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.
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, Amtrak, Icelandair, Frontier 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 (no longer exists!) and some US Airways miles (no longer exists!). 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
- 7,225 Icelandair Saga points
- 5,041 JetBlue TrueBlue points
There are also a lot of US shopping programme options, and some other US airline choices, 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. When I picked up a chunk of Virgin America miles in 2014 I was happy to convert them into IHG points.
If you have a few spare miles or points sitting around in any of the schemes I listed above, you might want to sign up with points.com and see if they are worth anything.