Airline Miles Tanking

The value of your airline miles is dropping like a stone. Or, as business travel guru Joe Brancatelli recently described it to the Wall Street Journal:

 “Inflating the currency and then having less product to buy and charging you fees to do it — it’s hyper-inflation,” he says. “It’s Zimbabwe.”

Hah! Great line. I love it. To quote Homer Simpson, “It’s funny because it’s true.” (Given the level of burn Joe can turn out, I’m honored that he calls me snarky.) Read Joe’s take on the situation in his Portfolio column.

I believe the WSJ piece came out before the latest hyperinflationary move from American Airlines. Soon it will take 50,000 Aadvantage miles and 1 billion Zimbabwean dollars to buy a cup of coffee.


2 thoughts on “Airline Miles Tanking

  1. RobR

    I guess that’s why sites such as and exist — so that people can dump their airline miles into cash as quickly as possible, and then re-buy them at the new rate when they really need them.
    Similar to how friends who have lived in Venezuela and other Latin American countries during high-inflation periods (sorry I have not yet met anyone from Zimbabwe) describe taking their pay and rushing to buy massive amounts of anything — toilet paper or flour or gasoline — which they would hold, and then re-sell for currency the very hour they needed the currency to buy something else.

  2. mommafrica

    So pls explain this to me(worth of air miles)because mind wise I’m like the airlines-real slow. What is the pt of renting cars & hotels(of course their losing out) for miles when they mean nothing anymore.U can’t even play games, etc on airline sites anymore to earn extra miles because they mean absolutely nothing. If ur pts expire, its no big deal because they MEAN NOTHING. Soon Amtrak will benefit from this-but remember-they don’t go everywhere. And soon they will complain about the fuel. How can travel only be geared to the bus. traveler. Who buys their products-the leisure traveler of course. So yes, we deserve a piece of the pie as well(even if its only a 1/4 of it). Its better that everyone realize that we’ll be riding stagecoach again. Food is on the rise so the cost of feeding horse’s oats will be the gripe. There goes ur horseback loyalty miles!


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