Q: Can I pay part miles and part cash for an award?
A: Most programs allow you to purchase enough additional miles to bring your balance up to an award level. So in a sense, you'd be using miles and cash (to purchase more miles) for the award. While this option can be attractive if you're only short a few miles, be sure not to overpay. It hardly makes good economic sense to spend more buying the miles than you would spend buying the ticket.
A few airlines do have promotions or ongoing offers letting you pay part cash and part miles for a ticket. These tickets can be good value, but you must do the math to make sure you do not overpay. Read our feature on cash-and-miles offers for more information.