Airline points purchase deals

There’s little frequent flyers love more than points, so we’ve rounded up the best current offers on purchased miles across the board.

When it comes to locking in a luxurious redemption, points purchases can get you over the line. Buying miles strategically can especially make sense when there’s a deal involved.

From time to time, some frequent flyer programs will hold bonus or discount promotions on purchased points, which is typically the best time to buy.

While purchasing points can represent poor value (as you aren’t earning them on top of a product that you get as well e.g. a flight, accommodation, or wine) it’s certainly worth looking into if you’re reaching for a high-value redemption.

Current deals: Buying points

Struggling to get on top of all the latest deals on points purchases? Here’s what the airlines have on offer right now:

United MileagePlus: Up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles

Details: This tiered offer maxes out at a 100% bonus when you purchase between 50,000-87,000 MileagePlus miles. Those who purchase between 5,000-19,000 miles get a 50% bonus while buying 20,000-49,000 miles will earn you a 70% bonus.

Dates: This offer runs from 5 December to 22 December 2022.

Terms: Unites MileagePlus members can purchase a maximum of 175,000 MileagePlus miles per account each calendar year. Expect any purchased Unites miles to take up to 48 hours to appear in your account.

How much does it cost to purchase United MileagePlus miles?

Usually, United MileagePlus miles cost 3.5 cents (USD) per mile, plus a 7.5% tax. If you purchase miles with a 100% bonus you will receive 175,000 miles for $3,392.19 USD (around $4962 AUD), which works out to be a rate of 1.88 cents USD (about 2.75 cents AUD) per mile.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: Up to 70% bonus on purchased points

Details: Right now, Virgin Atlantic members can take advantage of a 70% bonus on purchased points when buying between 120,000-200,000 points.

The promotion is tiered, so those who buy 5,000-24,000 points get a 20% bonus, buying 25,000-69,000 points will attract a 30% bonus, while purchasing between 70,000-119,000 points will earn a 50% bonus.

Dates: This offer starts 9 December and ends 31 December 2022.

Terms: Virgin Atlantic usually allows members to purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year. However, the cap has been doubled under this promotion, meaning members can buy up to 200,000 points.

Purchased points should be accredited to your account within 4 hours.

Etihad Guest: Up to a 45% bonus on purchased miles

Details: Etihad Guest is offering up to a 45% bonus on miles. This bonus is tiered, meaning members who buy between 5,000-20,000 miles will get a 25% bonus, those who purchase between 21,000-40,000 miles will get a 35% bonus, while buying 41,000-100,000 miles will get you the maximum 45% bonus.

Dates: This offer runs from 12 December to 21 December 2022.

Terms: Etihad Guest limits members to purchasing 100,000 miles per calendar year (Etihad Guest Platinum members can, however, purchase up to 150,000 miles each year).

It’s also worth noting that purchased miles can take 72 hours to touch down in your account.

How much does it cost to purchase Etihad Guest miles?

Ordinarily, Etihad Guests charges 2 cents (USD) per mile (which is about 3 cents AUD).

Under the 45% bonus, members would therefore receive 145,000 Etihad Guest miles for $2,000 USD (about $2,925 AUD). This works out to be a rate of US1.38 cents or about 2 cents AUD.

Air Canada Aeroplan: Up to a 30% discount on purchased points

Details: Aeroplan members can currently get a 30% discount when purchasing over 100,000 points, while buying between 10,000-19,000 points will earn a 15% discount, purchasing between 20,000-75,000 points will get you a 20% discount, and buying 80,000-95,000 points will get you a 25% off.

Dates: This offer runs from 1 December and 31 December 2022.

Terms: Air Canada Aeroplan members can purchase up to one million points per calendar year, but there is a limit of 250,000 points per transaction.

How much does it cost to buy Air Canada Aeroplan points?

Air Canada Aeroplan points usually cost $0.035 CAD (about 0.038 AUD), so a 30% discount would mean you could purchase 250,000 points for $6,125 CAD (about 6,595.40 AUD).

Emirates Skywards: 20% bonus on purchased miles

Details: Emirates Skywards is offering a sale on purchased miles when you buy at least 5,000 miles in one transaction.

Dates: This bonus promotion runs from 12 December to 25 December 2022.

Terms: It can take up to 48 hours for purchased miles to post to your account, which should be considered if you’re planning to lock in an immediate redemption.

How much does it cost to purchase Skywards miles?

It’s important to note that you should also factor in exchange rates when determining the value of a points purchase.

Emirates Skywards usually charges 3 cents (USD) per mile, which is about 4.3 cents AUD. 

As such, under the 20% bonus promotion, $3,000 USD (around $4,388 AUD) would buy you 120,000 Skywards miles. This works out to be a rate of 2.5 cents (around 3.7 cents AUD).

Summary: Is buying points a good idea?

While buying points can often represent poor value, it may make sense to lock in a pointy-end redemption.

Bearing in mind that airlines can devalue frequent flyer points at any time, we only suggest buying points for immediate use.

If we were to choose one of these deals it would have to be Air Canada’s discount on Aeroplan points. As a Star Alliance member, Aeroplan partners with a huge number of airlines, as well as Virgin Australia.

Are you strictly a Qantas or Velocity frequent flyer? Check out our guides on buying Qantas Points and purchasing Velocity Points with the Velocity Points Booster.

While you’re here: Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest tips, deals and news. It only takes a few seconds and we respect your privacy:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top