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Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard

Former Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited:

Always a fan of flying, Spencer wanted to find ways to upgrade his travel experience. Over the years, Spencer has been a guest speaker on multiple YouTube shows as well as podcasts on maximizing point...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
& Kellie Jez

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Once you realize the amazing trips you can take by redeeming miles and points for award flights and hotel stays, you inevitably are more aware of ways to acquire more.

This often leads to wondering whether buying miles or points for these trips is a good deal. Airlines and hotels often send out emails to their loyalty program members promoting sales on miles and points that offer 40%, 50%, and even 100% bonus miles on top of the usual amount.

Many loyalty programs have contracted to run these miles- and points-selling programs for them. Let’s dig into what has to offer and whether you should buy miles from them.

What is

Image Credit: is a company that allows consumers to buy, exchange, and redeem miles and points, though the exchange and redemption rates are generally pretty terrible. also partners with airlines and hotel loyalty programs to run their miles and points selling promotions; if you’ve heard of before, it’s likely it was due to one of these promotions.

In fact, if you buy miles or points from an airline or hotel, you most likely will be making a purchase from rather than directly with the airline.

This is an important distinction as a purchase with will not code as a travel purchase, nor will it code as a purchase with whichever airline or hotel program you’re buying points for, making the purchase ineligible for a bonus multiplier on your travel rewards cards.

The prices you’re charged for buying miles and points can be high relative to the value you can get from them, so you want to be sure you have all the necessary info before making a purchase with one of the partners. also provides a loyalty program tracking service called Loyalty Wallet that allows you to keep track of your miles and points in 1 place. This is a similar service to AwardWallet, which also helps miles and points users keep track of their point balances and expiration dates.

Hot Tip: New to points and miles? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Points to get started. Partners partners with several airline and hotel loyalty programs to track, sell, and exchange miles and points to consumers.

If you’re looking to buy points, you can purchase them from the following partners via Purchase Partners
Air Canada AeroplanFrontier Airlines FrontierMilesMarriott BonvoyVirgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanIHG One RewardsSpirit Airlines Free SpiritWorld of Hyatt Loyalty Tracking Partners
Aer Lingus AerClubCoast RewardsJumeriah SiriusSouth African Airways Voyager
Air France/KLM Flying BlueCzech Airlines OK PlusKorean Air SKYPASSSouthwest Rapid Rewards
Air India Flying ReturnsDelta SkyMilesLe Club AccorhotelsShangri-La Golden Circle
American Airlines AAdvantageEL AL Matmid Frequent Flyer ClubLufthansa Miles & MoreSun Country Airlines Sun Country Rewards
ANA Mileage ClubEtihad Airways Etihad GuestMalaysia Airlines EnrichTAP Portugal TAP Miles&Go
Asiana ClubEurowings Boomerang ClubMeliáRewardsTaj InnerCircle
Best Western RewardsEVA Air Infinity MileageLandsOasis ClubTHAI Airways Royal Orchid Plus
British Airways Executive ClubFinnair PlusPhilippine Airlines Mabuhay MilesTrident Privilege
China Airlines Dynasty Flyer ProgramHawaiianMilesPorter Airlines VIPorterTurkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
China Eastern Airlines Eastern MilesHilton HonorsQantas Frequent FlyerUnited Airlines MileagePlus
China Southern Sky Pearl ClubJAL Mileage BankQatar Airways Privilege ClubVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Choice PrivilegesJet Airways JetPrivilegeRed Roof InnVueling Club
JetBlue TrueBlueSingapore Airlines KrisFlyerWestJet Rewards

Best Credit Cards to Use on

If you’re going to buy miles or points from one of these airline or hotel partners, make sure you use a credit card that will get you the best return for your purchase.

Purchases through will not code as travel purchases, so you will not receive any bonus multiplier for using a card that rewards travel purchases, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Be careful not to mix up where you’re buying your points, or you’ll miss out on utilizing your credit card’s bonus categories.

If you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards when buying miles or points through, check out the Chase Freedom Unlimited® that earns 1.5x points per dollar on all purchases.

If you want to earn American Express Membership Rewards, there isn’t a better option than The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express that earns 2x points on all purchases up to $50,000 in spending every calendar year. When buying miles or points through, this card will earn more points than any other card on the market.

If you’re buying miles directly from an airline, like American Airlines, the purchase will code as an airline purchase. You will be able to really maximize your returns by earning 3x points per $1 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, 4x points per $1 with the American Express® Gold Card, or 5x points per $1 with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

By using a card that earns you the most points possible, you’ll earn a bunch of points that can be redeemed for future travel.

Hot Tip: If you need some inspiration for future award flights, check out the best ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards.

When Should You Buy Miles or Points?

Now that you know what to expect when buying miles or points, the question comes down to whether you should buy them at all.

The simple answer is that it depends on your personal situation. Let’s take a look at a few examples of when buying miles or points might be a good move for you.

Prevent Miles or Points From Expiring

Many loyalty programs require activity on an account every 12 to 24 months for the miles or points to remain active. This isn’t usually a problem, but sometimes life events drastically cut down our ability to travel for an extended period of time. It would be a shame to lose your hard-earned points because of these situations.

