1. One thing the podcast neglects to mention is that El-Al points can be used even if you don’t have enough for an award ticket. El-Al frequently comes up with special discount cash+points packages, where prices are typically $100-200 below the lowest cash price, and in return you give up 99 or 149 points. You also forfeit earning points, but then again low fare buckets don’t earn much anyway. This comes out to a value of something like $1 or $2 per point, which compares favorably with full award redemption rates in coach (not sure about business or first). These deals are usually offered through the AirTour consortium, so I guess they’re only available for travelers originating in Israel. Still, they offer a good way of using your points if you don’t fly enough to get full awards.

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