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Do the math

April 02, 2006

Your frequent-flier miles can be worth from a tenth of a cent apiece to 5 to 10 cents. To get the most for your miles, you must determine the true value of the award item, then divide that price by the number of miles. Here are some approximate valuations. Remember that fares are always changing and that merchandise prices vary among stores and websites.

*--* Ticket/merchandise Price Miles cost Value per mile L.A. to N.Y. restricted round-trip $250 25,000 0.010 coach L.A. to N.Y. restricted round-trip 1,540 40,000 0.039 business L.A. to Tokyo restricted 850 65,000 0.013 round-trip coach L.A. to Tokyo restricted 4,800 90,000 0.053 round-trip business Airline club, one-year membership 450 70,000 0.006 Nikon digital SLR camera 700 99,500 0.007 Anolon cookware set 390 38,500 0.010 Toshiba 42-inch HD plasma screen 2,850 324,000 0.009

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