Is it legal to buy mileage points?

Jul 12th, 2001, 01:10 PM
  #1  
Kate
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Is it legal to buy mileage points?

I am planning a very quick trip to Rome and would LOVE to upgrade to business class -- but don't have miles to use. I checked ebay and found only American Airlines, which doesn't have a schedule that works for us. Is it legal to sell points? Are there any good venues for doing so?
Thanks for any insight you have on this!
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 01:45 PM
  #2  
scigirl
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My understanding is that it is not legal to sell miles. However, you can get 100 mile certificates from American Airlines on boxes of Kelloggs cereal (and Poptarts and some other stuff) which you can redeem in 500 mile chunks. (I turned in 10,000 miles worth....we eat a lot of cereal). I have seen these certificates for sale on Ebay for significantly more than it would cost to simply buy the cereal.

A good website for learning about frequent flyer awards, upgrade, etc. is Webflyer.com (on the flyertalk forums). Also check American Airlines website. I think it is possible to buy upgrade certificates for flights (# of certificates to buy depends on number of miles to be flown). I'm not sure how many miles you need for the upgrade. I'd also suggest checking with American before you do anything, since some of their cheapest tickets are not upgradeable with miles. I hope this helps.
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 01:46 PM
  #3  
scigirl
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Whoop - just saw that you are not flying American. The rules about buying miles (not allowed) applies to all airlines, as far as I know.
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 02:12 PM
  #4  
Art
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Kate, you can buy miles from most airlines, but it is only worth it if you just need a few to upgrade. If you don't have any, then it is not worth it.
Regards,
Art
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 02:35 PM
  #5  
coco
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I don't believe AA disallows any fares for upgrades, last year upgraded to business on NY-London/Paris-NY that cost $199+tax. Delta definitely does have a minimum fare on which to upgrade. Not sure about the other airlines.
You can buy upgrade "stickers" (now electronic) for domestic flights but I don't believe there is any way to buy either miles or upgrades internationally.
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 03:49 PM
  #6  
Rex
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If you own your own business, or know someone who does, you may be able to "buy" miles as bonus rewards for good customers. Tyoically, starts with a minimum investment of about $1250 for 60,000 worth of certificates. And there may be limits on the amiunt that any one "customer" can have (redeem) within a given 12 month period.

You typically have to write out a marketing plan and submit it to the airline in which you want to enroll, and they have to approve your plan.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 03:53 PM
  #7  
Art
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I bought miles from United last year to give me enough to upgrade to business class.
Art
 
Jul 12th, 2001, 04:20 PM
  #8  
Glenn Ridgway
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Yes its legal. look at Miles4sale.com
only makes sense if you only need a few miles >10,000, takes about 6-8 weeks to get posted to your account
 
Jul 13th, 2001, 11:51 PM
  #9  
topeeee
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to the top
 
Jul 14th, 2001, 06:03 AM
  #10  
yes
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On Continental you can buy 20% of your missing miles.
$25 for each 1000 miles
 
Jul 14th, 2001, 08:33 AM
  #11  
Robin
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This is a little offbeat, but it is helping us get some additional miles. The airlines now have deals with charitable orgainzations to offer miles for premiums for contributions. Our local public radio station offers 1000, 5000 or 10000 miles for various gifts, which you can then deposit into your account. If you are inclined to give anyway, it's actually a pretty good deal, especially at the larger amounts. One caveat-- you said this was a quick trip. If it is soon, this may not work for you, as it took a couple of months to get delivrey on the certificates.

I'll mention some thing else again, since it appears that not everyone knows this. It takes far fewer miles to upgrade a full-fare coach ticket than a discount ticket. I only know American's rules, and you said you weren't using them, but check your preferred airlines. On American, it takes 50,000 miles to upgrade a roundtrip discount fare (although they will also do one-way for 25,000). It only takes 20,000 miles to upgarde a round-trip full-fare. Obviously full-fare tickets are expensive, but if you're willing to buy miles, you should check all options!
 

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