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100% Bonuses Ending Soon and Other Buy Points, Miles Promotions Worth Considering

There are a slew of buy points and miles promotions currently available, with offers as high as 100% bonus points/miles. While we have individual posts on each of these promotions, we figured that it’d be helpful to have a roundup the current offers in one post. Before we get to the offers, let’s get one …

There are a slew of buy points and miles promotions currently available, with offers as high as 100% bonus points/miles. While we have individual posts on each of these promotions, we figured that it’d be helpful to have a roundup the current offers in one post.

Before we get to the offers, let’s get one thing out of the way up front: buying points and miles makes sense only for certain travelers. It’s obviously much better to earn points and miles for free through credit card sign-up bonuses. However, buying points and miles during good promotions can make sense for travelers who have tapped out their credit card options and can get high value from their points and miles.

While my case is a bit extreme, I’m one of those travelers who personally takes advantage of buy-points and miles promotions. In 2018, I bought the maximum number allowed of IHG Rewards points, Choice Privileges points, La Quinta Returns points and American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Here are the buy-points and miles promotions currently available, sorted by those ending first:

In This Post

United MileagePlus

While an 85% bonus sounds pretty good, United typically sells miles at such a high rate that you need at least a 100% bonus to make it a decent rate. That said, some travelers can still get value out of buying points at over 2 cents each — especially when you take advantage of the Excursionist Perk. Still, make sure that you check the other ways to get United miles before you resort to buying more.

Verdict: Pass unless you’ve exhausted your other options and can get good value awards.

Marriott Bonvoy

TPG dropped his value of Marriott Bonvoy points from 0.9 to 0.8 cents per point due to continuing issues with the program. That said, there’s plenty of value to be had from redemptions if you know where to look or can book a fifth-night free award.

Verdict: Good deal for those who know how to navigate the pitfalls of the program.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Lots of people love Southwest, and that includes us at TPG. But, this isn’t a good deal for almost anyone. Southwest’s fixed-value mileage program means that you’re not going to get an especially good deal from your Rapid Rewards points. So, there’s no point in buying points at higher rate than they can be redeemed.

Verdict: Pass.

Alaska Mileage Plan

Alaska is currently selling miles at its best-ever rate of 50% bonus. While that bonus rate doesn’t sound as impressive as some of the other offers here, it’s arguably the best offer currently. That’s because Alaska Mileage Plan has some incredible partner redemptions like Cathay Pacific first class. Even better, you can get a stopover on a one-way award, so you can see two destinations on one award.

Verdict: Solid deal for those who know how to use Alaska miles.

British Airways

British Airways is on the verge of devaluing its program, and — while the airline isn’t officially sharing the new award rates — TPG has cobbled together the new award chart by calling and pricing awards. If you want to take advantage of the current Avios award chart, this buy Avios deal isn’t a bad option. Just make sure that you’re maximizing the distance-based award chart, and not wasting Avios for transatlantic economy flights. If you’re looking for other ways of stocking up on Avios to book awards before the devaluation, don’t forget about the 30% bonus for transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to BA Avios.

Verdict: Only a good deal for those who know how to maximize Avios and have a plan to burn before the devaluation.

Hilton Honors

Another great deal is buying Hilton Honors points with a 100% bonus. That drops the purchase price to just 0.5 cents per point — which is less than TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per point. That opens up all kinds of excellent redemption options. Here are some great options to consider.

Verdict: Great deal.

American Airlines

Just a day after its existing buy-points promotion ended, American Airlines relaunched a new buy miles promotion offering up to 40% off these purchases. That makes the optimal rate for buying miles 1.92 cents per mile. While that’s a significant premium to TPG valuations, buying points under two cents can be appealing for some travelers. However, there’s a problem with how this deal is structured for those looking to get the most out of their 150,000 annual limit to buying miles: a discount isn’t nearly as good as a bonus. In the just-ended deal, you could’ve gotten 265,000 miles at 1.81 cents each and been done for the year. Instead, with this deal, you can only get 150,000 miles at 1.92 cents each. So, it’s better for these type of travelers to wait for another bonus promotion.

Verdict: Only good for those who need to top off their account.

Etihad

Back in March 2016, American Airlines posted a mass devaluation of its miles. But there’s a way to still book awards at those rates: Etihad Guest Miles. And there’s plenty of gems to be had there. As with many airline mileage programs, don’t plan on getting good value from awards on the airline’s own flights; partner redemptions is where you’ll get the value. While a 20% bonus doesn’t sound great, note that Etihad miles normally sell for just 2 cents each — a very reasonable rate for buying miles without a bonus.

Verdict: Great deal once you know how to use Etihad miles

Which Credit Card to Use

Most of these buy-point/mile promotions are processed through Points.com rather than by the hotel or airline directly. Unfortunately, that means that you won’t generally get bonus points/miles on a card that has a travel category bonus. However, we have noticed from TPG testing one card that has reliably earned 3x points on Points.com purchases: the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. So, don’t pass up the opportunity to earn 3x points (6% return) if you have that card.

Otherwise, consider using the The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express (2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 per year; then 1x, giving you a 4% return), Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5% cash back/1.5x Ultimate Rewards points for a 3% return) or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard (2x Arrival miles for a 2.1% return factoring in the 5% points rebate).

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Featured image by skaman306 via GettyImages

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