## What is “Whichever higher”?

Situation: You call to your favourite restaurant to reserve a private room for family dinner on Saturday.  The restaurant manager tells you that there will be a minimum charge of \$2000 for a private room.   That mean, if your orders exceed the minimum charge, you will pay for what you order.  On the other hand, if your orders just \$1500 values of food, you still need to pay \$2000.

Put it in other words…

IF \$Order > Minimum Charge, Then \$Order, Else Minimum Charge

In Excel, the top-of-mind function should be IF:

```=IF(A1>B1,A1,B1)
where
A1 = \$Order
B1 = Minimum Charge```

Indeed, the same can be achieved by using MAX:

`=MAX(A1,B1)`

Isn’t it a nice alternative?

## What is “Whichever lower”?

Situation: You want to subscribe a mobile data plan.  However, you are worry that you are spending too much than you can budget for.  Luckily, most mobile vendors offer what they called “Hassle-Free” data plan:  No matter how much data you use, your bill payment will be capped at a fixed amount, say \$1000, i.e. a maximum payment.

Put it in other words…

IF \$ Data used < Maximum Payment, Then \$Data usage, Else Maximum Payment

In Excel, it is

```=IF(A1<B1,A1,B1)
where
A1 = \$ Data used
B1 = Maximum Payment```

This time, the same can be achieved by using MIN:

`=MIN(A1,B1)`

Shorter and easier expression!  Isn’t it?

The following screenshot demonstrates the usage:

This is cool…. BUT I am a bit confused because…

• When the situation is dealing with Minimum Payment, MAX is used
• When the situation is dealing with Maximum Payment, MIN is used

Totally agree with you… as I am confused too  😛

So let’s put it in other words…

• When dealing with “Whichever higher“, use MAX
• When dealing with “Whichever lower“, use MIN

Make more sense now?  I hope so. 🙂