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58% of Travelers Are Redeeming Their Points for Economy Flights, Study Finds

Many travelers use credit cards to earn rewards. Redeeming points or miles for flights, hotel expenses, and other travel costs can be an excellent way to make travel more affordable. Going, a flight deal service, recently released its State of Travel in 2024 report. The study found that many travelers are redeeming their credit card points for economy flights. 

Travelers are maximizing the value of their credit card points

While the thought of flying to Europe in a lie-flat seat may be enticing, your airline ticket will come at a higher cost. That means more dollars, miles, or points. Instead, an economy seat ticket is a more affordable option. While it might not be as fancy or comfortable, it’s more affordable. 

In its State of Travel in 2024 report, Going examined how travelers use credit card points. The majority of respondents use their points to book flights. Here are some notable stats: 

  • 58% redeem points to book economy flights
  • 11% use their points to book hotels 
  • 10% use their points for premium economy flights 
  • 7% redeem them for flight upgrades 
  • 6% redeem points to book business-class flights 
  • 4% use their points for cash back 
  • 3% haven’t used their points yet 

This study suggests that many travelers focus on the best redemption strategy that gets them more value from their points. Since economy flights are priced lower than premium economy and business-class flights, they also require fewer points or miles to book an award ticket. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why people who love travel use their rewards this way. 

Should you use your points for economy or business-class flights?

Only you can decide the best way to use your credit card points. You should consider your travel preferences before making a decision. Everyone has different needs and expectations. 

It’s also wise to consider how long your credit card rewards stash took to accumulate. Once you use your points, you’ll need to earn more if you want to book award flights in the future. 

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You can stretch your rewards further by using them for economy flights. This redemption move may be ideal if you don’t require more space or added comforts and amenities when flying.  

Here’s an example: Let’s imagine you have 100,000 points saved up and can book a one-way economy flight for 25,000 points or a one-way business-class flight for 80,000 points. Which would you choose? I’d pick economy because I could use my points to take two round-trip journeys. 

If you want to experience business-class travel without depleting your credit card points collection, consider investing in a flight deal service. These subscription services help travelers find the best airfare deals to avoid overpaying for flights. 

Don’t miss this redemption strategy  

Many travel credit cards allow travelers to transfer their points to travel transfer partners to book flights and hotels through popular airline and hotel loyalty programs. While this redemption strategy takes more effort, it’s an excellent way to maximize the value of your points or miles. 

While cash back is an easy redemption choice, it’s usually one of the worst redemption methods for maximum value. But it may be the best option for your current needs. Before redeeming your credit card rewards, explore how to use your points or miles to make a more informed choice.  

Check out our best rewards credit cards list to learn more about how you can earn rewards. 

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