Is my personal mileathon a huge security/privacy risk?
June 7, 2010 3:49 PM   Subscribe

My get rich quick scheme's downfall - How much of a security risk is it to have your frequent flyer number out in the world?

I need to amass a bunch (~25,000) of Continental OnePass miles in the next couple months or so to book my "pre-baby bucket list" Australian adventure for next year. It would cost $800 to purchase the miles, or $375 to have someone transfer the miles to me. Both options are less than optimal of course. The tickets without the miles would cost thousands of dollars. This is the trip I've been saving miles for for the past 25 years.

I've already gotten the Continental Chase Mastercard, and I charge all of my living expenses to that account. (And I pay it off etc...etc...) I even have everyone in my family using the same supermarket keytag that also banks me miles from time to time.

Now, Continental has a great network of affiliated online stores where you can earn miles fast with shopping. I check this portal every time I'm buying something online to make sure I'm not missing out. I feel that I'm already maximizing my mile earning potential, and I don't really have room or funds for a life sized Anubis statue from SkyMall to push me to my goal.

I'm thinking about sending an email out to some close family and friends, or anyone who is willing to help, etc...asking them to use the portal for any purchases they might be making. This would of course require giving my Onepass account number to them, and basically, to all of the internet. Provided that I won't be sharing my account PIN with anyone, how safe is it to give this number out to people? And any suggestions for quick mile earning are more than welcome.
posted by mrsshotglass to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a great question for the folks at
posted by xotis at 3:55 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't know about Continental, but for Delta, your SkyMiles number is matched with you name and other personal information to track your miles only. It doesn't give you access to anything else, can't be used to buy anything, etc. Worst case scenario I can imagine is that someone could book a flight in your name as long as they paid for it (more miles for you, right?).

It takes much more information to cash in the miles, however. The equivalent of bank policies where you can deposit to someones acct no questions ask, but to withdraw requires a lot.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 4:27 PM on June 7, 2010

If I received such a request from a friend, I'd find it very odd but would probably promptly forget about it and go on with my online shopping as usual. If it were sent from a family member, I'd send them a check for whatever I can contribute.

I think it's perfectly safe to give out the number to people you know well, but I wouldn't expect to actually get any miles.
posted by halogen at 4:27 PM on June 7, 2010

> This is a great question for the folks at

posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:59 PM on June 7, 2010

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