The short answer is NO, you can’t sell them! Although there are many and various “miles brokers” on the internet, in the real world selling your Frequent Flyers Miles is against the terms and conditions of all frequent flyer programs! However, as with any other conditions applied in our everyday lives, there will always be someone who will ask questions regarding ways and means as to how this can be done?
Very Strict Regulations
Supported in general by the legal system in the United States, the airlines have determined that your frequent flyer miles or rewards cannot be resold. However, as happens, the proverbial apple-cart has been upset, this time because of a decision by a Sao Paulo, Brazil court.
- The court ruled in favor of selling Frequent Flyer Miles
- This decision was further supported by the court ordering American Airlines to reimburse tickets purchased by a traveler which were canceled by the airline (As a Member of AAdvantage loyalty program and the Business Extra program, you have the benefit of the requesting credit for missing flights taken up to 12-months previously.)
- It had been alleged that airline rules had been violated by selling miles!
Is It a Sign of Things to Come?
This ruling by the Sao Paulo court in Brazil has created a wave of interest due primarily to it being notably the first legal test of the Frequent Flyer program rules that produced a pro-consumer result. However, the next question must be, will it be replicated outside of Sao Paulo?
There is a vast number of Frequent Flyers sitting with literally a store of collected Miles and Rewards and all asking the question how they can sell them. Why are they not able for instance, to sell airline miles on eBay like any other product, without violating the airlines’ user agreements?
The Official Answer is Still NO!
Again, the short answer is you cannot sell them and despite there being almost an abundance of miles brokers available:
- You will contravene the terms and conditions of every Frequent Flyer program by selling your miles
- The seriousness with which the airlines view the sale of airline miles is shown by their high activity rate in the hunting of those people who are selling their miles
- Practically zero tolerance is shown for any activity related to selling Frequent Flyer Miles
- Hi-Technology is utilized by the airlines in searching for people selling their miles; such as any unusual account activity!
What to do With Your “Hot” Frequent Flyer Miles
For some, it can rankle sitting on that lovely cash represent red by their static Flyer Miles and the temptation could be there to search the internet for one of the reputable mileage brokers. However, the risk factor is a real one because upon discovery by the airlines you will sacrifice all your miles.
Although selling your miles contravenes airlines rules, various programs permit you to:
- Offer them as a gift without profit
- It’s a reasonable and convenient method of retaining miles activity
- Ensure your Miles are not wasted
Another option for you to consider is sharing Flyer Miles. This enables you to share your Miles and earn a determined bonus for sharing a certain number of your Flyer Miles.
The downside is an applied fee ratio, dependent upon the number of miles shared. Although it’s not the best deal in the world, it does at least provide you with recognized airlines approved alternatives.
Completing the Frequent Flyer Miles Circle
Prior to the 1980s, a reward system was operated by the airlines that rewarded Frequent Flyers in the form of coupons. Moving into the early nineteen-eighties; the larger airlines had launched their Frequent Flyer programs. Despite travelers not being allowed to sell their Frequent Flyer Miles, the original program rules did not prevent the sale of rewards.
This motivated the previous coupon brokers to buy and sell these negotiable incentives. However, this circle of events came to a halt within a few years, when the airlines introduced rules that prohibited the buying and selling of rewards. They completed the process by removing the majority of coupon brokers with legal proceedings!
Frequent Flyer Miles Today
Admittedly, you do have choices regarding disposal of your earned Flyer Miles, with the option of selling them to an online broker on miles for cash basis. However, apart from the obvious airline repercussions:
- It’s very likely a broker will have you deposit your points into a third party account
- You will then be paid a fraction of their value
- The broker will sell discounted business class tickets to unaware buyers, mainly utilizing your Flyer Miles
Apart from that aspect, various reports indicate by example that the comparable Amex points worth for your Miles could be in the range of 1-mile-to-1.3-cents! Looking at it realistically; is it such a good deal for you, keeping in mind the risk factor and losing your entire hard-earned Frequent Flyer Miles collection?