Its hard to keep pace with all the points and miles that are on discount at the moment. Loyalty programs piggyback on big sale days like Black Friday to offer discounted prices or heavy bonuses on purchased points and miles. One of the most common questions I get is “Is it worth it?”, and often the answer ranges between absolutely to it-depends. Below I outline the top 3 reasons to buy points and miles on discount.
Top 3 reasons to buy points and miles on discount
- High end luxury redemptions
First Class flights or Overwater Bungalows anyone? Using points and miles to redeem for luxury travel is an unbeatable value.
For example, the overwater bungalows of IC Bora Bora Thalasso (French Polynesia, retails at ~$1000+ USD/night), but can be redeemed for only 60,000 points ($345 or less with IHG points sale)
Or Cathay First Class flights from North America to Asia can be had for 70,000 miles each way (~$1300 USD under Alaska bonus miles promotion), which can run thousands more as a cash ticket.
Award tickets can be further maximized by utilizing stopovers, open-jaw, other generous routing rules and mix cabin itineraries.
2. Top up accounts
The most common reason for buying points and miles is to top up an account towards a specific redemption. The idea is to purchase a specific amount of points or miles to top up the existing balance that would meet the immediate requirement for a redemption. For example: If I am short 5,000 points from a desired 20,000 SPG redemption, I would consider buying the 5K points for $113 (regular $175) under the SPG 35% discount on purchased points.
3. Keep accounts active
Often I have been guilty of ignoring my non-primary accounts for a year or more. To avoid my accounts from going inactive or to prevent balance from expiring, I consider buying the minimum points or miles available at promotional rates. Having switched my loyalty from Hyatt to SPG, I recently received an email from Hyatt about the inactivity of my account. To avoid risking the expiry of points, I was more than happy to purchase 5K points (with a 20% bonus) during the recent Hyatt 40% bonus promotions. In doing so, not only did I extend the validity of my points by another 24 months, I inched closer to the next low tier redemption – Hyatt Regency Montreal is a Cat 2 redemption where a standard room is available for 8000 points or 4,000+$77 CAD.
Current Points and Miles purchase promotions (some, not all):
Alaska MileagePlan – Up to 40% bonus miles (ends December 28th, 2017)
Avianca LifeMiles – 145% Bonus miles (ends November 27th, 2017)
World of Hyatt – Up to 40% bonus points (ends December 15th, 2017)
SPG – 35% off on points purchase (ends December 29th, 2017)
IHG – up to 100% Bonus points (ends December 8th, 2017)
The promotions are coming in thick and fast. I recommend to not rush into purchasing without having a definite plan. Don’t buy simply to pad up your account balances. Golden rule is to earn/buy and burn the points and miles within 10-12 month cycle, to avoid major devaluations.
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