The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Airline Miles: What You Need to Know
If you are a frequent flyer or a credit card user, you probably have accumulated a lot of airline miles or points over time. These miles or points can be redeemed for various rewards, such as free flights, hotel stays, gift cards, and more.
But what if you don’t plan to use your miles or points anytime soon? Or what if you have more miles or points than you can ever use? Or what if you need some extra cash for an emergency or a big purchase?
In these cases, you might consider selling your airline miles or points for cash. Selling your miles or points can be a lucrative way to get the most value out of your rewards programs and avoid losing them due to expiration or devaluation.
However, selling your miles or points also comes with some risks and challenges. Before you decide to sell your miles or points, you need to weigh the pros and cons carefully and understand the process and the implications.
In this article, we will explain the pros and cons of selling your airline miles or points, and what you need to know before you do it.
The Pros of Selling Your Airline Miles or Points
Selling your airline miles or points can have several benefits, such as:
- You can get cash for your miles or points. This is the main reason why people sell their miles or points. Depending on the program and the market demand, you can get anywhere from 1 to 2 cents per mile or point. For example, if you have 100,000 Delta SkyMiles, you can sell them for around $1,000 to $2,000. This can be a significant amount of money that you can use for whatever you want.
- You can avoid expiration or devaluation of your miles or points. Most airline miles and credit card points have expiration dates or policies that require you to use them within a certain period of time or maintain some activity in your account. If you don’t use them or keep them active, you will lose them. Moreover, airlines and credit card companies often change their redemption rates and fees, making your miles or points worth less over time. By selling your miles or points, you can avoid these risks and lock in the value of your rewards.
- You can sell any amount of miles or points. Unlike redeeming your miles or points for rewards, which often requires a minimum amount or a specific availability, selling your miles or points does not have any restrictions on how much or how often you can sell. You can sell as little as 10,000 miles or as much as 1 million miles at any time. You can also sell multiple programs at once if you have different accounts.
The Cons of Selling Your Airline Miles or Points
Selling your airline miles or points also has some drawbacks, such as:
- You may violate the terms and conditions of your program. Most airline and credit card programs prohibit the sale or transfer of miles or points to anyone other than authorized partners. They consider this as a breach of contract and may take actions against you if they find out. These actions may include closing your account, confiscating your miles or points, canceling your bookings, imposing fees or penalties, or even taking legal action.
- You may lose the potential value of your miles or points. While selling your miles or points can give you immediate cash, it may also mean giving up the opportunity to use them for higher-value rewards in the future. For example, if you sell 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for $1,500 today, you may miss out on redeeming them for a round-trip business class ticket to Europe worth $5,000 tomorrow. Of course, this depends on the availability and demand of the rewards, but generally speaking, redeeming your miles or points for travel tends to offer better value than selling them for cash.
- You may face some risks and challenges in the process. Selling your miles or points is not as simple as exchanging them for cash. You need to find a trustworthy buyer who will pay you a fair price and deliver on their promise. You also need to verify your account and transfer your miles or points securely and discreetly without alerting your program. You may encounter some scams, delays, disputes, or complications along the way.
What You Need to Know Before Selling Your Airline Miles or Points
If you decide to sell your airline miles or points after weighing the pros and cons, here are some things you need to know before you do it:
- Choose a reputable and reliable buyer. The most important thing is to find a buyer who will offer you a competitive price, pay you quickly and securely, and protect your privacy and security. You should avoid shady or unknown buyers who may scam you or rip you off. You should also check the reviews and ratings of the buyers from previous sellers and look for any red flags or complaints.
- Compare the prices and fees of different buyers. The price you can get for your miles or points may vary depending on the program, the demand, and the buyer. You should shop around and compare the prices and fees of different buyers to find the best deal. Some buyers may charge you a commission or a service fee for selling your miles or points, while others may offer you a flat rate or a percentage of the value. You should also factor in the payment method and speed when comparing the prices and fees.
- Follow the instructions and guidelines of the buyer. Once you choose a buyer, you should follow their instructions and guidelines carefully to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. You should provide accurate and complete information about your account and your miles or points. You should also verify your identity and your account using the buyer’s technology or platform. You should not share your password or login details with anyone. You should also transfer your miles or points as instructed by the buyer and confirm the receipt of payment.
Selling your airline miles or points can be a good way to get cash for your rewards, but it also comes with some pros and cons that you need to consider carefully. If you decide to sell your miles or points, you should choose a reputable and reliable buyer, compare the prices and fees of different buyers, and follow the instructions and guidelines of the buyer.