Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Swapping miles between programmes with

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A recent post on exchanging Miles & More miles for Heathrow shopping vouchers triggered a question about exchanging United MileagePlus points. The answer I gave was to use and I thought it was worth writing a little about this.

If you have ever bought Avios, Priority Club points or BMI miles, you may have noticed that your credit card statement showed ‘’ as the merchant. 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.

Now, don’t get too excited about this. Avios is not part of the scheme, for a start. 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, is better than nothing.

I have used it in the past to clear out a small number of American Airlines miles (before they insisted on a 25,000 minimum transfer) and some US Airways miles. In both cases I turned them into a modest number of Priority Club hotel points.

Let’s look at a typical trade. Imagine that for some reason you have 1,000 US Airways Dividend Miles languishing. This is what will offer you in exchange:

  • 219 American Airlines miles
  • 425 Priority Club points
  • 212 Aeroplan miles
  • 208 Alaska Airlines miles
  • 425 Asia Miles
  • 197 Delta Skymiles
  • 232 Early Returns miles
  • 283 IcelandAir miles
  • 219 United MileagePlus miles
  • 179 Virgin America points

There are also a lot of US shopping programme options, but they are of little interest to UK residents. You should also note that, whilst US Amex cardholders can trade Membership Rewards points, UK members cannot.

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 75% of the value of your 1,000 US Airways miles. However, if you have no use for 1,000 expiring US Airways miles and you do collect Priority Club hotel points, then it is a trade worth doing. There are also no fees to pay to anyone for ‘exchange’ transactions.

When looking at the website, you will note that it also allows you to trade points with other members, after paying a stupidly large fee to As far as I can tell, this is always poor value and I do not recommend it. When seeing what you can get for your points, look at the ‘exchange’ results and not the ‘trade’ results.

In the past it was possible to get a small sign-up bonus of 200 Priority Club points when joining That has now gone, and I don’t know of any current sign-up deals. Please post in the comments if you know otherwise.

Comments (2)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Darren says:

    Shocking conversion rate lol.

  • john says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have 10000 UA miles, but I found I would have 10K if I converted my orphan Asia Miles via I would use the UA miles for Priority Club. However, converting the same amount of Asia Miles directly to Priority Club would earn more! Oh well.

    Apparently there was an announcement last October of a new partnership allowing UA to cash out to Paypal, so I’ll have to see if the minimum is lowered.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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