Frequent flyer programs generally fall into two camps when it comes to selling you points or miles directly – those who allow it, or even promote it aggressively, and those who either don’t allow it or set the price so high as to make it uneconomical.
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Asia Miles pretty much falls into the latter camp, but if you are a few thousand miles short of a specific redemption, it’s worth knowing how to buy some Asia Miles to get you over the line.
There are two options when it comes to buying direct from Asia Miles themselves – purchasing a top up, and buying Asia Miles more generally.
Both are documented in the Asia Miles FAQs here.
Note: Asia Miles expire after 36 months from accrual but can be renewed for a fee. Read more about it here.
Buy Asia Miles when you have a specific award in mind
This option is the better of the two – if you are going to redeem your Asia Miles for a specific award, then they will let you call up to purchase miles to top up your account.
You’ll need to have 70% of the required Asia Miles for the award you have in mind and although I’m not 100% on this, it’s likely you will need to have a specifically available flight and date in mind.
The cost is $60 USD per 2,000 Asia Miles, so a per mile cost of 3 cents USD. This is normally well above what I’d pay to acquire them but I’d say if you need 10,000 miles or less, it’s worth considering to get you over the line.
To generally buy Asia Miles
You can also generally purchase Asia Miles Gift Miles for friends and family, but there are few conditions to the purchase.
Quoting from the Asia Miles site directly:
- Asia Miles Gift Miles are only available to Asia Miles members (both givers and recipients) who have at least one valid Asia Miles accrual transaction recorded in their accounts for the last 12 months.
- The minimum purchase amount is 1,000 Asia Miles at USD32.50, with further blocks of 500 Asia Miles available at USD16.25 per block.
- A USD20 service fee applies per purchase transaction.
- To purchase, log on to your Asia Miles account online and click “Other Services” under “Your Account,” then select “Asia Miles Gift Miles” and follow the instructions accordingly.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you gifting yourself some miles if you had a need.
Excluding the USD $20 transaction, you’ll be looking at a rate of 3.25 US cents per mile, so more expensive than the top up award, plus the transaction fee.
Alternative – buy Starpoints and transfer to Asia Miles
Starwood Preferred Guest have a partnership with Asia Miles where Starpoints can be transferred over at a 1:1 transfer rate, along with a 5,000 point bonus if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints. The rate is usually over 3 US cents per point but during sale or bonus times, this comes down around 25%.
Other ways of earning more miles on a short term basis
If you are strategic and think ahead a little, there are often ways you can earn some miles in the short term, which you would have earned down the track anyway.
A few of my favourites –
- Bring forward large purchases or transactions you would be making any way, such as council rates, tax office spend, or utility bills
- If you have a card that offers you bonus points for supermarket spend, consider buying some vouchers for other retailers from the supermarket (including for the supermarket themselves) to hold in hand and earn the bonus points on your transaction
- Use online malls e.g. through the Asia Miles iShop to earn points and bring forward large purchases you would be making anyway to bank the points sooner.