Please stop using frequent flyer points for auctions

I’ve been feeling a bit unwell this afternoon and I wasn’t quite sure why. Maybe because of the rain currently coming down outside. Or because of the impending doom from hurricane Irene coming to visit this weekend. Or any of a number of other reasons.

Then I got an email from Continental reminding me that I had registered for their OnePass Auctions website. So I clicked on the link to see the special deals they were offering. This is what I saw:


No wonder I feel ill.

The 32GB WiFi-only iPad 2 is a $600 device. At a penny per point (generally accepted as the baseline price for valuation) the price is currently almost triple what the retail price of the device is. And it will certainly increase in the next 20 days. Ludicrous. I know that plenty of people have plenty of miles that they see as relatively worthless and so they do things like this to unload them rather than spending cash. But it still hurts.

Seriously, folks, if you find yourself in this sort of position drop me a line. I’m sure we can come up with a better way to spend those points.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. A friend was compelled to buy a Nook last summer because she saw she could get one for 40K AMEX MR points. I walked her to Barnes & Nobel, bought her the Nook, we then transfered the 40k MR to my CO account and then I paid her for the AMEX transaction fee.

  2. I had a relative that had spent 900K for 3 CO J tix to Israel.

    I happened to bump into him the night before the trip, not knowing his mileage redemption heresy.

    With less than 24 hours before the trip, I found him an LH itin through FRA for 360K which he passed on because he didnt want the 1:50 min connection.

    Then, I found him a DL nonstop ATL-TLV for 540K, still a ripoff in my book, but still far better than the 900K. He passed on that itin as he recalled when he flew DL to SYD last year, the J class menus were on cheap paper!!!! I couldn’t make this up.’

    So, I watched helplessly as 900K got flushed down the CO toilet.

  3. It’s too difficult to teach some people. I just tell everyone in my family to call me before booking travel or redeeming points for anything. Usually 5 minutes saves them $500 or more on travel, a better deal than GEICO!

  4. If it weren’t for things like this, the miles game wouldn’t be as profitable for the airlines, and we’d have a tougher time accumulating miles. I say, bid up everybody!

  5. It is like the idiots that play the lotto. Voluntary taxes is what that is. So let people dump points and money so I do not have to. Works for me!

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