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Peer-to-peer platform for trading frequent flier miles

Work & Lifestyle

We’ve been writing about swapping marketplaces for several years already, with Uneven Feet—which facilitates the trading of single shoes—being the most recent example. Working on much the same idea—but this time for frequent flier points and miles—is the Global Points Exchange, a peer-to-peer trading marketplace from Toronto-based Points International. Points International already gives consumers a way to manage their reward miles and points from a variety of airline, travel and retail partners, as well as a way to move airline points and miles from one carrier to another. Now in beta, the company’s new Global Points Exchange differs in that it lets users set the exchange rate for their trades. Through GPX, users of the platform can seek out other members who are interested in trading points and miles, either by posting a trade offer or responding to another user’s posting. Either way, it’s the users—not the airlines—who decide how many points and miles they get in one program, and how many points or miles in another program they must give up in return. Users remain anonymous throughout the process. Once two members have connected and agreed upon an exchange rate, GPX allows them to transfer points and miles between their respective accounts. Current airline partners include Delta SkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage and Continental Airlines OnePass, among others. Posting a trade offer is free, but once the trade is made participants must pay a fee assessed by the reward programs along with Points.com’s processing fee of USD 6.95. Earlier this month, Points.com added Facebook Connect functionality to the service, allowing consumers to post GPX trades directly to their Facebook walls in order to tap their extended social network in the trading process. Giving consumers the flexibility to convert what they have into what they want, GPX is similar in many ways to GiftCardRescue, which lets consumers trade in the gift cards they don’t want. With the addition of peer-negotiated exchange rates, however, it adds a degree of eBay-like control that other such services lack. A model to apply to the niche of your choice! (Related: IKEA organizes furniture swapAmazon trades gift cards for used video gamesClothes swapping meets NetflixOnline exchange lets hourly workers swap shifts.) Spotted by: Julie Bates

Email: christopher.barnard@points.com

Website: www.points.com/gpx

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