Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to swap some airline and hotel points between programmes with points.com

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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 and Virgin Atlantic are not part of the scheme, for a start.  

It is only really worth registering if you have some unwanted points with:

  • IHG
  • Melia
  • Amtrak
  • Icelandair
  • JetBlue

There are some other partners but I doubt you will be a member of them.  The list has dwindled over the years with Air Canada and Delta stopping transfer options in the last couple of years.

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.

What sort of value does points.com offer?

Let’s look at a typical trade. Imagine that for some reason you have 10,000 JetBlue points languishing. This is what points.com will offer you in exchange:

  • 6,375 IHG Rewards Club points
  • 7,083 MeliaRewards points
  • 4,250 Icelandair Saga points
  • 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points

There are also some 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, I have always found that you lose around 65% of the value of your points.

However, if you have no use for 10,000 JetBlue 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 a few years ago 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.

Comments (11)

  • Simon says:

    Apologies as I wrote this last week but couldn’t find the original post to check any answers.

    It seems impossible to transfer points from Iberia to BA currently. I couldn’t find a way and my avios.com sign in is disabled I spoke to a customer service agent who confirmed only BA to Iberia was possible at the moment. Is there another way to do this/anyone else had problems? TIA. Simon.

    • Robert says:

      I moved points from Iberia to avios.com, then to BAEC last night. The Iberia page threw up errors a few times (in Chrome), but eventually got the points to avios.com (on Firefox), then an easy transfer to BAEC. As long as your Avios.com account is open and working it, you can definitely do it.

      • Tony says:

        +1

        That’s always been my experience. Iberia reacts differently to different browsers so it’s always worth trying different options when doing these transfers

        • Happy Tim says:

          I was able to (eventually) transfer points from Iberia to BA, but I needed to dissolve my BA Family account before the online transfer option became available.

          It took about 5 calls to both BA and Iberia customer services before this solution was proposed. I believe that this can only happen online and cannot be undertaken manually.

          • Rob says:

            You didn’t need to do this. You could have opened a Vueling account and gone IB to Vueling / Avios.com to BA.

    • RussellH says:

      Probably not your problem, but Iberia does now permit an alphanumeric 6 char password, rather than the 6 fihure PIN required previously.
      However, combine my avios does not, in my experience, permit an alphanumeric password and only works with a PIN.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Well that was easy! Just sent 1200 orphan jetblue miles over to get 765 IHG points.
    Nice that the minimum is only 1000 and you can move miles in chunks of 100 allowing – rather than needing to have tens of thousands of miles to be eligable.

  • C E says:

    Points.com related but not related to this topic but recently attempted to purchase Alaska Mileage Plan miles on Sunday – the first time failed due to a processing error (using Curve MasterCard – linked to Virgin CC), second with Amex was successful.

    My Virgin card was charged – not just pending transaction – and although I have proof of the posting error, both Alaska & Points.com are negating responsibility for refunding. Any ideas on how to proceed, go straight to raising a dispute or wait a few more days to see if the refund is automatically processed? Thanks 🙂

  • Alex Sm says:

    Points.com value has greatly diminished over the last couple of years as many providers left them and points balances / exchanges are no longer available. And their customer service is very poor, they refused to recognise my Amtrak account until my points finally expired!

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