Redeeming for Travel VS Redeeming for a New iPhone

Since the new iPhone 15 was recently released, I thought it would be a good time to compare the value you could get with your points by redeeming for Flights or redeeming for a new iPhone.  They both sound like great ideas right?  It would be nice to not have to spend any cash on either of these pricey items, but in this post I will illustrate why it could be a better idea to use your points on flights instead of a brand new iPhone as tempting as that may be.

The lowest cost option for a new iPhone 15 Pro is $999.00 through the Apple website or any mobile carrier.  

Chase is charging 99,000 Ultimate Rewards points to buy a new iPhone 15 Pro.  This is a redemption value of $0.01 per point.  Not bad, but you could probably do better.

American Express is charging a whopping 164,003 Membership Rewards points for the same new iPhone 15 Pro.  This is a redemption value of $0.006 per point, which is obviously worse than redeeming through Chase.

So, if you were to consider using points to buy a new iPhone 15 Pro, the best use would be to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  But for 99,000 points what kind of flight redemptions could you possibly get?  Let's look at a few examples.

In this example, if you transfer your Chase or American Express points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, you can get a roundtrip economy ticket from Los Angeles to Singapore for 84,000 points plus $70.55 taxes and fees. 

The cash price for this roundtrip ticket is $1,537.25.  So this means if you used your points for this ticket you would be getting a redemption value of $0.017 per point, which is better that the redemption value you would get redeeming for a new iPhone with either Chase or American Express.

Let's look at another example redeeming on Singapore Airlines, but this time it would be for a business class one-way ticket.  As you can see, a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Singapore in business class would cost 107,000 points plus $5.60 for taxes and fees.

The cash price for this one-way business class ticket is $3,046.20.  The redemption value you would get by using your points for this ticket would be $0.028 per point.  If you're able to find business class availability, this is by far the best redemption option.

So to summarize, this post is meant to make you think about what available options you may have and help you make the best decision when redeeming your hard earned points.  As you can see from these few examples, if you are trying to maximize your point redemptions, it's a good idea to look into what you may be able to get by redeeming your points with credit card airline partners.  Since you get better value per point redeeming for airline tickets, you could use your points to redeem for flights and pay cash for a new iPhone.  You would save more cash this way.  But if you are set on using your points to get a new iPhone then by all means make that redemption if it makes you happy.  After all, any redemption that makes you happy is a good redemption.

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