Many a times, I am asked this question – Mileage brokers – Are they legit?
Short Answer is NO, Selling miles to third parties is against the Terms & Conditions of ALL the airline mileage programs that I am aware of.
Below is excerpts from American Airlines Frequent Flyer Program – AAdvantage
At no time may AAdvantage mileage credit or award tickets be purchased, sold or bartered (including but not limited to transferring, gifting, or promising mileage credit or award tickets in exchange for support of a certain business, product, or charity and/or participation in an auction, sweepstakes, raffle, or contest). Any such mileage or tickets are void if transferred for cash or other consideration. Violators (including any passenger who uses a purchased or bartered award ticket) may be liable for damages and litigation costs, including American Airlines attorneys fees incurred in enforcing this rule.
Use of award tickets that have been acquired by purchase or for any other consideration may result in the tickets being confiscated or the passenger being denied boarding. If a trip has been started, any continued travel will be at the passenger’s expense on a full-fare basis. The passenger and member may also be liable to American Airlines for the cost of a full fare ticket for any segments flown on a sold or bartered ticket.
Fraud, misrepresentation, abuse or violation of applicable rules (including, but not limited to, American or American Eagle conditions of carriage, tariffs and AAdvantage program rules) is subject to appropriate administrative and/or legal action by appropriate governmental authorities and American Airlines. Such action may include, without limitation, the forfeiture of all award tickets, and any accrued mileage in a member’s account, as well as cancellation of the account and the member’s future participation in the AAdvantage program. In addition, American Airlines reserves the right to take appropriate legal action to recover damages, including its attorney fees incurred in prosecuting any lawsuit.
And below is excerpt from United’s MileagePlus Program:
The sale or barter or attempted sale or barter of any such mileage, certificates, awards or benefits other than as authorized and/or sponsored by United is expressly prohibited. Any mileage, certificates, awards or benefits transferred, assigned or sold in violation of the Program Rules, in addition to exposing the member to the penalties otherwise associated with violations, may be confiscated or canceled. The use of award tickets that have been acquired by purchase, barter or other conduct in violation of Program Rules may result in termination of membership, cancellation of accrued mileage, certificates, awards or benefits, confiscation of the tickets, denial of boarding with respect to the ticket holder, and, at United’s discretion, completion of the travel only upon payment of an applicable fare.
My advice would be – if you don’t want to risk losing your miles because an airline said you broke the rules, you should AVOID them.
If you really think your miles are useless for your future travel (assuming you travel enough now that you can’t really use them, and don’t ever foresee a time in the future where you could use them), and want to cash them out now for something else…