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When points are the best way to 'buy' airline tickets

So what will it be? Should you pay for that plane ticket or use points from your rewards credit card?

For those of us not swimming in points, it’s something we need to decide whenever we fly.

The Nerds at NerdWallet sampled 320 flights on the 20 most popular routes and found that:

  • For domestic flights, you'll get the best value for your points if you fly economy class
  • For business and first class, longer flights provide a better point value than shorter ones
  • For a one way ticket, especially for an international flight, use points

NerdWallet's credit expert, Sean McQuay, says they found that almost two thirds of one-way flights offer better point values than round-trip flights.

"That means if you need the flexibility of one-way, even if you're going to the same place and coming back again, but don't want to book that return flight just yet, points are going to be a great way to make that happen for you,” he said.

If you think there's any chance you'll need to change your ticket, NerdWallet found that paying with points can save you money. That’s because change fees for cash tickets can be significantly higher than award tickets.

More Info: 2017 Travel Credit Card Study

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