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Turkish Airlines recently launched the ability to pay for your tickets using a combination of cash and miles. Tickets purchased using Turkish Cash & Miles are considered cash tickets. That means they earn Turkish Miles & Smiles miles as if you had paid cash for your fare. You can pay for up to 50% of your Turkish Airlines ticket using Cash & Miles.
Here's what you need to know about this new offering.
Turkish Airlines Cash & Miles Overview
- Cash & Miles fares are considered revenue fares that earn miles.
- Fares are subject to standard fare rules.
- You can use Cash & Miles on both Turkish Airlines domestic and international tickets.
- Cash & Miles fares must be booked via the Turkish Airlines website or its mobile app.
- You can pay for up to 50% of your airfare using Cash & Miles. Note that's the before-tax price.
- Mileage conversion rates vary according to the ticket type.
- Changes can not be paid for using Cash & Miles.
How to Use Turkish Cash & Miles
If you're interested in using the new Cash & Miles option, start by simply starting a flight search on Turkish Airlines' website. Select your flight(s) and continue to the payment screen. If you're logged into your Miles & Smiles account, you should see the option to choose the Cash & Miles option.
In the example flight we tested, travelers had the option between the following six options:
- $1,289.87 cash price
- $1,229.92 plus 7,913 miles
- $1,193.95 plus 12,661 miles
- $1,169.97 plus 15,827 miles
- $1,110.02 plus 23,740 miles
- $1,050.07 plus 31,654 miles
Each of these choices provides just 0.758 cents per Miles & Smile mile in value. That's a terrible redemption rate for a very valuable mileage currency.
Other Options to Turkish Cash & Miles
Keep in mind that you do have alternatives to using Cash & Miles to pay for your ticket. If you can find the ticket you want as an award, you are better off booking it all with miles. Unless you have a ton of Turkish miles already in your Miles & Smiles account, in all likelihood, you will need to boost your mileage balance. Fortunately, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points or Marriott Bonvoy points to Turkish Airlines.
Citi ThankYou points transfer to Turkish Miles & Smiles at a ratio of 1:1 with a minimum transfer of 1,000 points. AwardWallet user data points suggest that transfers are not instantaneous but take up to one day.
Alternatively, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Turkish Miles & Smiles at a ratio of 3:1 with a minimum transfer of 3,000 points. Keep in mind that if you are going to transfer Marriott points, you should always look to transfer 60,000 points since Marriot has a built-in bonus in its transfer program. When you transfer 60,000 points, you will receive a 5,000 miles bonus. So, with the bonus, you receive 25,000 miles instead of 20,000 when transferring Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 3:1.
Anytime an airline mileage program provides a new way to use your miles, it's good news. Although to use Cash & Miles effectively, you have to be strategic. Unfortunately, the redemption rate seems to be quite poor. In most cases, using miles to pay for a substantial portion of your fare can be very expensive.
However, if you have orphan miles in a Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles account, then using them through this new Cash & Miles program is a bonus. But, you are generally best served by paying for your fares either in cash or booking the flight as an award.
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