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Should I Buy Airline Miles?

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Imagine flying to Japan for free.

When you partner with the right credit card, with great airline benefits and rewards, you could fly around the world purely off of your points.

If you don't have the points on your account yet, you can actually buy them from the airline. This is different from the points you sometimes redeem for your flights. You can actually just buy miles to save as a surplus and then use them whenever you take your next trip.

I get asked frequently, "should I buy miles for this?"

Sometimes my answer is, “no.”

In fact, there are some scenarios where you might want to avoid buying miles.

In this blog, I'm going to go through the process to show you what scenario you want to buy miles and other scenarios where you don't want to buy miles.

How to Buy Airline Miles on Sale

In order to buy miles, you just need to google the airline name along with "buy miles" and there should be a tab to click to purchase your miles.

I definitely recommend shopping around and seeing which sales are better than going with the one that best fits your miles specification.

Any time you want to buy miles, you want to make sure it's when they're having a sale. However, some sales are better than others.

You purchase miles in increments. Usually, when you’re buying miles during a sale, you buy a set number of miles and then with the sale, they'll add a sometimes significant amount of miles for free.

Here's how you can determine if you're getting a good deal with the sale:

  • Go to "Google Flights" and check and see the average price for the trip you want to take.

  • Then, go to the airline's website and see how many points it would cost you to book the same flight.

Check the difference. Some sales will be thousands of dollars more than just the basic price you'll find on Google Flights.

When to Buy Points & Miles

So we’ve discussed how to buy airline miles and the reasons behind it, so when is a good time to buy?

If the average international flight cost about 100,000-160,000 miles, you need to make sure you're spending wisely. Don't pay double for a ticket just so you can get points.

The situations where it does make sense are:

  • When you don't have quite enough of your personal points and you want to buy more to pay the difference.

  • When the airline has a sale and you have an actual trip planned.

  • Bonus: In some cases, you can buy points at a promo rate that will cost you less in cash than the actual cash cost of the booking!

For the first situation, again, it's all about whether you're saving money with buying miles. Fo instance, if the trip you're trying to take will cost you 150K miles and you only have 140K miles, then buy.

Keep it in the 10-25K range if you're buying miles. Very rarely does it make sense to buy 100,000+ miles.

For the second situation, it only makes sense if you find a deal that makes you money. That seems like a no-brainer, but it actually will require some research and planning on your end.

Let You Credit Stacking Pay For Your Next Trip

So if you’re considering buying airline miles, remember:

  • You can buy miles from an airline, this is different from redeeming points.

  • It’s best to buy miles when you’re trying to bridge a small gap from what you have and what you need.

  • Some “sales” actually cost more than the actual plane tickets.

In the Credit Stacking course, you can learn more about how to use your points to save big on your next flight. We break down point systems with each major credit card and discuss which cards have the best rewards system.

If you'd like to learn more about Credit Stacking and how it can work for you, consider joining our community!

You as a business owner or a responsible credit card owner work hard for your points. Let your points now work for you through Credit Stacking.


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