You can currently buy points and miles with up to a 120% bonus — but should you?

Jun 22, 2022

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As the travel industry continues to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, airlines and hotel groups are scrambling to find new or increased income streams to secure cash fast. One of these ways is selling airline miles and hotel points at a discount or with a bonus.

Selling points or miles gives the seller an immediate cash injection, as travelers are essentially prepaying for future travel at a potential discount.

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This guide walks you through some of the best current sales on airline miles and hotel points. But first, let’s discuss when it makes sense to buy points and miles.

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Should I buy points and miles now?

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

There are a couple of things to consider before taking advantage of these sales. The first is that buying points and miles only makes sense for certain travelers. It’s generally a much better deal to earn points and miles for “free” through welcome bonuses on top travel rewards credit cards.

However, buying points and miles during good promotions can make sense for those who have tapped out their credit card options and can get high value from their points and miles. That said, we only recommend buying points or miles when you have an immediate plan to use them. Otherwise, you’re left open to unexpected devaluations.

With that out of the way, here are the promotions for buying points and miles that are currently available.

Promotions for buying airline miles

Alaska Mileage Plan

  • Current promotion: Up to a 50% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.9 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.8 cents per mile.
  • Ending date: June 25.
  • Link to buy miles.

Alaska Mileage Plan is giving up to a 50% bonus when you purchase 20,000 miles or more. With the bonus, that’s 30,000 miles for just under $600, bringing the cost to as low as 1.9 cents per mile. This is still higher than our valuation of 1.8 cents per mile, but it can be a good way to score some partner tickets at a discount.

Verdict: A great way to buy a one-way business-class ticket for 50,000 miles to Asia for $1,000.

American AAdvantage

  • Current promotion: Up to a 35% discount.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 2.4 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.77 cents per mile.
  • Ending date: TBD.
  • Link to buy miles.

American Airlines AAdvantage is offering up to a 35% discount on miles. You’ll get the highest discount when you buy 150,000 miles, dropping the price to 2.4 cents per mile. This is significantly higher than TPG’s valuation but can be a good deal for specific high-end awards.

Verdict: Can be a decent deal if you expect to redeem your miles for otherwise expensive, premium tickets.

Flying Blue

  • Current promotion: Up to a 120% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.4 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.2 cents per mile.
  • Ending date: June 30.
  • Link to buy miles.

Flying Blue, the loyalty program for Air France and KLM, has a limited-time promotion where you can buy its miles for as low as 1.4 cents per mile. This assumes, however, that you’re buying at least 50,000 Flying Blue miles. Most travelers won’t buy that many miles, so the purchase rate becomes less appealing. For example, buying a total of 37,400 points, the promotional rate required for a flight from Austin to Amsterdam this month, costs $671. And then you have to pay around $150 in taxes and fees on your award ticket. That brings the award price of the ticket roughly in line with cash prices.

Verdict: Worth looking into, especially on Flying Blue monthly promotion tickets.

JetBlue TrueBlue

  • Current promotion: Up to a 60% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.8 cents per point.
  • TPG valuation: 1.3 cents per point.
  • Ending date: June 30.
  • Link to buy points.

When you buy more than 30,000 TrueBlue points, you will enjoy a 60% bonus. JetBlue uses a dynamic pricing model for its award tickets, so it’s hard to get more than 1.3 cents per point in value from the program.

Verdict: Unless you’re topping off your account, it’s probably one to skip.

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit

The Free Spirit program is offering a fixed 80% bonus when you buy points, regardless of the denomination. The purchase rate is still about 25% more than our valuation of Spirit points. Still, if you need to top off your account for a free flight, now is a great time to do it.

Verdict: Skip, unless you need to top off your account.

United MileagePlus

  • Current promotion: Up to a 90% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.9 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.21 cents per mile.
  • Ending date: June 30.
  • Link to buy miles.

United MileagePlus is giving up to a 90% bonus when you buy miles through the end of the month. Although we’re happy to see a promotion from United, the lowest purchase rate — which requires a minimum purchase of 45,000 miles — is still almost 40% more than our valuations.

Verdict: Probably skip, unless you’re buying for a flight where you can really maximize United miles.

Promotions for buying hotel points

Punta Cana coastline
The Punta Cana coastline in the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Preto Perola/Shutterstock.com)

Marriott Bonvoy

  • Current promotion: Up to a 45% discount.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 0.86 cents per point.
  • TPG valuation: 0.84 cents per point.
  • Ending date: July 15.
  • Link to buy points.

Right now, you can buy Marriott Bonvoy points with a 45% discount when you purchase 2,000 or more points by July 15. This drops the price to 0.86 cents apiece, just above our valuation of 0.84 cents apiece. That said, it might be worth considering to offset the cost of an expensive hotel or top up your account for a specific award night.

Verdict: Can be worthwhile for booking expensive Marriott stays.

Hilton Honors

  • Current promotion: Up to a 100% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 0.5 cents per point.
  • TPG valuation: 0.6 cents per point.
  • Ending date: July 19.
  • Link to buy points.

Hilton Honors is giving its members a 100% bonus when they purchase more than 5,000 Hilton Honors points by July 19. This brings the purchase rate below our valuation of Hilton Honors points. For 120,000 points (purchasable for $600), you can stay in a king lagoon-view suite at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui that normally sells for $1,456.99.

Verdict: Worth comparing cash and award prices on your next Hilton stay.

World of Hyatt

  • Current promotion: Up to a 30% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.8 cents per point.
  • TPG valuation: 1.7 cents per point.
  • Ending date: Aug. 1.
  • Link to buy points.

World of Hyatt, a favorite at TPG, is giving a 30% bonus when you buy more than 5,000 points. While the purchase rate is slightly higher than our valuation of Hyatt points, keep in mind that when you use points at a Hyatt hotel, resort fees are waived. And if you’re a Globalist member, your parking charges are waived when using points.

Verdict: Look at award rates and compare them to cash prices on your next Hyatt reservation.

Which credit card should you use to buy miles?

Most of these promotions are processed through Points.com rather than directly by the hotel or airline. Unfortunately, that means that you won’t usually get bonus rewards with a card that has a travel category bonus.

Instead, go for a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Some of the best cards that fit this bill include:

If you’re working toward a credit card spending requirement, using that card may be the way to go. You can check out our guide to the best cards for everyday spending for additional suggestions.

The main exception to this rule is American miles. The airline reportedly codes mileage purchases as airfare, so you may want to use a credit card that earns bonus miles on airfare for the highest returns on your mileage purchases.

Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen, Benji Stawski and Katie Genter.

Featured photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images.

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With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
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Regular APR
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Balance Transfer Fee
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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