Points.com = My Worst Newbie FF decision

Discussion in 'Points.com' started by Derek, Apr 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Derek
    Original Member

    Derek Silver Member

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    I'm fairly new to the miles/points game, and traded around 17k US Air miles for 3k on VX. Beginner's mistake. I am still bitter about this exchange. Avoid points.com like the plague. Their exchange ratios are a travesty. On a happier note, this is the only points transaction I regret. Thanks to the knowledge available here and on FT, I've learned quickly and have not repeated such poor decisions. In fact, so far as I can tell, since then, I've made nothing but good (great?:)) decisions re: earning miles! And I have no one but the knowledgeable posters here, and on FT, to thank for helping me learn quickly.

    Thank You!
     
  2. Points.com

    Points.com Z Representative

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    Hi Derek,

    I'm sorry about your experience with Points.com, especially when you were a newbie frequent flyer. Although I can't change your experience, I can give a bit of an explanation about our products that may help in the future:

    We offer two different services to enable people to move points and miles between their programs: Trade and Exchange. With Exchange, the rates between programs are set by our partners. For Trade, the rates are set by users (exclusive of the trading fees, which are set by partners). If you'd like to have more control over the rate of exchange you get when moving points and miles between programs, Trade is a great option.

    Another good tip for using Points.com is to keep an eye out for bonus promotions. We have one that's ending today that allows you to get a 15% when you Trade or Exchange into Aeroplan. We always mention Points.com promotions on our site, our Twitter account (@PointsAdvisor) and our Facebook page.

    We're also working to include more content on our site and blog that will help loyalty program members make decisions about the best ways to use their points and miles (on Points.com and elsewhere). Last year we posted a series of blog posts called, "Frugal John's Top 5 Tips for Making the Most of your Points & Miles" (you can view them here). This series was designed to help people make educated decisions about how to use their hard-earned points and miles.

    Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. We'll definitely take it into consideration when creating content for new users. Given your experience when you were starting out, perhaps we should consider a "Tips for Newbies" blog post. If you have any other suggestions for a post like this, please let me know!

    Carrie
     
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  3. Pete
    Original Member

    Pete Silver Member

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    Actually, points.com does have some very limited benefit (but certainly not for wholesale trades like you described). First, it can be useful for swapping a few miles between programs to either keep an account active or clean out an orphan account. Second, I have found it particularly useful to use as a "partner"" transaction in the frequent partner promos run by the airlines (i.e. have X partner transactions and get Y bonus miles).
     
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  4. Points.com

    Points.com Z Representative

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    Hello Derek!

    I just wanted to let you know that we posted a blog write-up designed just for new Points.com users, based on your comment. You can check it out here: http://blog.points.com/2011/04/20/5-tips-for-new-points-com-users/. Over the next month or so we're going to work on posts that are specific to each of our products to further clarify things for new users.

    Please do let me know if you think there's anything else that we should add to the post (or anything else we can do to help newbies).

    Thanks!
     
    Nagaraj.gn and travelingmore like this.
  5. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    There are such good trades there. Sorry for your experience, but we all have to take care when moving our miles because all of them represent a high value to us. In my opinion Points.com expanded that value allowing you to change between programs, the only bad thing on it it's the small value paid for redemption on PayPal, then again it's the user's choice!
     
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  6. Points.com

    Points.com Z Representative

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  7. Flying Bat

    Flying Bat Silver Member

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    I really do not understand why people would use a corporate entity to exchange their miles. It is fair enough that if you run a business your objective is profits, and that's not always easy when you have overhead. It seems common sense that the only way a corporate entity can generate profits is to rip out some value. This is the reason why most London and Frankfurt mileage holders prefer to swap on a private basis.
     
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  8. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    On the flip side someone got a great deal of 17k US Air miles for their 3k VX miles. A few years ago I made good trades at say a 15k CO to 25K AS miles multiple times and was quite happy to get that. Had I seen an offer of 25K AS miles for 4K CO miles I would have jumped at it.

    In my opinion any issues with the fairness of member to member trades is the fault of the members not Points.com or the programs.

    Also the fees to trade are high so you need to factor that in, that is one reason why lopsided trades are best. You pay on what you trade so trading less costs less, even if you get more miles.

    It’s interesting to note that currently most of the trades are VERY VERY poor, like 5 miles to get 1. There may be opportunities to post fairer trades and get them closed fairly quickly.

    FYI: My AS account was locked for a bit because of all those trades. AS tried to claim that trading miles was against the rules (or fraud was involved somehow) – despite their Points.com partnership and promoting it on their own website – it was a stressful time so I’ve stopped trading well I burn my AS balance. I probably would risk it again since they continue to partner with Points.com.
     
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  9. B1BomberVB

    B1BomberVB Silver Member

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    Iolaire, 17k US Air miles for 3k VX miles was an exchange, not a member-to-member trade. The only flip side was that points.com got 17K USAir miles for 3k VX miles!

    "I made good trades at say a 15k CO to 25K AS miles multiple times and was quite happy to get that."
    True, Iolaire, I have done similar, because the extra 10K miles compensates for the outrageous ~$150 cash fee. But gee, the person who offered that trade must have been desperate! Who in heck would pay 25K AS + $250 cash for a measly 15K CO??
     
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  10. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Everyone makes their own decisions.

    Assuming they were informed decisions - maybe they needed 15k Co for an around the world booking in First... Case in point I'm sitting on 22k AS miles now, those are of not much use to me since I travel with my wife, if I needed 10K to get a Star Alliance booking I could see doing a trade to fill out my account (over say buying miles.)
     
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