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Unveiling the Difference Between Travel Points and Travel Miles


Do you ever wonder whether earning travel miles vs points is a better option for achieving your travel goals? Do not worry! We will gladly assist you regarding this matter. In this guide, we at MintFares will explain the unique characteristics of travel points and miles, helping you navigate these valuable reward systems. Additionally, we will look at some crucial points of contention. Travel-related activities, credit card rewards, and loyalty programs all allow users to earn travel points and miles as payment. Knowing the differences between them is important for maximizing your benefits. So, let’s begin.


What exactly are travel miles?

In the first instance, one should be clear about what are travel miles? And how do they work? Travel miles, also known as frequent flier miles or airline miles, are rewards earned through airline loyalty programs. Likewise, passengers can earn and redeem these miles for various travel benefits. To earn miles with United, you can register for a frequent flyer account and provide your Mileage Plus number when booking flights with UAL or its partner airlines. Additionally, United offers co-branded credit cards like the United Explorer Card. This allows cardholders to earn miles for everyday purchases. In short, these credit cards make it easier to earn United frequent flyer miles and increase mileage accumulation.

Reward miles work by earning a certain number of miles based on factors such as seat class, distance flown, and flight ticket price. Co-branded cards like UnitedSM Explorer earn miles: 2 per $1 on dining and hotels, 1 per dollar elsewhere. In addition, once you have enough miles, you can use them to book award tickets on the airline and its partner airlines. So, it is important to remember that airline miles are not usually transferable between airlines.


Popular domestic airline loyalty programs

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: West Coast travel, Cathay Pacific award tickets to Asia.
  • American Airlines AAdvantage: Off-peak rates to Europe in fall/winter.
  • Delta SkyMiles: No additional fees for last-minute bookings (<21 days).
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards: Good award availability, transparent pricing.
  • United MileagePlus: High award availability, Star Alliance membership.


Popular international airline loyalty programs

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: No close-in booking fees (<21 days).
  • Air France/KLM FlyingBlue: Monthly Promo Rewards with discounted award rates.
  • British Airways Executive Club: Distance-based award chart, ideal for short-haul flights.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: Low miles for premium economy, higher taxes.


What are travel points?

Now, we will talk about the second part of the topic, i.e., travel points. What are travel points? How do they work?

Travel points are a valuable currency earned through hotel, credit card, and travel company loyalty programs. In addition, you may Exchange them for travel perks such as flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. Not to mention, you can accumulate hotel points from hotel stays or co-branded credit cards, such as Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Transferable credit card points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express Membership Rewards. Similarly, they offer flexibility by allowing transfers to airline partners or other redemption options. In a nutshell, by using specific credit cards linked to the relevant point currency, you can earn these points.

Read More: Best Travel Credit Card 2023


Difference between Travel Points and Travel Miles

Travel miles vs points have some key points to consider:

1. Flexibility: Redeem travel points for diverse travel costs while primarily using travel miles for flights and related services.

2. Earning Potential: Credit card purchases, hotel stays, and partner purchases all result in the accumulation of travel points. On the other hand, you earn travel miles by flying with a particular airline or its partners.

3. Redemption Options: You can use travel points to pay for transportation, lodging, and more. In contrast, travel miles are primarily used for flights, with few options for other travel expenses.

4. Value Proposition: The worth of travel points differs depending on the program and redemption options. Conversely, travel miles’ value varies across programs and is primarily focused on flight-related rewards.

5. Transferability: Travel points are more flexible and often transferable to other loyalty programs. In contrast, travel miles have limited transfer options, typically within specific airline alliances.

6. Partner Networks: Travel points have a wider range of partners, including airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. On the other hand, travel miles refer to precise airline alliances or partnerships.

7. Valuation and Conversion: Travel points have a fixed value assigned, making it easier to estimate their worth. Travel miles’ values can vary based on factors such as airline, class of service, and flight routes.

In summary, the main and crucial difference between travel points and travel miles lies in their origin and usage. Travel points come from credit cards, promotions and can cover various travel costs. Likewise, travel miles, earned via frequent flyer programs are mainly for flights and upgrades. Lastly, both cut travel expenses, with distinct sources and uses.


Is it worth it to have travel miles over travel points?

The value of airline miles compared to travel points can vary. While most travel points have a fixed dollar value, airline miles have a reward-to-dollar ratio. Factors such as timing, specific routes, class of service, and loyalty programs influence the worth of airline miles. Flexibility in travel plans can impact the value, with midweek bookings often offering higher value. International flights may provide better value for miles compared to domestic flights, such as Last minute flights to India from USA.


Travel miles vs points- Which is better?

When choosing between travel points and miles, the better option depends on your travel preferences and goals. Travel points provide more flexibility, allowing you to redeem them for flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. This is ideal for those who value a variety of reward options. Miles, on the other hand, primarily focus on flight-related benefits like free flights, seat upgrades, and airport lounge access.



The decision between travel miles vs points in the world of travel rewards depends on preferences. If flying is your main priority, travel miles can provide significant value and enhanced experiences. Therefore, consider your preferred airlines, transferability options, and partner networks to maximize your reward potential. Furthermore, you may consider the valuation and redemption opportunities provided by each loyalty currency. By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can choose the option that aligns with your travel style and maximizes your benefits. Finally, remember that the ultimate goal is to optimize your rewards and create memorable journeys. We hope you find these points on travel miles vs points useful in your air travel. So, select based on your travel style, unlocking tailored rewards for your journeys.

Still, if you are in doubt, you can contact our travel experts and schedule your mind with satisfactory answers. Well, they are available for your help 24/7 so connect with them anytime. Not only this, we offer many deals too, like Flight Deal Canada. So book your tickets with us and enjoy your journey.