8 Great Opportunities To Buy Points

Filed Under: Great Deals
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Update: This article contains mentions of Chase Freedom Unlimited® whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.

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We frequently see loyalty programs sell points at a discount, and for many this is an opportunity to buy points at a cost that makes sense, especially for aspirational redemptions.

At the moment we’re seeing many programs sell points at a discount, so in this post I wanted to provide a recap of that, since it can be tough to keep track of the various deals out there.

Here are eight of the best deals right now, in order of promotion expiration dates:

In each of the above cases, I linked to a post that talks about when it does and doesn’t make sense to buy points from those programs, so check that out. Don’t necessarily assume that a 100% bonus in one program is a better deal than a 50% bonus in another program, since different programs have different value propositions to begin with.

Of the above offers, I tend to think the Avianca LifeMiles, Iberia Plus, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt offers are the best.

American AAdvantage and Avianca LifeMiles mileage purchases are all processed directly. That means those purchases should qualify as airfare, and therefore I’d recommend using one of the following cards:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
American Express® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
American Express® Green Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Other purchases should be facilitated by points.com. Those purchases don’t qualify as airfare or hotel purchases, which should impact the credit card you use.

For points.com purchases I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review).

However, keep in mind those two cards have foreign transaction fees, so you wouldn’t want to use them for any points purchases in foreign currencies.

Are you taking advantage of any of the opportunities to buy points at the moment?

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  1. in the article from marriott it says the following.

    “At 0.83 cents per point you’d be paying the equivalent of $333 per night, which is about a third of the paid rate. That’s an incredible value.”

    so i’ve been reading this part over and over again and i still don’t understand why did you divided it into 3?

    clearly i’m missing something….?

  2. In the example the room rate was 200,000 points or $5,200 cash.

    If you paid $0.83 per point, the room could be had for 200,000 * $0.83 / 5 nights which is $332.

    If you paid cash it would be $5,200 / 5 nights, or $1,040.

    $332 is roughly 1/3 of $1,040.

  3. @ Ben — Except Avios at 1.3 cpp, these deals are not good, and that is putting it nicely. I can believe you would suggest IHG points at .57 is even remotely close to a good deal.

  4. If you can maximize the Marriott deal (i.e. buy in 60,000 points increments), you’re essentially getting a transferable airlines miles currency at 2-cents per mile.

  5. Can you buy Iberia avios and move them to linked and active BA account without getting a quick expiration?

  6. @Gene I’m staying at Kimpton Seafire starting tomorrow for 4 nights for 210K IHG points (with 4th night free from IHG card) 210K*.57 is around $300/nt for cancellable rate. Non-cancellable rates in Feb generally start at $800 so it’s a pretty good deal.

    Purchasing IHG points is not an “easy win”, but it can enable some apirational trips at a discount. Otherwise IHG points @.57 is pretty much par value.


  7. Anything more than 0.5 cpp for IHG points is not good value. If you need a smallish top-up to reach an award, then 0.57 will do the job, but not exceptional value.

  8. LOL, if Lucky has to resort to pushing people buying points, because supposedly you get the fantastic value for paying 330 USD at Edition Bodrum, in cheap/ass Turkey you know that buying Marriott points is for suckers only 🙂

  9. i can understand there is some value in buying Marriott points im Japan maybe, when you are happy paying 500+ USD for regular Ritz, but the luxury hotel prices have gone into the stratosphere during last 10 years and this coronavirus scare is finally bringing them down. and you dont have to buy the points.
    I am right now in Fairmont Singapore, paying 135 USD incl taxes with AccorPlus.

  10. Regarding the AAdvantage sale: here’s how I lowered 1.86 cents to 1.48 cents — I bought 150,000 miles at a total cost of $4,315.05, but with the 82,500 bonus miles and the 10% discount, I accrued 232,500 miles. I opened a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card, which offers a 50,000-mile bonus on a $2,500 spend. Charging the $4,315.05 to that, I now have 282,500 miles. But…. since that card offers 2x on airline spending, i’ve accrued another 8630 miles (that number might change due to taxes/fees possibly not being eligible for miles). In total, I’ve earned 291,130.1 miles on a $4,315.05 spend. That brings it down to 1.48 cents per mile, which is closer to Lucy’s stated value on AAdvantage miles.

    If that’s not enough, the Citi Advantage Platinum Select card gives people access to reduced mileage awards on select routes, which could lower that 1.48 cents spend even further.

    I love this stuff!

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