7 promotions for buying points and miles for less

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Loyalty programs are a huge moneymaker for airlines and hotel companies — in part because they have many revenue streams. One of these revenue streams is selling airline miles and hotel points at a discount or with a bonus directly to travelers.

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

This roundup of points and miles sales walks you through some of the best current offers on airline miles and hotel points, including some that may be targeted. But first, let’s discuss when it makes sense to buy points and miles.

Should I buy points and miles now?

Buying miles for high-end travel can be a good deal. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

There are a couple of things to consider before taking advantage of these points and miles sales.

First, buying points and miles only makes sense for certain travelers and at certain times. It’s generally a much better deal to earn points and miles for “free” through welcome bonuses tied to 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 rewards. It can also make sense when you need some more points ASAP to lock in a specific award.

We generally only recommend buying points or miles if you have an immediate use in mind. Otherwise, you’re left open to unexpected devaluations.

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

Related: What are points and miles worth? TPG’s current monthly valuations

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Promotions for buying airline miles

Air France Boeing 777-300ER business class. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Avianca LifeMiles

LifeMiles is offering up to a 45% bonus when you buy LifeMiles through May 30. While not quite as generous as promotions LifeMiles ran earlier this year, you can still use this promotion to fly in business class for the price of premium economy.

United MileagePlus

  • Current promotion: Up to a 100% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.89 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.1 cents per mile.
  • End date: May 31.
  • Link to buy miles.

United MileagePlus is offering a bonus or discount when you buy miles by May 31. Depending on your account, you’ll be targeted for a discount or bonus, but the purchase rate is significantly above TPG’s valuation of United miles. If you redeem for a high-value premium award seat, the math can still work in your favor in specific cases.

Air France Flying Blue

  • Current promotion: Up to a 100% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.52 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.2 cents per mile.
  • End date: June 11.
  • Link to buy miles.

Flying Blue offers some reasonably priced awards in both economy and business class, making this one to consider if you want to head to Europe for less.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan is letting members select up to 110% bonus points when purchasing Aeroplan points. Remember, Aeroplan processes point purchases in Canadian dollars, so use a card without a foreign transaction fee and do a currency conversion to determine your cost in dollars.

American Airlines AAdvantage

  • Current promotion: Up to a 35% discount.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 2.45 cents per mile.
  • TPG valuation: 1.77 cents per mile.
  • End 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 2.45 cents per mile. This is significantly higher than TPG’s valuation of American miles but could still be a good deal for specific high-end awards.

Promotions for buying hotel points

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 50% bonus when you buy at least 2,000 points, dropping the purchase rate to 0.83 cents per point. That’s close to our valuation of Marriott points, so it’s worth comparing award and cash rates to see if you can save on your next stay by purchasing points.

World of Hyatt

  • Current promotion: Up to a 25% bonus.
  • Purchase rate: As low as 1.8 cents per point.
  • TPG valuation: 1.7 cents per point.
  • End date: June 2.
  • Link to buy points.

World of Hyatt is a favorite of the TPG team for having the most valuable hotel points. When you buy at least 5,000 points through June 2, you’ll unlock a 25% discount. Last year, we saw a more intriguing promotion from Hyatt that allowed members to buy points for just 1.68 cents apiece. Still, this promotion could be worthwhile on certain stays, especially since Hyatt waives resort fees on award 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, you won’t usually get bonus rewards with a travel-category bonus card.

Instead, go for a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Remember that you may incur foreign transaction fees on some cards when buying points or miles from a program abroad. As such, you may want to use one of the following cards:

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

The main exception to this rule is American Airlines. 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 when buying AAdvantage miles.

Additional reporting by Caroline Tanner, Clint Henderson, Andrew Kunesh, Benji Stawski, Summer Hull and Katie Genter.

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