When “Pay With Miles” first became an option, some predicted (correctly, I think) that it was a step towards a revenue-based future for SkyMiles. Time will tell on that one, but I recently booked a PWM redemption. It was only my second such redemption, but it is an option that has become slightly more attractive to me in certain circumstances. Why? PWM redemptions for first class tickets now earn full mileage credit, including MQMs. I selected first class flights, went to the payment page, and selected the amount of miles I wanted to “spend” towards airfare.

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Now, I doubt this redemption would pass any kind of “cents per mile” value test, and if this trip was just about me, I would not have done this. MrsMJ and I are approaching a milestone anniversary, and dayjob requirements prevented me from planning an extensive trip. Not to mention, we have a 2-week cruise coming up in December. A weekend trip is just right. A weekend trip not worrying about whether our upgrades clear or not – even better. Earning full mileage credit, including MQMs, and class of service bonus? Icing on the cake.

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I’ve got plenty of miles right now, and miles are made for spending, not hoarding. There was no need for me to calculate the value of this redemption. MrsMJ and I will fly comfortably, and that is all that matters. Sometimes it’s about more than “value.” And that’s the beauty of miles. YMMV.

-MJ, September 26, 2013