Buying miles when they are on sale and using them for first class flights can be a great way to travel hack your way to a distant land.

U.S Airways (now with One World instead of Star Alliance) occasionally offers the chance to buy miles at 50% off. This means that instead of 3.5 cents per mile, you’d get them for 1.75 cents per mile. Even at the sale rate, buying them for an economy flight isn’t really worth it. However, buying them for a first class flight is totally worth it!

A round-trip flight to Europe for example is 120,000 miles OR you can fly in business class for just 90,000 miles. The sale usually works by giving you 2 miles for the price of one. So, if you buy 60,000 miles ($2,257.50), you would get an additional 60,000 miles. A first class ticket often costs at least $5000 and as much as $10,000. You’re only paying $2,257.50. If you’re okay with business class, which is quite similar, you’ll save additional cash because you’ll only need to buy 45,000 points and get 45,000 points for free for a total of 90,000 points.

Pro Tips:

  • Don’t buy miles if you don’t have a specific award in mind. It’s not worth buying them just to stock up on them. Purchasing miles is a better strategy when you have an itinerary in mind and know the availability.
  • Remember that award tickets don’t have the same availability as paid seats so it’s best to do a little research first and make sure availability exists for the trip you have in mind.
  • You won’t earn miles on an award ticket like you would on a paid flight.

 

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