Airlines made loyalty programs available to people, to lure them with the proposition that their travel on subsequent flights could be free, provided they bought a ticket today. This was very useful for more than a decade, except, the economy started to get better, and airlines became greedy. So they no longer wanted to offer a seat they could sell on a plane as a freebie. So they started encouraging people to buy hotel rooms, car rentals, and then even toasters with their miles.
JetPrivilege now allows you to redeem miles for merchandise
JetPrivilege just launched their new portal, which allows you to now redeem your miles for merchandise. Yay? Yay? Yay? Nay!!!
The website is located here, and it offers you merchandise for miles. You may want to check out the site, but even before I ask you to go there, let me get some perspective in the picture. Miles are a sort of rebate you get from airlines, and other merchants, which allow you to book inventory on a flight which would otherwise be unsold. In those cases, you may stand to get a lot of value out of your miles, because, for instance, you may not want to spend INR 5000 for a ticket, but you would be happy to spend 5000 miles for it. For the airline, they gave you a seat on a half empty plane anyways, without causing loss of revenue (you paid the airport and statutory taxes anyways!).
Now, lets come to JetPrivilege’s reward store. JetPrivilege tied up with a catalog operator based in Dubai, to sell products around the world in exchange for miles. Here are some products on offer.
Here are the categories on offer:
- Electronics (including toasters)
- Luggage & Travel Accessories
- Home & Living
- Jewellery & Watches
- Fashion & Accessories
- Gift Vouchers
and many more…
Here is my experience when I tried looking up a few things, everything was at INR 0.20 value per mile.
- Amazon voucher for INR 250 for 1248 JPMiles (INR 0.20 value per mile)
- Bookmyshow voucher for INR 1000 for 5000 JPMiles (again INR 0.20 value per mile)
- Apple iPhone 6 16 GB for 192,000 JPMiles (retails for INR 38,000 so again INR 0.20 value per mile)
Bottomline: Is this a good value for your miles?
Not in my book. I aim to get at least INR 1 value for my Indian miles, and more for my miles abroad. So, this is not the best value for my miles because I can spend cash on these products, specially via HDFC Bank Credit Cards, and get 33% of the cost of the product back as miles.
Are you going to spend your miles buying a toaster worth INR 2000 with 8800 miles, while you could use the same miles for a last minute ticket between Mumbai and Delhi when ticket prices go through the roof? I’m interested to hear if I miss anything around here.