I get this question from time to time via e-mail or on social media. Someone will hear about a friend that got a really cheap flight somewhere. They bought miles from a “broker”. The questions are always the same. Is it safe to buy miles from a broker? How much can I save? How does it work?
I read a great blog post yesterday that talks about the world of mile brokers. The unique thing here is that the blogger actually went ahead and purchased miles. It’s a must-read (as is Rapid Travel Chai, where I first saw the post).
So, Ed. What’s Your Two Cents Here?
I’ve never purchased miles, points or upgrades from any 3rd party. We all have our comfort levels. I’m just not comfortable with that world. There’s way too much that can go wrong:
- The airlines can shut your account down if they think you’re buying miles. They don’t need proof.
- The “broker” could screw you. If the miles don’t show up, who are you going to call to help you? The airline? See my first bullet point.
- In the time it takes to close the transaction, the award you’re looking to book might be gone.
There are so many great credit card sign-up bonuses out there right now. If you really need to find a way to save money on a trip, that’s a much better path. Don’t mess with the brokers. Pay attention to websites like The Flight Deal. Or my blog! I frequently discuss deals here and Tweet others out.
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