The world was hit hard by Covid-19, but luckily, things have started picking up, and travel is beginning to come back. As this happens, hotel and flight rates are also going up, especially in the luxury segment. However, almost all major travel outlets, fortunately, sell miles and points with bonuses as well, often, and this could make for a good discount on the rates being offered by these airlines and hotels.
I thought it would be a great time to put out an update on all the hotel miles and points that are up for sale right now so that you can stock up the right ones for your travels, and start planning your travel for later in the year. Some of these are expiring soon.
Airline Miles bonus sales
Alaska Airlines is offering a flash sale, where up to 50% bonus on miles bought is being offered in a tiered fashion. While different members would have received a different tier in terms of the promotion construction, you can purchase up with up to a 50% Bonus on purchased miles, which will bring your net cost of miles bought to 1.97 US Cents / INR 1.49 per mile bought. With an assortment of partners such as Singapore Airlines, all oneworld airlines and then some others, and the ability to book stopovers, this is a great programme to consider buying miles on. Here are the details, written in an earlier post.
United MileagePlus is offering a sale on purchased miles through 11:59 PM Central Time on Monday, March 21, 2022. Different accounts have been targetted for different offers, but the most common offer I’ve seen is a 50% discount. At the highest bracket, I am able to buy a total of 175,000 miles at a price of USD 3,292.19, which is a rate of 1.88 USD cents per mile bought (or INR 1.43 per mile)
Hotel Points bonus sales
IHG Rewards is currently offering an up to 100% bonus on purchased points when you buy more than 5,000 points, you earn a 100% bonus until March 18, 2022. You can buy up to 150,000 points with this promotion, which will get you a total of 300,000 points in your account (150K+150K) if you get the 100% bonus. The price of each point works out to be 0.5 USD Cent or INR 0.37 per point purchased. Read this post for details.
Marriott Bonvoy is offering a buy miles promotion, where you get a 50% bonus when you buy miles by March 23, 2022. The promotion is tiered as follows:
- On buying/gifting 2,000-9,000 points, you get a 40% bonus
- On buying/gifting 10,000-39,000 points, you get a 45% bonus
- On buying/gifting 40,000-100,000 points, you get a 50% bonus
Marriott Bonvoy is running a buy miles promotion that expires on March 23, 2022. When buying 40,000 to 100,000 points, you earn a 50% bonus, bringing the purchase rate to just 0.83 US cents per point (or INR 0.62 per point).
As long as the Marriott Bonvoy award chart is still fixed and predictable, there is value to be had at properties that are high priced (including various properties that are luxury, and available outside the country).
Which Credit Card to use to buy miles and points?
Typically, these point purchases are processed through Points.com and not directly by the hotel or airline. However, you are going to almost always pay in USD/EUR/GBP and not INR. So, the best cards to earn a bonus are Citi Prestige and American Express Platinum Charge Card, as these cards offer an international spend bonus. Beyond these, you might want to look at any card which offers a reduced foreign exchange spend conversion, or one where you want to meet any minimum spend requirements.
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