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Mileslife adds Miles Up! – pay extra to earn 2x miles with selected programs. Worth it?

Always be wary when paying extra to 'buy' miles.

Banner (Mileslife)

We’re big fans of Mileslife here at Mainly Miles. It’s an easy way to accumulate a decent number of extra frequent flyer points which you can credit into a wide variety of airline loyalty schemes through regular dining, activities and hotel stays.

We particularly love their regular promotions like their limited-time 5x miles offer last month, their recent 4x miles promotion over a weekend in April and their current 6mpd bonus offer with OCBC Titanium Rewards cards which runs until the end of June.

We were therefore excited to receive an email this morning about their latest promotion – Miles Up!

Miles Up!

Miles Up! gives you the option to pay ‘a little extra’ on your regular Mileslife transactions to earn double miles when crediting to selected frequent flyer programs.

Miles Up.jpg

First disappointment is that the three programs you can transfer into don’t currently include KrisFlyer, or the widely used Asia Miles. You can only use Miles Up! when crediting your transaction to:

  • British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
  • United MileagePlus
  • China Eastern (Eastern Miles)

If you’re not a registered Mileslife user yet – download the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, and use code MAINLYMILES to enjoy 1,000 free bonus miles on your first payment.

Remember if you’re new to Mileslife and are a DBS cardholder their current sign-up bonus is better than the one you’ll get using our promo code, so it makes more sense in that case to sign up using the DBS promotion code – just download the app and use code 1500MILESDBS.

Is it worth it?

Whether paying extra to accrue double miles with these schemes makes any sense is of course all down to the cost. As the following example shows the cost is 3.16 cents per extra mile ‘bought’ using Miles Up!

Notice how a transaction earlier today crediting a payment at a 3x miles outlet to KrisFlyer shows as standard:

MilesUp1

If I switch to British Airways Avios however, a new option appears:

MilesUp2

You’ll notice you’re ‘buying’ additional Avios here for 3.16 cents each.

We value KrisFlyer miles at about 2 cents each and British Airways Avios points similarly, perhaps slightly less at about 1.9 cents each.

We don’t have a lot of experience with United MileagePlus or China Eastern miles but The Points Guy values the former at 1.4 US cents each (about 1.9 Singapore cents). A relatively common theme here – when buying miles the 2 cents per mile mark should broadly be your upper limit.

DontSign

To buy miles at 3.16 cents each is therefore way over the odds for these schemes, and would also be far too expensive for KrisFlyer were it to be included in Miles Up! in future.

Do beware of some poor value schemes like Emirates and Qatar, where each point is worth a lot less (about 1.6 Singapore cents per Emirates mile and now a woeful 1 cent per Qatar mile – more on that if you’re interested).

Summary

As we’ve said above we love Mileslife and the offers they run are generally good or great and worth participating in if you can, but we have to call out a bad deal when we see one and Miles Up! unfortunately falls into that category.

It makes even less sense when you take into account the regularity of bonus miles promotions run by Mileslife. Think about it – you could pay 3.16 cents per mile for ‘double Avios’ during your lunch and evening dining for a whole week only to then find a 4x miles promotion is launched the following week where you’d earn a lot more miles for no extra cost.

Buying miles at anything more than 2 cents each for most frequent flyer schemes isn’t worth it and the rate you are purchasing at here is well above that.

It may be a consideration to tick you over by a small amount to hit a specific redemption threshold (Mileslife transfers to airline points are relatively quick), but otherwise we’re not excited about Miles Up! in its current form.

(Cover Photo: Mileslife)

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