I came across Points.com recently and thought it was a pretty novel service and one for those times when you need to trade, exchange or redeem miles to get to those balances that you want. This could be either a small top-up or to clear out those expiring miles last minute.
What services do Points.com offer:
· Loyalty Wallet
· Trade, Exchange and Buy Points Services
· Redeem points miles or awards for gift cards of subscriptions
You can save your different loyalty programmes to Points.com in their Loyalty Wallet which does give you a handy place to view your different loyalty balances, but it’s not the only company that provides this service. They do however include KrisFlyer, Enrich and the major hotel programmes so it might be useful for you.
You have a number of different options in terms of the services provided by Points.com.
This is where you can trade points between yourself and other Points.com members. I checked for an IHG trade and it came up with the following trades:
I only have a 10,000 or so points with IHG so I could exchange them for Melia rewards – 4000 for 2000. But note the $20 exchange fee, this is calculated from the partner exchange rates. Here’s what they show for IHG:
Points.com state that these exchange rates are set by the different partners, so in the case IHG has set the rate at $0.005 per point exchanged. You can find more about Trades here.
You can also exchange between your own programmes as well. So if I wanted to exchange between IHG and Asia Miles here’s the rate that I would get:
At only 170 per 1,000 you are better off using IHG’s own redemption option of 2,000 Asia Miles per 10,000. But this is where I think Points.com has a niche that is useful, where you have small amounts that wouldn’t normally be useful. So when you have a small amounts of Points.com maybe an option for you to use them up before they expire, after it’s better than nothing. You can find more about the Exchange Option here.
Redeem for Gift Certificates
Another option that you can use Points.com for is for redeeming Gift Certificates. Most of the retailers are in fact American or Canadian so it’s not much use for the Asian frequent flyer – the only real options are with Amazon (but note Amazon.com), and PayPal. Both offer rates from around $0.4 USD per point or less, so not great value on the face of it. But again if you are not going to use the miles then it’s a better deal than not using them at all! If you do just want to redeem in this way you can check out the full details on Points.com here.
You can also transfer miles or points from one person to another. Many of the options just take you to the usual programme transfers but some like the Delta Skymiles option will bring up the Points.com transfer page.
As you can see from this just for transferring 1,000 miles you’ll pay $40 USD for the transfer. This equates to a cost of 0.4 US cents per mile, so if you do a transfer you must make sure that they get more value back than that cost, otherwise this will be costing more than it’s worth.
The website has a free sign-up so you might as well sign-up in case you need to use it in the future, it’ll also give you a way to track your various balances if you have loads of loyalty schemes like myself! I’ve used it once for some expiring miles and it was pretty simple, but it’s a shame about the fees making this a relatively expensive service otherwise I would use it more frequently. Always do the math’s on the deals before you make the transfers to ensure you are getting the best out of it, and check against the programme that you are a member of.