Often an account can be kept active by something as simple as earning or redeeming miles or points. With that in mind, buying miles or points can get you the account activity you need very quickly to ensure your miles or points don’t expire.

There are better ways to prevent expiration if you plan ahead just a little bit. By using a service like AwardWallet, you’ll know your miles and points expiration dates, and it will send alerts so you’re never caught off guard.

With that information, you can then transfer points from a transferable program such as the Chase transfer partners or the American Express transfer partners, or use a co-branded credit card to make a purchase. Keep in mind that the points won’t post until your statement closes, so this might not be quick enough.

You could also use an airline or hotel shopping portal to make an upcoming purchase. You might even go eat at a restaurant that participates in an airline or hotel dining program.

If for some reason these other options don’t work out for you, buying miles or points can be a solid backup plan for keeping your account active.

Top off an Account for a Specific Award Redemption

The Apartments on Etihad’s A380 are perhaps the best first-class product in the world. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Sometimes you can do everything right… but the timing of released award space may not quite fit your schedule, and you’re still a few thousand miles short of an amazing redemption. This is when topping off your account by buying miles can make a lot of sense.

For example, let’s say you want to book the famous Etihad Apartments from John F. Kennedy International-New York City (JFK) to Abu Dhabi International (AUH). You have nearly enough American AAdvantage miles, but you’re just a bit short. You know that award availability can be tough to find on this flight from JFK, and buying the last few thousand miles could solve your problem.

American Airlines allows you to place 5-day holds on award flights, which means you can place the award you want on hold before buying the miles you need. This ensures that the award availability doesn’t disappear while you wait for the miles you just bought to deposit in your account!

Bottom Line: Definitely take advantage of a hold on your award ticket, if offered, before buying miles! Not all airlines allow holds on award tickets, but some airlines with great business and first-class products do, like Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines.

Limited Access to Credit Cards That Earn Points

Make sure you buy your miles during a promotional sale to get even more value. Image Credit:

In the U.S., many people have access to credit cards that earn miles and points. These credit cards often come with sign-up bonuses that go a long way toward helping you book award flights. However, in other parts of the world, there often aren’t as many credit card options.

If this is the case for you, buying miles can be a creative way to cut down on the cost of a fun flight. While the out of pocket cost could still be a couple of thousand dollars for a business or first-class flight, this can be a fraction of the cost of a cash ticket.

Time your purchases wisely during big sales so you can get the most miles possible.

Do Not Buy Miles or Points Speculatively

We’ve discussed when it might make sense to buy miles, but we need to be clear that buying miles speculatively is a very risky decision. If you don’t know exactly when you’ll be using the miles you buy, don’t buy the miles!

In fact, the ideal time to buy miles (if absolutely necessary) is right before you redeem them. Miles and points are not an investment that increases in value over time, so buying and holding them is extremely risky. When you consider the no-notice devaluations of award programs that we’ve seen by airlines such as Delta, this should be very clear.

Bottom Line: Don’t buy miles unless you know exactly what you are going to do with them!

Final Thoughts

Buying miles isn’t for everyone. Purchasing a few miles here and there might not cost too much, but buying a significant chunk of miles can easily cost you over $1,000. With that in mind, it’s vital that you be strategic when purchasing miles.

If there is a sale on miles and you have an award you would like to book, it may be the right move for you. Otherwise, utilize your credit card spending and sign-up bonuses to plan ahead.

Remember, if you buy miles, you want to make sure you are going to get a ton of value out of them! After all, the point of your miles and points is not to spend more than necessary for a redemption!

For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on your personal situation! If you are close to being able to redeem miles for an award flight or points for a hotel stay, it might be a good deal. Otherwise, it likely is not a good option. is a company that sells airline or hotel points and miles to consumers. also provides a market to exchange and redeem points. However, the value that these options provide is generally quite poor. You can also use its Loyalty Wallet service to track your point balances across various programs.

Similar to AwardWallet, has a product called Loyalty Wallet that helps people keep track of their miles and points in 1 place.

The service offers real-time point updates every time you sign in, bank-level security to keep your information safe, and access to these records via your phone or tablet through the app.

Generally, no, you should not. The exchange rates from program to program are usually pretty terrible. With that said, if you have points with a certain program that you know for a fact you have no use for, then it could make sense to transfer or exchange them.

Buying miles will almost always prevent your current miles from expiring, depending on the program. Usually, any qualifying activity that adds new miles to your account keeps your current miles from expiring. Purchasing a small number of miles can be a great way to accomplish that.

Unfortunately, no, they do not. If your purchase of points or miles is being fulfilled by, you should use a credit card that maximizes non-bonused spending, like the Freedom Unlimited card.

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience.

Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class!

Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Mario H

March 23, 2018


I just purchased some points (60,000) from IHG ( I did see the charge on my credit card right away and I am now able to see my 60,000 points in my IHG account but I still don’t see the 60,000 bonus I am due as per the promotion that ended yesterday.

Mario H.

