Your Guide to Buying Airline Miles

By: Mileage Geek Categories: Air Miles, Airline Miles

If you are interested in buying air miles, but you are new to travel, then you may be wondering how to accrue, buy and use them to your advantage. The fact is there are many benefits to buying miles, and this guide will help you through the process.

Obtaining Air Miles

Today I’ll show you how you can buy miles online on your Favorite Airlines in 3 easy steps.

Normally the typical way you earn miles is by frequent flying, or by spending a lot of cash on your credit card. But let’s be real, it would take you many, many trips or a lot of spending on your credit card to accrue enough points for a single trip.

Well, I am here to tell you, no more waiting to earn miles, no taking trips to rack up miles, and no more shopping on your credit card to earn points.

As one of the best kept secrets in air travel, you can buy miles to get tickets in the first and business class without breaking the bank. You get the best bang for your buck when you use these miles on long-haul flights between countries. Most people are not excited about flying in coach for 10 to 12 hours, so sitting in the better, premium cabins is a great way to travel.

Buying miles is a simple task. Some people go directly to the airlines to buy their miles,(way too expensive and limited to the number of miles you may purchase in a year) others use their credit cards to accrue them, and some have discovered that you can go to Mileage Brokerage Websites and buy as many miles as you need for as low as 1.6 -1.8 cents a mile and any number of times with no restrictions.

Compare the Cost of Using Miles Versus Paying in Cash

“International Travel: The Numbers Game”

International Travel is where it works best, the general consensus is that buying miles for Business and First Class tickets in the case of international travel will save you around 30-70 percent of the published Airline price.

A Business Class ticket to Europe requires 80,000 miles. The average cost of a mile is 0.016-.02cents. This amounts to $ 1600-$2000, Now compared to the published fare of Airlines and other travel sites. The average business class fare to Europe varies from $3400 – $5000. It is evident that in this scenario, buying miles is way cheaper.

A Business Class ticket from New York to Hong Kong costs anywhere between $8000-$10,000. Let’s apply the same calculation as before: The miles required are 145000 with an average cost of 0.02 cents a mile. This gives a cost of $2900-$3000. Again a massive difference.

Of course, keep in mind you still have to pay the airline taxes. So the long and short of it is that whether you are contemplating buying miles for a Domestic ticket or International ticket, be it for coach , business or first class, check for fares online on sites like Kayak, Expedia among others and then compare the fares with the cost of the miles you wish to purchase. If the ticket price is cheaper online, buy that. If buying miles is cheaper then go with this option. It’s straightforward.

Are Air Miles Right for You?

It is important to note that air miles may not be the best fit for everyone. If you only take one trip per year across state lines, then you are probably better off just buying a ticket. However, if you travel more often and you want to sit in the premium cabins without breaking the bank, then purchasing air miles is a must.

66 thoughts on “Your Guide to Buying Airline Miles

  1. I was looking to buy some a year ago and didn’t know about this to be honest, I lost some because got expired so I actually would be in a better level with some airlines, nice info.

  2. This is great for someone who flies for business I only fly twice maybe 3 times a year so this wouldn’t be something for me great for people who do fly to Asia , Thanks for the info.

  3. Thank you for this helpful information. I see that it is best for business class or higher. But it’s nice to know that there is a nice option for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge to travel internationally in comfort!

  4. Great information. I had no clue that by buying miles you may actually save money. I will definitely check this option out the next time I fly.

  5. Understanding the unit pricing of the airline miles is important, definitely some good tips here to utilize to get the most value out of your next purchase.

  6. Sounds simple. Haven’t done it yet but when the right deal comes along I’m set to pounce on it. Thanks, Mileage Club!!

  7. Hmmm, I’ve never looked at it from that perspective, I’ll do the math before I buy my next ticket. Thanks

  8. I never found miles to be really helpful to me. If I am able to use the info here, I may be able to change that.

  9. I have to say, I have never heard of Broker Mileage sites. I travel about 4 times a year, two in-state and two out of the country, and my wife and I do work moderately hard to obtain miles by purchasing household items on a certain airline-miles linked card. But it’s very slow-going and I am going to read more about this topic and bring it up to my wife. I’d like to get her take on it and then we may move forward on checking it out!

  10. Airline miles are a great concept for people that travel for work or pleasure. I have many more questions for people that are proficient at using miles!

  11. I hadn’t heard of this before but what a great idea! I’m definitely going to look into the Mileage Club more.

  12. Nice to have resources like this to break down options … because I know I’ll never spend the time doing it myself but appreciate someone else doing it.

  13. Airline miles are a great concept for people that travel for work or pleasure. It travel abroad 5 – 6 times a year so this would be so useful

  14. I am a true believer! We just paid one way to Venice using air miles. Round trip would have been WAAY to costly for 3 of us. I like the idea of buying air miles. Never knew that. We buy everything on our Mileage Plus card. Nice to know all this info

  15. My mom gets miles through her work! It’s awesome when it’s family vacation time and one of us gets to fly for free or have a night free at a hotel. Traveling with my family is my favorite!

  16. It can be difficult redeeming miles sometimes. I appreciate the suggestions from you The Mileage Club.

  17. This is awesome! I am always trying to find great deals on airlines and wondered about buying miles. I would love to use them to visit Santorini!

  18. OMG I had no idea you could BUY miles! I wondered how people who do not travel a lot were able to score such great savings.

Leave a Reply

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

"The frequent flyer scheme has become as much part of the business traveler's life as a mobile phone or a passport. Indeed, when they were launched twenty-five years ago, air miles promised to be the passport to riches for those flyer loyal and busy enough to earn them."
"For the average traveler, that means buying miles or points in order to reach a threshold for an award ticket. Most airline charge 3 to 5 cents per miles."
"There is a group of traveler junkies so obsessed with racking up frequently flier miles, they scour the internet for deals that take them through little known airports."

TheMileageClub Card Icon