Frequent Flier Programs

When you are trying to extract the most out of your travel dollar, understanding the frequent flier programs will give you a huge edge.

Program My Value of  Mile Carrier Alliance Finding Awards Award Chart
Aeroplan $0.0125 Air Canada Star Alliance
Aeroplan Award Chart
Aeroplan Upgrade Chart
Aeroplan Basics Writeup
Aeroplan Hacking Writeup
Best Uses: Flights with stopovers, Mini round-the-world trips, short-hauls, flights on partners
Cautions: High fuel surcharges on some carriers, website rejects many complicated itineraries
Westjet Westjet N/A Westjte Dollars
Dividend Miles $0.0150 US Airways Star Alliance US Airways Award Chart
US Airways uses write-up
Best Uses: 
Flights on Air Canada (minimize fees), off-peak awards, better award chart than Aeroplan
Cautions: Awful website, tighter restrictions on stopovers, last minute booking charges, no one-way awards
United MilagePlus $0.0175 United Airlines Star Alliance United Airlines Award Chart
Best Uses: One-way travel for 1/2 of roundtrip, easy to add free one-way flight to roundtrip award booking, low taxes/fees
Cautions: No stopovers on travel within a single zone
Delta Skymiles $0.011 Delta SkyTeam Delta Skymiles Award Chart
Best Uses: Free one-way flight on many roundtrips (if your home is Delta hub), low taxes and fees
Cautions: Very bad award flight availability
AAdvantage $0.0165 American Airlines One World AAdvantage Award Chart
Best Uses: All flights priced as one-way, Free stopover allowed in North American gateway city, Distance-based explorer awards
Cautions: Fuel surcharges on British Airways flights, website doesnt show availability for all partners
British Airways Avios  $0.0115 British Airways One World British Airways Chart
Best Uses: Short flights (chart is based on distance), direct flights, itineraries with many stopovers
Cautions: Fuel surcharges on British Airways flights, each leg charged independently

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