Earning points – First Principles: Buying points and miles

Many major airlines offer a points or miles buying facility, with some, most notably American Airlines and Alaska Airlines often having point sales and bonus offers. These can be exceptional value, giving you the opportunity to buy points at heavily discounted rates to then use in the future.

When buying points from a partner, they can be used to book flights on your native airline. eg: If you buy Virgin America Elevate points, they can be used to redeem Virgin Australia flights. Purchased American Airlines miles can be used for Qantas flights.

Buying points does move away from the whole notion of ‘free flights’ from points earn, but it does enable you to top up your balance if you’re just shy of what you need. Often if there’s a points sale on, it can enable Business Class flights for around half retail price.

There are a few hoops to jump through, and can get quite complex. A great place to keep reading is Keith’s guide to the basics of buying airline and hotel points as well as how to buy points for cheap domestic Business Class flights.

Earning Points: First Principles

Using Points: First Principles

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