In case you haven’t noticed, not all that many people are boarding planes, or booking new hotel rooms at the moment. All the while, airlines, hotels and other travel businesses are incurring huge costs, which creates a need for creative ways to raise money. Why not sell points for future travel?
Airlines and hotels everywhere you look are launching record hot bonuses or discounts on points purchases, but before you jump into the juicy offers, it’s worth a little pep talk.
If you pledge your undying allegiance to a loyalty program, buying points is a great way to support. Points give anyone the opportunity to acquire something now, and it makes sense on the premise that they’ll be able to pay less for something later.
With no “new booking” money coming in, airlines and hotels are turning to loyalty programs to drum up business, trading cheap points now for future bargains later. If the market holds true, there are real wins for everyone, but that’s rarely the case.
Like cash, if too much is being printed and dished out to too many, eventually points will have to become worth less. Not worthless, just worth – less.
Travel brands across the spectrum will be keen to reboot their sales by encouraging frequent guests back in the years to come, and if that’s when you plan to use your points there are real values to be had.
American Airlines currently offers a 100% bonus, British Airways up to 75%, Hilton a full 100% and there are countless others like Alaska, United, IHG and more. Aeroplan will launch its best ever price on points sales beginning May 7th as well.
If however you’re saving for a rainy day – this is not likely for you. Points rarely, if ever, gain value from the time of purchase, and in 2021, 2022, and 2023 as travel begins to rebound, it’s almost inevitable that any airline or hotel loyalty program offering ripe points sales now will have spoiled fruit in the future.
It’s odd, but in a way – there’s rarely ever been a better time to dive into points and miles. Key dates and times which would generally be impossible due to blackouts are currently wide open, and adding points now doesn’t mean you need to book. Even if you do, cancelling a points booking tends to cost under $50, and you get your points back too.
Just make sure to read the rules of your specific loyalty program.
With points up for grabs to top off a current balance right now, or to rack up a new one quickly, there are fantastic opportunities to benefit as travel returns. Who wouldn’t want to pay $200 a night, versus $550, or pay $1200 for business class, instead of $3000.
You don’t need to feel any booking pressure now, even if you buy a kings ransom in points. The key will be using them in the next 12 months, while availability to use points is strong, and the optics of making points worth less is too much hassle to cope with.