From PayPal and Points.com – Now you can convert AAdvantage Miles to Cash.

Cash Money
“Cash Money” Photo credit: athrasher on Flickr

AAdvantage Miles are by far, the most useful and valuable frequent flyer miles you can collect.  More than any other program, it’s easy to exchange them for travel to the places that you’d actually want to go, at the times of year that you’d actually want to travel, and usually at the lowest mileage redemption level.  And as of a few months ago, AAdvantage miles for can be used for hotel rooms, car rentals, and vacation packages.

Now you’ll be able to convert them to real money.  Points.com and PayPal just announced a partnership that will allow you to convert your AAdvantage miles into cash that gets deposited into your PayPal account.

Here’s how Dan Schatt, from the PayPal blog, describes the benefit:

Airline customers who are frustrated with blackout dates, and the lack of availability of rewards redemption options can now get their money quickly into their PayPal account and then spend the money the way they’d like. Purchase a ticket with cash from your PayPal account, or buy whatever you’d like on the internet, wherever PayPal is accepted. Want the cash? Simply move the money to any bank account you’ve linked up to PayPal. Aside from empowering users to use rewards the way they’d like, our airline, bank and hotel partners can make their rewards more appealing by enabling their currency to become as ubiquitous and as easy to use as cash. Want to redeem your points to send money to your family in Belgium? Can’t find that exact flat screen TV you’d like on the rewards catalogue? Redeem your points or miles into PayPal and the internet becomes your rewards catalogue.

Here’s how Points.com explains how it works:

Here’s the scoop on how to redeem into your PayPal account:
To redeem your Aeroplan, AAdvantage or Dividend Miles into your PayPal account, follow these steps:
Log in to your Points.com account and click on the “give & redeem” page.
Choose PayPal from the list of redemption partners.
From there, choose the program you would like to redeem from (Aeroplan, American Airlines AAdvantage or US Airways Dividend Miles are currently available). Then choose the amount you would like to redeem for, and then click “calculate”.
Click “confirm redeem” and follow the check out process to complete your redemption into your PayPal account.
A few administrative things to note:
Depending on the partner, it could take a few hours up to a few days for your funds to appear in your PayPal account, so be sure to plan ahead if you’re thinking of using your miles for a purchase. Also, please note that after you redeem into your PayPal account you will have 30 days to ensure the email address you entered is registered with PayPal so you can receive your money.

The AAdvantage Miles to Dollars exchange rate for$100 is 24,118 AAdvantage Miles (I’ll save you the trouble of looking up the reverse exchange rate: $118 buys you 4,000 miles). If you’re redeeming the miles for cash that you’re going to use for travel, it might be better to just redeem the miles directly, but it’s great to have the option to convert the miles into money that you can use for anything.

Here’s a quote from the press release:

Charlie Sultan, Vice President of AAdvantage Partner Marketing, said, “We strive to find additional ways to make AAdvantage miles valuable to our members. This new and innovative partnership with Points.com and PayPal offers our members another redemption option in addition to free air travel, hotel stays and car rentals. This added flexibility continues to enhance the AAdvantage loyalty program which was the world’s first frequent flyer program when it was launched 30 years ago.”

American is one of the two US airlines participating in the launch of this new Points.com and PayPal program (USAir is the other). Not surprisingly, Delta doesn’t participate and SkyMiles continue to be the least useful, least desirable of frequent flyer miles.

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