How many miles you need for a free flight depends on the dollar cost of the flight. On average, a one-way domestic flight will cost between 6,000 miles and 20,000 miles, depending on the airline. A one-way international coach flight will cost 35,000-50,000 miles.
Airline miles and points are generally worth around 1 cent each, but their value can vary. For instance, when redeeming Southwest points for a free flight, each point is worth 1-1.5 cents, depending on the route and date of the flight. United miles are worth between 1 and 2.5 cents each.
How Many Miles You Need for Free Flight by Major Airline:
American Airlines: 7,500+ miles needed for a free one-way domestic flight.
United Airlines: 10,000+ miles needed for a free one-way domestic flight.
Southwest Airlines: 2,372+ miles needed for a free one-way flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles (cheapest option).
Frontier Airlines: 10,000+ miles needed for a free one-way domestic flight.
JetBlue Airlines: 3,400+ miles needed for a free one-way flight from Long Beach, CA to Las Vegas (cheapest option).
Getting an airline credit card can help you earn miles and free flights faster than a frequent flyer program alone, especially with large signup bonuses. The Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, for example, comes with a signup bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $2,500 in the first three months. Since the $99 annual fee is waived the first year, you can get those bonus miles and redeem for free flights before having to pay any annual fee.
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