How to swap points between programmes with www.points.com

If you have ever bought Avios, IHG Rewards Club points or various other miles, you may have noticed that your credit card statement showed ‘points.com’ as the merchant.

points.com is a 2-legged business, half of which is handling ‘buy points’ requests for various frequent traveller schemes. The other half is operating a free online exchange for miles and points.

You can register for points.com, for free, via this link.

Now, don’t get too excited about this. Avios is not part of the scheme, for a start.  It is only really worth registering if you have some unwanted IHG Rewards Club, Melia Rewards, Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta Skymiles, Virgin American Elevate, Amtrak, Icelandair, Frontier, La Quinta or JetBlue points.  There are some other partners but I doubt you will be a member of them.

The exchange rates they use are also very poor. However …. if you have a small number of miles in an airline or hotel programme that you are never going to use, and which may be expiring, points.com is better than nothing.

I have used it in the past to clear out a small number of American Airlines miles (no longer an exchange partner), some Virgin America miles and some US Airways miles. In all cases I turned them into a modest number of IHG Rewards Club hotel points.

Let’s look at a typical trade. Imagine that for some reason you have 15,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles languishing. This is what points.com will offer you in exchange:

  • 10,837 IHG Rewards Club points
  • 12,041 Melia Rewards points
  • 4,582 Virgin America Elevate miles

There are also a lot of US shopping programme options, but they are of little interest to UK residents.

Now, you don’t need to be a genius to realise that none of those transfer deals are great value. On average, you are losing 66% of the value of your 15,000 Aeroplan miles.

However, if you have no use for 15,000 Aeroplan miles and you do collect IHG Rewards Club hotel points, then it is a trade worth doing. There are no fees to pay to anyone for ‘exchange’ transactions.  When I picked up a chunk of Virgin America miles in 2014 I was happy to convert them into IHG points.

Last two days to book IHG hotels at the old rates before devaluation
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Comments

  1. Haven’t kept up to date, but you used to be able to convert Aeroplan to Asia miles at 1 to 0.7, which isn’t bad.

    Going the other way was 1 Asia miles to 0.3 Aeroplan though

  2. There are probably some reasonable opportunities to convert e.g. AC to CX/IHG if you fly a *A airline that earns nothing with your preferred *A program but does earn with AC.

  3. Roger Wilco says:

    Points.com exchanges are really only for cases as described – better to get SOMETHING than expiry and lose it all.

    Points.com also offers trade (supposedly between members) – that’s a strict no-no. It involves a hefty cash portion on top of very, very bad points exchange rates. More often than not, you can directly buy the points cheaper than the cash portion of the trade.

  4. Points.com usually charges a kind of sales tax.

    It’s beyond me for the international business.

  5. Is Hyatt a member? Got some languishing points there, but very few.

  6. Of course, you could have credited your Virgin America flight to Virgin Flying Club. I wonder if you would have then got MORE IHG points by transferring them then…

  7. Oh! Matron! says:

    C**tF**kTards….

    Sorry for the expletives… Their home page lists United: https://points.com/static/img/logos/en/united.svg

    Do they support United? Nope. I’ve got 18,000 points languishing that I’m unlikely to spend by october this year…. No idea what to do with them. Half tempted to transfer to Marriott, which I can hopefully spend with SPG when they merge their systems

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Wicked. I’m not some super hairy level with united which means my points are staying put :-(

    • The Marriott transfer is not a total waste.

      That said, I know someone whose mother in India fell ill recently and he was able to book a Lufthansa First Class one way ticket from Germany to India, leaving 4 hours later, for 60,000 United miles and a pittance of tax. You never know when these things come in handy.

      (That said, you’re not going far with 18,000!)

      See what they want for Turkish business class from Heathrow to Istanbul one way. That gets you a flat bed 777 on some flights as you will see in my review next week.

    • If you think there is a chance you’ll use the points after October an easy way to extend their expiry is to make a purchase online via Mileageplus Shopping, do a search for Zinio and you should be able to pick up a digital copy of a magazine for a pound.

    • Book a room with your united miles…not a complete waste,,,

  8. Oh Matron!
    I had similar situation but used our United points for hotel bookings on our trip to Palma and Barcelona.

  9. Sorry for OT question – if you downgrade a BAPP to the free BA Amex do you continue using the same physical card or do they send out a new card? Thanks.

  10. I have some Emirates skywards points due to expire this summer – there is no chance of me using them for a reward flight so wondered if there was any way to transfer them before expiry??

  11. Hi Guys, my wife and I both have 10k AA miles that expire next month.
    With the devaluation are they now worthless or should I try and keep them alive, if so what is the easiest cheapest way to do this? thanks Adrian

  12. OT Virgin website now showing that E, Q, X and H class fares can now be upgraded with miles and also eligible for companion ticket.

  13. OT but does anyone know if Tesco are still selling the Visa gift cards? I looked this lunch time at the 3 Tesco Metro in the City and couldn’t find any.

  14. Like the idea but sadly only a few partners… Is there any way of extracting $58 in Air New Zealand Airpoints into something useful?

    Doesn’t seem like a huge amount for a return from LHR to LAX.

  15. Most of mine are paid at the correct rate (they tended to track initially at the normal rate but then confirmed/paid at the uplift rate). I can’t be bothered with a few that don’t paid correctly as their service/response is terrible and not very proactive. I tend to find that the Asian bookings paid out quite quickly (2-3 months after stay) but the European hotels can take anything up to 6-8 months. In fact just had a payout from a July 2015 stay!

  16. Thanks! Just sent over £100 from Hilton stays! Glad I never cashed out earlier!

  17. They got minimums for any transfer. For example, I have unnecessary 1500 miles of Hainan Airlines (they are a partner of Points.com) and unnecessary 4600 miles of Aeroplan, but cannot do anything with them.

  18. Where does it say Hilton pays out over and above the £50 Tesco limit – I’m not seeing it?

    • Might not say anything but the Tesco button would show payable on Payout

      • Danny said in his post it was on top of the £50 Tesco limit – I get it would show Tesco under the payable bit but I didn’t see in the Hilton notes that it would payout over and above the Tesco £50 limit – would it not normally specifically say that ?

        • Fairly sure it used to say that before they stopped it. This is probably a glitch, (?), so I’d use it while you can, not exactly easy to magic up Hilton spend, though.

  19. Can anyone help me – i have 9,500 asia miles, can anyone advise me in how i can get these transfered out?