

    It’s a mixture for me. I’d rather pay a low amount for a long haul international business class trip and earning EQMs in the process. If the price is high I’d rather use miles and enjoy the same trip for nearly free.
    When it comes to hotels it’s also a balance. For example if I can score a great deal on $300 a night hotel for same $80 I’d likely pay cash rather than spend 50k, 80k, 100k or more for the same room.
    I want to get the most value for my cash or points/miles.

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