In a typical year, 650 billion points and miles awarded by credit card and airline companies go unused.
Enter MilesBuyer.com. The company is the brain child of Eli Dadon, who alongside his team of business experts, has 13 years of experience in the field. Eli has created a way to help the public capitalize on this missed opportunity, and at the same time, has revolutionized the travel industry.
MilesBuyer.com offers two unique services. Firstly, they assist people with selling their unused miles and reward points at consistent and competitive rates. Secondly, they then use those miles to provide incredible discounts on business and first class travel options, from airline tickets to luxury hotels. Manhattan Profiles spoke to Eli to find out more.
You were born in South Africa. How did you end up in New York?
I grew up in a family that owned and managed various business interests across the world, so we tended to move around a lot. We moved to Israel when I was eight, and then to Los Angeles a few years after that. As a young teen, I saw the movie Wall Street—I remember watching it, seeing the fast-paced epicenter of the Stock Market, and just knowing that was where I wanted to be. After five years in Los Angeles, at the age of sixteen, I moved to New York to study Accounting and Finance and I’ve never looked back.
What prompted you to get into the air miles business?
From a young age, I was always involved in buying and selling things. My father had an auction house and I remember at the age of twelve, attending his auctions, trying to persuade the attendees that they absolutely needed this piece of jewelry or that antique rug. I recognized then, the need to find a product that I believed was undervalued and if marketed well would sell at a higher price. After being exposed to that market, I found a currency that most people didn’t even know exists. The air miles industry. Many people, and even companies, are sitting on thousands or tens of thousands of dollars so why not provide them with a way to monetize this?
How is it possible that people would not take advantage of using their points?
If you’re a business or individual who buys airline tickets or makes major credit card purchases on a regular basis, you have probably accrued an overabundance of frequent flyer miles and credit card reward points. Billions of these kinds of rewards expire and go to waste every year, because the people who earned them don’t have the opportunity to take ad- vantage of them. It’s like building up a fortune in a currency you don’t know how to spend.
Even if you have the time and opportunity to use your miles for travel, the availability of reward flights is limited, and they come with an expiration date. Credit card points also have limitations, and the options you have for spending them may not benefit you. Selling these credit card points gives you the freedom to take advantage of them in your own time and on your own terms.
It couldn’t have been easy to get started. Did you come up against any challenges along the way? Anything you would do differently in hindsight?
I think that at the beginning of any new venture, your biggest challenge is going to be the budget. When you’re trying to spend as little as possible, you need to make some very tough choices. At the start, and for many years, we relied on word-of-mouth marketing. With the help of a great product and team we managed to grow the business to where it is today. In recent years, hiring the right people and focusing our spending on effective marketing has really helped take our company to the next level.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Make sure to reserve money in your budget for hiring the best people. It seems like a good move when you first start out to save money by hiring cheaper staff . In the end, however, it’s all about the people you are working with. That’s how we’ve managed to grow our business so successfully on referrals and repeat customers, everyone loves our staff!
Also, make sure you offer outstanding customer service, which is the only way to ensure you get a loyal client base. For example, we offer special benefits to customers who refer friends, family and colleagues to us. It’s so rewarding when a satisfied customer enjoys, and benefits from, the process to such an ex- tent that they are happy to recommend you to their circle. We truly take pride in repeat business, so we love rewarding our customers for their well-placed faith in us.
I understand the premise, but how exactly does one sell their miles?
It’s simple. On MilesBuyer.com there is a quote request form, which allows you to see immediately how much your miles and points are worth. We do have a minimum requirement of 50,000 miles, which helps us guarantee that our rates are as competitive and consistent as possible. Our quotes are valid for 24 hours, which means that although the value of rewards fluctuates over time, your quote is guaranteed—without any tricks or games.
We then use the rewards or miles, which may otherwise have gone to waste, to offer the best deals on luxury travel and accommodation. A typical international business class ticket retail rate would be anywhere from $4,000 to $9,000—with first class rates starting at $6,000 and going upwards of $20,000 for certain airlines and routes. We offer the exact same flights with the world’s best airlines, but with discounts which range from 10% to 60%, saving our clients a fortune. The same is true with accommodations. We typically offer discounts of around 20% for some of the most famous hotels around the globe.
Won’t your clients need a separate travel agent, though?
Not at all. If the booking you’re looking for is available, we can reserve flights and hotel rooms for you immediately; a perk which offers additional savings. We recommend customers use the ‘Book Travel’ page on our website to give us as much detail as possible about the trip they are planning, and let our experts do the rest.
Can you tell us a bit about your Top-Tier Business Accounts Platform?
We are proud to be the consistent choice of prominent companies around the world coming from all business sectors, including a few Fortune 500 ranked companies. The Top-Tier Business Platform is what we offer owners and executives who have significant credit card expenditures. It’s used by companies who consistently earn points every month which they want to liquidate. It’s an elite platform which includes a complimentary ‘spend review meeting’ to discuss your specific needs.
What happens at the meeting?
We use our wealth of experience to create a targeted strategy for your business going forward. In some cases, we suggest alternative credit cards which will offer the maximum rewards for your expenditure cat-
egories. We make sure that you’re set up for notifications of upcoming promotions and devaluations so that you can be prepared. Anyone with our Top-Tier Platform will have access to the MilesBuyer.com On Demand Corporate Rates Platform, as well as their own dedicated representative for any queries, 24/6.
It looks like you’re set to conquer the travel industry, so what’s next for you?
Currently MilesBuyer.com has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Singapore. The next step is to open in mainland China, organizing flights and tours for business people who are looking to break into that emerging market. The sky’s the limit!
Outside of the travel industry, I am a partner in an investment company focused on emerging markets opportunities. I see tremendous potential to not only make money in these countries, but to also truly make a difference. Currently, among other things, we are in talks to build a large solar power plant in Malaysia that will lower electricity costs and reduce pollution for a tremendous amount of people.
Eli Dadon is the founder of MilesBuyer.com. Eli began his professional career at Smith Barney-Citigroup working as part of a team responsible for managing $300 million in assets. He then joined a team under Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking
and Investment Group and specialized in hedge fund investing. Subsequently,
Eli was a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ tax consulting practice. During his tenure working under the corporate umbrella, Eli founded a digital advertising technology company which was sold to a rival and a global investment company focused on distressed asset acquisitions across Asia.
For more information contact: MilesBuyer.com or 1-877-240-8577