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:
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.