The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

When you are short of miles and do not want to miss that award flight to Europe, you can purchase air miles. Most airlines sell miles on a regular basis and often offer bonus promos when frequent flyer miles go for sale at a reduced cost. To buy airline miles, you first of all should have a frequent flyer account. Here’s what you should do to buy frequent flyer miles:

  1. Go to the airline’s website that manages the frequent flyer program and log in to your account.
  2. Find the “Buy Miles” option.
  3. Select the mileage amount you would like to purchase.
  4. Add to cart and pay.

Remember that there can be a limit to how many miles you can buy per year and sometimes per transaction. For example, American AAdvantage frequent flyers can buy 100,000 miles per account per calendar year, MileagePlus members can purchase up to 25% of the miles needed for an award travel on United Airlines, and Alaska Mileage Plan has no limit to buying miles.

Also, do not forget that taxes may be charged when you purchase miles, and purchase will be processed by a third-party website – not by an airline. So, you won’t earn rewards on a credit card with airmiles in the airline spending category if you use your airline credit card. That means you should use a card with good fixed rewards on everyday spend, such as the Discover it® Miles credit card.

And one more thing, when you buy miles, make sure the value of purchased miles do not exceed the value of the ticket. You won’t want to pay for a reward ticket the same amount as if you would fly for money.