PSA: When To Pay With Cash

PSA: When To Pay With Cash

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A bit of a PSA, below is a recent scenario I encountered and how I made the best decision.

Cash Vs. Points

I recently booked a trip from London to Barcelona. And as I start any search for any trip, I hop onto to see what the options are.


As we can see, there are three low cost carriers (LCCs) listed in this shot: Norwegian, Ryanair, and Vueling. There are also British Airways flights.

If I was to use miles, the cheapest would be to use British Airways Avios – as Avios is a distance based program.

Here’s what it would cost me in Avios:

LOn to BCN w: Avios

But also notice the taxes: $27.50.

While that’s a tad cheaper then paying the cost of the LLC, you’re also using miles. Hypothetically, let’s assume you value you points are 1 cent each – you’ve now spent $27.50 + $65, for a total of $92.50 for one passenger, as opposed to $66 (on Ryanair) for two passengers.

When Using Points & Paying Taxes Makes Sense

The one thing to keep in mind is that LCCs charge for every add-on. So if you’re checking a lot of luggage, will have oversized bags or want to select your seat, you may be better of using Avios and paying the taxes.

Bottom Line:

If you find yourself in a similar situation and/or dilemma, hopefully my thought process can helpful. Of course, even if the cash outlay is cheaper than points – on say, a mistake fare or regular cheap ticket – it may not make sense for you if you’re miles rich-cash poor.

– The Miner

Cover image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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