Frequent flyer points are great because they can be redeemed for flights that would normally be very expensive. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to fly long-haul in Business or First Class, you can redeem your points and just pay the taxes!
But, unless you have a very high credit card spend or take hundreds of flights per year, chances are you won’t always have enough frequent flyer points in your account. This is where buying frequent flyer points can sometimes be helpful.
Why buy frequent flyer points?
The idea of buying airline points is to pay less for the points than you would have otherwise paid for the flights that they’re redeemed for. By buying and redeeming points strategically, you can get high-value Business and First Class flights for literally a fraction of the retail price!
When buying points from any airline, you’ll be able to then redeem the points with any of that airline’s partners. For example, United and Avianca are both in Star Alliance. So these airlines’ miles can be redeemed for flights with any other airline across the Star Alliance network. This includes Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada, Swiss and All Nippon Airways.
Here’s an example of a time it could make sense to buy frequent flyer miles. A “Super Saver” Economy class ticket on this Asiana flight from Seoul to Sydney is selling for the equivalent of USD618:
But you could buy enough Avianca LifeMiles during a promotion to purchase a Business Class ticket on the same flight for USD539. Add on the taxes of USD74, and you’re paying USD613 in total to fly Business Class. That’s less than the Economy ticket price!
Buy points at a discount for maximum value
There are several airlines – many of which are based in the United States – that offer regular, generous discounts and bonuses on buying miles! In fact, Avianca’s LifeMiles frequent flyer program regularly offers up to 145% bonus miles. It once offered 200% bonus miles.
Naturally, you’ll get the best value by buying points during one of these promotions! The only catch is that these offers are generally only available to existing program members. So if you’re not yet a member of the programs listed below, consider joining now for free.
Which airlines sell frequent flyer points?
Numerous airlines sell frequent flyer points. That said, the cost and usefulness of the points will vary by airline. Here are some guides from Australian Frequent Flyer about buying and redeeming miles with some of the most useful frequent flyer programs:
Want to learn more?
The Frequent Flyer Solutions training program contains an entire course on buying miles! You’ll learn in detail all of the tricks and strategies to make the most of the deals out there and really improve your travel experience.
Learn more about our training program.
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