You can currently buy points at a 100% bonus — but should you?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest promotions.
The travel industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Last year, thousands of aircraft were parked due to low passenger loads, while hotel occupancy in the U.S. and abroad has plunged to historic levels. While the recovery has started, airlines and hotel groups are still scrambling to find new income streams to secure fast cash. One of these ways is selling airline miles and hotel points at a discount or bonus. This gives the airline an immediate cash injection as travelers are essentially prepaying for future travel at a discount.
We’ll walk you through all of the current airline mile and hotel point sales that we consider good deals. But first, let’s discuss when it even makes sense to buy miles.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Should I buy points and miles now?
While these deals sound great on paper, there are a couple of things to consider before taking advantage of point sales. The first is that buying points and miles makes sense only for certain travelers. It’s generally much better 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 buy-points and miles promotions currently available.
Buy airline mile promotions
- Current promo: Up to a 100% bonus
- Purchase rate: As low as 1.88 cents per mile
- TPG valuation: 1.3 cents per mile
- Ending date: July 23, 2021
- Link to buy points
United is running a targeted buy miles promotion where you can buy United MileagePlus miles with up to a 100% bonus. You can buy United miles for just 1.88 cents per mile when you buy at least 40,000 miles and are targeted for the highest bonus. This price is higher than our valuation of 1.3 cents per mile, but it may work out if you want to use miles to cover a high-cost business class flight or need to top up for a specific award.
Verdict: It can be an okay deal for scoring discounted Star Alliance flights.
- Current promo: Up to a 60% bonus
- Purchase rate: As low as 1.84 cents per point
- TPG valuation: 1.3 cents per point
- Ending date: July 28, 2021
- Link to buy points
You can buy JetBlue TrueBlue points with a targeted bonus of up to 60%. If targeted for the highest offer, you must purchase at least 30,000 points to get the full bonus. This brings the price down to 1.84 cents per point. JetBlue award prices are based on the cash cost of a ticket and you’ll get roughly 1.3 cents per point in value on most redemptions. With that in mind, skip this buy miles promotion unless you need to purchase a few points for a specific award.
Verdict: Decent deal for topping up for a specific award ticket.
- Current promo: Up to a 70% bonus
- Purchase rate: As low as 1.6 cents per point
- TPG valuation: 1.5 cents per point
- Ending date: Aug. 14, 2021
- Link to buy points
You can buy Virgin points with a 70% bonus through the middle of August. The highest bonus is awarded when you purchase at least 100,000 points, dropping the price to 1.6 cents per point. This is 0.1 cents per point higher than TPG’s valuation but can be a good deal for booking discounted partner tickets.
For example, you can book a round-trip ticket to Europe in Delta One for roughly $1,600 plus taxes. Or, you can book a round-trip ticket from the U.S. West Coast to Tokyo in ANA first class for $1,760 plus taxes. ANA awards are an excellent deal, given cash fares are often well over $15,000 round-trip.
Verdict: Great deal for booking partner awards.
Buy hotel points promotions
- Current promo: Up to a 75% bonus
- Purchase rate: 0.57 cents per point
- TPG valuation: 0.5 cents per point
- Ending date: Aug. 13, 2021
- Link to buy points
IHG Rewards is offering a 75% bonus on points purchased by Aug. 13, dropping the price to 0.57 cents per point. This is a solid price for IHG points and can be a great way to score a discount on expensive stays. Just note that IHG Rewards caps the number of points you can purchase to 150,000 points per calendar year.
Verdict: It can be a good deal for booking IHG stays at a discount.
- Current promo: Up to a 25% bonus
- Purchase rate: 0.74 cents per point
- TPG valuation: 0.6 cents per point
- Ending date: Aug. 31, 2021
- Link to buy points
You can buy Choice Privileges points with a targeted bonus through the end of August. A couple of TPG staffers were targeted for a 25% bonus, bringing the cost to 0.74 cents per point. This is slightly higher than TPG’s valuation but can still be an excellent way to get a discount on Choice hotel stays. Do your own research and see if it makes sense to buy Choice points for your next stay.
Verdict: This can be a good way to get a discount on Choice stays.
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 generally get bonus rewards with a card that has a travel category bonus.
Instead, go for one that offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Some of the best cards that fit this bill include:
- The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express (2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (at least 1.5% cash back/1.5x Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (2x miles on all purchases)
If you’re completing a credit card spending requirement, buying points or miles can help you get it done faster. You can check out our guide to the best cards for everyday spending for additional suggestions.
The only exception to this rule is American miles. The airline reportedly codes mileage purchases as airfare, so you’ll want to use a credit card that earns bonus miles on airfare for the highest returns on your mileage purchases.
Featured image by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
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.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees