Yesterday the online travel community was abuzz with excitement over the 100% share miles promotion. The most important question I’ve got was how do I leverage this promotion if I have no miles in my account?
Let’s look at how the share promotion works in the simplest terms. Say you have a friend (acc #1) with 50,000 miles in his account and s/he is nice enough to share them with you, which means s/he will pay $567 to share 50,000 miles with you. Your account (acc #2) now have 100,000 miles, while your friend has 0.
Now your friend wants his miles back, so you’ll transfer back 50,000 miles, and he will get 100,000 miles. You’ll be left with 50,000, having gained 50,000 from 0 while your friend has 100,000 having gained 50,000. Both of you paid $567 for these miles. At 1.13 cents it is a great deal in most cases, but if you’re sitting on a zero balance then that 50k will not get you very far.
I would argue in most cases the only reason where you would be using buying/sharing miles during this promotions is using them for international first and business class. If you’re doing economy class or domestic travel, it may not be worth it (just look at the fare sales to Asia and Europe in the past few days).
So how do you get an amount of miles that is useful to do redemptions such as North Asia in business class for 90,000 miles?
Your friend could transfer more miles to you again. But s/he can’t, because
the computer Terms and Conditions says no:
(OK the above video is just funny ;))
Members may receive a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles during the offer period.
You already maxed out your bonus in the first transfer above, so you can’t get any more miles.
The key here is thinking out of the box. You read the Terms & Conditions and find the sweet spot or something it doesn’t prohibit. This is just like award booking. If you do a simple online search on Aeroplan or United.com or AA.com and nothing shows up, you look for another way around to get from Point A to B. I like to think I am fairly good at this (obviously I can always improve). This is also probably why I enjoyed doing all of my wonderful readers who sent in pay your own price award bookings during the summer.
In this case, you want to have a dummy account. You “officially” can’t have two accounts as far as I know, so the easiest is just using a (another) friend’s or family member’s account which isn’t going to be used. Let that account be #3. So how this is going to work is that your friend is going to send his/her miles into acc #3. Your “dummy/throwaway” account now has 100,000 miles. With this promotion you can transfer a maximum of 50,000 miles per transaction, so you’ll send 50,000 miles back to your friend’s account (acc #1), which with the promo becomes 100,000 miles, so your friend can how redeem for Business Class to North Asia. You’ll also send the remaining 50,000 miles to your account (acc #2), which with the promotion becomes 100,000 miles. Now you can let your family member have their account back.
Transfer process in a chart:[table “3” not found /]
But now both of you have 100,000 miles in your account! Even though you paid two “transfer fees” of $567 x 2, that means you paid just over $1100 to get 100,000 miles which is actually redeemable to a business class trip to North Asia! Note that there’s no prohibition on sharing miles to multiple accounts in this promotions which is why the scheme I proposed should work. This also isn’t just for people who have 0 miles, although it’s very useful for them that don’t. If you already have a balance but still want to top up more, this is always an option (just keep in mind that a devaluation could occur at any time).
I hope you enjoyed this post. Of course, if you knew this all along, I hope you found the youtube video somewhat amusing.
As a quick reminder: points.com processes these transfers so you don’t get category bonuses, new accounts must be made for 12 days before they’re eligible to share miles (so quick! get that aunt of yours who doesn’t travel at all to open an account!), and miles are shared for $0.01 per mile plus a processing fee of $30 and a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents unless you move to the US. Promotion ends October 15th.