Save big: The best deals for buying miles and points right now
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
There are plenty of ways to earn miles and points, even if you’re not travelling right now. However, it can be difficult to amass a large enough balance for that dream redemption, which can easily cost you a six-figure miles and points balance.
Did you know that many loyalty programmes will sell you points and miles in their programme directly? At full price, it rarely makes sense to purchase large quantities of miles and points, as the price will usually be much higher than our valuation of that currency. You might be able to squeeze more value than you paid for the points and miles, but probably not much more.
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When it can make sense to purchase miles and points is when the programme reduces the price as part of a promotion. They will usually do this by offering a bonus percentage of miles or at a discounted price. For example, if a programme sold its points currency at a full price of 2p per point and then offered a 50% bonus on purchased points, this would bring the price per point down to 1.3p per point. This might bring it much closer to our valuation, or even below our valuation where you can really maximise your travel.
Right now, with airlines trying to raise and conserve cash amid a global travel slowdown, some programmes are offering great prices on purchased points and miles.
Here are our picks for the best deals right now.
American Airlines AAdvantage — Rather than receiving bonus miles, you can save at least 10% (when you buy a minimum of 6,000 miles) up to 45% off (when you buy 150,000 miles) until 31 July 2020, where you can get miles from as low as 1.75c/1.41p each. We currently value AAdvantage miles at 1.2p each. You can purchase up to 150,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year (before any bonus).
Hilton Honors – You can receive a 100% bonus when purchasing at least 10,000 Hilton points until 15 July 2020. You can purchase up to 160,000 points with this bonus, which reduces the cost to 0.5c/0.4p per point. This is right where we value Hilton points.
Marriott Bonvoy — Get a 60% bonus by purchasing up to a total of 160,000 Marriott points (across two transactions, including bonus points) through 15 July 2020. This is the highest-ever bonus offered on purchasing Bonvoy points. You can buy points them for as low as 0.8c/0.6p per point, which is a good value given TPG U.K. values Bonvoy points at 0.7p each.
World of Hyatt – Receive a 30% bonus when you buy at least 5,000 points, up to 55,000 points per calendar year, before any bonuses are applied. This brings the price per point down to 1.85c/1.5p each. We value World of Hyatt points right on this value, at 1.5p each.
There are some great offers here, though you need to aware of the risks of purchasing miles. The general rule of the loyalty hobby is that points and miles will never be worth more than they are right now, but they could definitely be worth less in the future. This is because loyalty programmes have the right to change (devalue) their programmes at any time. They can (and do) increase the amount of points or miles needed for certain redemptions from time to time.
If you have an immediate use for the points or miles, such as topping up your account to book that dream redemption, it could make sense to buy. Otherwise, given all this uncertainty, we’re wary of purchasing miles speculatively, even with all these bonuses.
Featured image by Zach Griff / The Points Guy