02 February 2010

Turn Frequent Flyer Miles Into Gift Cards

I have 45,000 Delta SkyMiles and about 6,000 American Airlines miles I'm never going to use. It's kind of ridiculous because the miles are just going to sit there until they expire. I don't have enough to "afford" a free ticket and both airlines have really limited selection of award tickets anyway.

So I was very pleased to discover points.com

Points.com lets you swap frequent flyer miles between airlines, exchange miles with other people or redeem for gift certificates to Home Depot, Best Buy, iTunes, etc. Right now they work with Alaska, Continental, American, Hawaiian, Iceland Air and some other regional airlines.

For example, you can exchange

8,971 Alaska Airlines miles for a $25 iTunes gift certificate. It’s not that smokin’ of a deal, but if you’ve got miles on an airline you’re never going to use, then it’s better than just letting them expire.

There's also this stock market exchange kinda thing where you can post an exchange deal for other users. For example, for $30 I can swap 3,000 Delta Miles for 1,000 Continental miles. The $30 fee is charged by Delta. I think points.com charges a $7 transaction fee.

I haven't found any mind-blowing deals out there, but, for example I've got 45,000 Delta miles I'm never going to use. Delta has the nerve to route OC flights to Portland through Salt Lake, and I'll never make that mistake again.

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Bryan said...

You don't have to let those miles expire. I am a member of Delta Skymiles too, and in years when I don't fly much, I keep my miles alive by earning with Delta partners. The Skymiles website lists all of the partner offers and I'm even working on a website dedicated to frequent flyer earning opportunities because not many people know about them.

For example, you could join Skymiles Dining and register up to 5 credit cards and earn miles without even trying anytime one of those cards is used at a member restaurant.

- The M.A.D. Hapa said...


I did the mileage plan dining for awhile, but Alaska has the same program and I'd rather earn miles with them. With Delta: I guess it's a combination of not flying the same places I used to and also Delta's horrible mileage redemption program.

A few years ago I wanted to use my miles to fly from LAX to Tokyo. The best I could do with miles was to fly overnight to Atlanta and then on to Tokyo. OUCH! All that and I get to cash in 120,000 miles?

Last year I used my Delta miles to fly from Orange County to Portland. The itinerary took me almost twice as long than an Alaska direct flight and it took something like 35,000 or 40,000 miles. With Alaska's mileage plan I can get there for 25,000.

Sorry, this kind of turned into a Delta Skymiles bitch session, huh? Well, I guess my point is that I won't use those Delta miles.

Bryan said...

Yeah Delta is pretty brutal for redeeming miles...they've done a lot of devaluing over the years. So far I've just used miles for upgrades, not free flights.

Anonymous said...

Points.com won't let you actually redeem Delta miles anymore; apparently you need to go through Delta's site and they've restricted gift cards to Elite members only. If anyone knows how to get Points.com to redeem Delta miles please let me know.