Alex Miller

March 31, 2018

Sorry to hear about this, but we’re just a blog though and wouldn’t be able to help you. It would be best to get in contact directly with to fix your issue. Thanks

Rocky Chugh

July 08, 2019

What about converting airlines miles to points for redeeming gift cards? You didn’t mention what are the rates for this?

For example, how many points would I need for say a $50 gift card? I know it’s possible according to the website, but the rates are nowhere online.

Any info would be appreciated.

Jarrod West

July 10, 2019

Hi Rocky,

The rate to redeem miles for gift cards depends on the merchant you’re looking to obtain a gift card for. You would need to sign into your account and select your desired merchant to see that rate.

Carol Sether

August 13, 2019

8/13. My 24,700 points expire tomorrow! What do I have to do to extend them 6 months? Thank you for your help. Carol

Andrew Kunesh

August 13, 2019

Hey Carol, it’s hard to answer this question without knowing which loyalty program you’re referring to. However, we recommend buying a small number of miles as this should immediately reset the expiration date for most airlines. Thanks!


October 23, 2019

Can an organization purchase miles and gifted to our customers?

Jarrod West

October 25, 2019

Hi Mathew,

There does not appear to be any information regarding this on the website, I suggest you contact them directly to find out.


March 03, 2020

what is the phone number?

Jarrod West

March 04, 2020

Hi Jordan,

Here is the contact number for their Toronto office: 416-596-6370.


June 25, 2020 is a great concept but poorly run/administered IMO. They don’t accept major players such as Marriott and Hilton, and the few companies they do honor rarely have decent exchanges available. I was excited about the site at first (years and years ago), but it has slowly gone downhill and I now find it a waste of my time.


July 26, 2020

I agree, there are less options to exchange points in example.


November 24, 2020

Can you explain this further, “If you’re buying miles directly from an airline, like American Airlines, the purchase will code as an airline purchase.” 2 questions: Do American Airline miles purchases go through or not? Is there a list of airlines that do NOT sell their miles via Looking at ways to maximize my AMEX airline incidentals credit going forward without traveling.

Jarrod West

November 27, 2020

Hi Vince,

American Airlines mile purchases do not go through As far as I am aware, the only programs who do not handle their purchases through are American AAdvantage, Avianca Lifemiles, and Delta SkyMiles.

Richard L McCauley

February 10, 2021

I have IHG Rewards that I wish to transfer to United Airlines Mileage Plus. Please advise if I can transfer via, and if so, how do I transfer. Thank you.

Jarrod West

February 10, 2021

Hi Richard,

It does not appear that you can do it through You’ll have to call the IHG Rewards Club Service center to transfer your points to United.


April 30, 2021

Are points purchases considered online shopping spending and therefore, qualifies towards online shopping reward category (i.e. BoA Online Shopping Rewards Category?

Jarrod West

April 30, 2021

Hi Frank,

Unfortunately, they do not.

Brandon Christensen

June 17, 2021

Do you know if accepts Visa gift cards as a payment method? I could purchase gift cards through a grocery store to earn 4x on my credit card and then use that gift card to purchase points through But, this wouldn’t work if doesn’t accept visa gift cards as payment.

Jarrod West

June 22, 2021

Hi Brandon,

As far as I know, only accepts credit cards as a method of payment.

Catherine McRae

November 16, 2021

I purchased Aeroplan points on Nov.15th. $211.32 was charged to my VISA but Aeroplan has no record of this purchase. It was for 7,000+ points (1X my 3-month point accumulation).
The VISA charge appears as: AE PTS BY 800 361 5373
Could you please reverse this transaction as no points were actually purchased.

Christine Krzyszton

November 17, 2021

Hi Catherine. Please understand that we are not or affiliated. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in credit card rewards, personal finance, and travel-related resources. Since you have discovered already that does not have a record of your transaction, you may want to log into your Visa account and dispute the transaction. I have removed your credit card number for privacy reasons.


March 01, 2023

This is a great article about using to purchase miles! It’s always nice to have the option to purchase miles when needed, and makes it easy to do so. It’s great to know that there are so many different airlines that can be purchased through the site. I’m definitely going to keep this article in mind the next time I need to purchase miles. Thanks for the helpful information!


March 19, 2023

I know this is an old post, but I recently purchased KLM points and was charged sales tax since I used my Canadian billing address. My question, do any other countries charge tax when buying points? I have families in Australia, as well as in Europe (Not in the USA unfortunately).

Chris Hassan

March 20, 2023

Yes, sales tax will be added to points purchases in other countries as well, including the U.S.


May 08, 2023

Hey there,

First of all thank you for all the great content! Quick question, I keep trying to buy Marriott points in this promotions but I always get an error saying the information needs to match the information in the profile (which it does), the money gets hold on my credit card and after a few days is return and no points. My account is older than 30 days and I haven’t buy points for Marriott ever. I open 3 tickets with Marriott customer services but they haven’t help. I know this is not a tech support forum but wanted to know if someone has experienced the same issue and was able to resolve it



August 09, 2023

Great insights on buying miles . The article breaks down the benefits and considerations, helping readers make informed choices. Thanks for sharing!


September 08, 2023 is gone since purchased by another company. No way to use it for miles as before.

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