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Mile

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False. The truth is there is no magic number. Mileage does play a role in a vehicle’s value, but not as much as you might think. As a general rule, the value of your vehicle will drop slightly with every 10,000 miles you add. But according to Edmunds data, there is no major drop-off at any certain milestone. Even the infamous 100,000-mile mark is not a value-killer as long as the vehicle is in good shape.

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“In these uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever to conserve cash for the unknown,” says Brian Kelly, travel expert and founder of The Points Guy. “For travelers, there’s never been a better time to use frequent flyer miles since airlines have reduced/eliminated fees to change or cancel awards. So you save money and get increased flexibility if your plans change.”

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As with airfares, the number of miles or points needed to book a frequent-flyer award seat will vary day by day. I recommend calling the awards desk rather than going online to search availability. Last year I was looking for business-class award seats on British Airways and found none online, but when I spoke to someone on the phone there were lots of options. That said, American was offering, on its app but not on its website, “online only” business and first-class awards at greatly reduced mileage, so it’s a good idea to try both methods. Check multiple times before committing.

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American, Delta and United let passengers use miles (15,000 to 20,000) plus a copay of $75, on lower-48 domestic routes, to upgrade from economy. Sometimes an upgrade is available immediately when you call the airline’s award desk, but usually you’ll be put on a waitlist.

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American, Delta and United let passengers use miles (15,000 to 20,000) plus a copay of $75, on lower-48 domestic routes, to upgrade from economy. Sometimes an upgrade is available immediately when you call the airline's award desk, but usually you'll be put on a waitlist. How far in advance you book, the price of the economy fare, and the time you check in for the flight may affect your chances. Upgrades on flights to Hawaii and international destinations will cost more miles and higher copays, and other airlines besides those mentioned also allow mileage upgrades.

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Get something for nothing. If you travel, sign up for a major credit card that pays you back in airline or hotel miles. A good source on current offers is ThePointsGuy.com. Or, save on everyday goods. Target’s REDcard gets you 5% off all purchases and free shipping on Target.com.

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