An example of when not to use miles or points to travel

While everyone likes to travel for free, there are times when it makes more sense to actually pay for a flight or a hotel reservation.

IRS rules stipulates that trips paid for with miles and points aren’t tax deductible, and it is only fair, since you do not pay any income tax on the value of the points when you earn them in the first place. If you have a situation where you would like to deduct a trip for tax purposes, such as going to a business related conference, then paying cash for the actual flight and hotel expenses is the way to go. Certainly the trip would be completely free if you use your miles and points instead, but not tax deductible**. It all depends on what you want to accomplish.

Another reason why you would want to pay for a trip is to take advantage of a really good promotion, such as last year’s Club Carlson 50,000 points and 44,000 points giveaways and the Buy One, Get One promo. In that case we were able to turn a $68 room rate into a free night at another property for $589 a night! In that case, paying for the actual room was clearly the way to go.

In the free travel world, there are always many choices to take advantage of, so you should always think of what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your own travel goals.




**Disclaimer: The information on this website should not be used in any actual transaction without the advice and guidance of a professional tax adviser who is familiar with all the relevant facts. 

Although the information contained here is presented in good faith and believed to be correct, it is general in nature and is not intended as tax advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for the individuals’ specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of other matters. assumes no obligation to inform any person of any changes in the tax law or other factors that could affect the information contained herein. 

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

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