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Sunday Reader Question: Does Buying Miles and Points Count As a Travel Expense?

by on July 1, 2012 · 4 comments

in Buy Miles Promotions, Sunday Reader Questions

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TPG reader Alvaro asks:

“Are buying points from US Airways (with current promotion) considered travel? I know it’s not airfare but should I purchase them with my Sapphire Preferred so they fall under the travel category?”

It would be great if travel category spending bonuses like the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 2x bonus were eligible on mileage purchases.

Great question – especially since so many credit cards these days give bonuses for travel/airfare like the 3x points you get with the Amex Premier Rewards card, and the Sapphire Preferred 2x points as Alvaro mentions. So it would be great to get those bonuses in addition to a great deal like the recent 100% US Airways bonus. However, in general buying miles and points will not count as a travel purchase since most are actually sold via third party sites like points.com. Delta is the main exception and I have had my mileage purchases count towards travel and even the Amex Platinum $200 yearly fee rebate.

However, it never hurts to ask when trying to get the point bonus. Both Amex and Chase have great customer service and from time to time when my category bonuses don’t post correctly I call and they will manually give me the extra points. While I wouldn’t bank on this for mileage purchases, it never hurts to ask!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • PJ

    I bet if you call in Sapphire Preferred politely as we usually do, they double it in a neo second. That is my experience when I know an item as Travel but miscoded

  • Briankoo

    I’m surprised you got AmEx Platinum to count your Delta SkyMiles purchases as travel to count towards the $200 annual benefit. I purchased gobs of miles last year when they ran the 100% bonus offer, and none of that counted towards my $200 benefit.

    I got something in the mail about a month ago from AmEx Platinum reminding me to use my $200 benefit and the mailing specifically excludes purchases of FF program miles as something that will be reimbursed under the $200 benefit. So how did you get around that limitation?

  • PJ

    re: Reimbursement on AMEX platinum $200 airline incidentals
    I got a few United ( Continental ) gift certificates instead after clicking on $ 6 times and $100 one time to add up $400.
    My best friend tried to book cash ticket EWR to TPE, United would not take the $100 GC since the last leg is a partner flight from Norita to TPE. very funky rule indeed. so specifically only one Gift Certificate is allowed on a revenue ticket and has to be 1000 % UNITED flights

  • Hihi

    it doesnt..i bought priority club points and it was single point on chase sapphire..i called and asked and they gave it to me as a 1 time courtesy

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