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Is buying United miles at half off a good deal?

tborr123

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Received an email from United offering up to half off to purchase FF miles, e.g. $875 to buy 50k miles, and $1750 for 100k miles. Is this a good deal for someone who no longer flies a lot or use branded credit cards to get miles?

Thanks in advance.
 

SMHarman

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Received an email from United offering up to half off to purchase FF miles, e.g. $875 to buy 50k miles, and $1750 for 100k miles. Is this a good deal for someone who no longer flies a lot or use branded credit cards to get miles?

Thanks in advance.
Not unless you have a plan for them and that plan is soon.

For example I need four seats to Europe next summer. I had 217k And need 240k for that booking so I spent $600 to top off my account.

Buying to hold miles not greenbacks is a bad idea.

Sent from my LT26i using Tapatalk
 

PigsDad

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Not unless you have a plan for them and that plan is soon.

For example I need four seats to Europe next summer. I had 217k And need 240k for that booking so I spent $600 to top off my account.

Buying to hold miles not greenbacks is a bad idea.

+1

I am surprised by how many people have told me they were "saving" their hotel or air mile points for when they retire (some 10+ years from now). Do they not realize they are "saving" an asset that depreciates faster than an untied balloon??? I make the best use of my reward point as I can and try to use them generally as soon as possible before the next big devaluation happens.

Kurt
 

A.Win

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I think people who fly business or first class can benefit from this deal. But most people try to find the cheapest seat. And from that perspective, I agree that it is not worth buying unless you have a specific flight in mind and know that this will give you the cheapest seat.
 

tborr123

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Thanks for the replies. More specifically, is 17.5 cents a mile to purchase Mileage Plus FF points a good deal from a cost standpoint? What factors impact the assessment.
 

PigsDad

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Your math is off a bit -- it is 1.75 cents per mile.

Whether that is a good deal or not basically comes down to what you are going to do with those miles. As stated above, buying them just to have more miles in your account is probably not recommended. Price out a specific airfare (cash price) you are planning and then price it using miles that you could purchase and compare the two. That's what I would do.

Kurt
 

VacationForever

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At the end of the day cash is king. FF saver miles are close to non existent and full miles cost more in miles than cash. I would hang onto cash if I were you.
 

tborr123

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I recently traveled to NYC and the fare two weeks before departure would have been about $650, but I was able to get a RT ticket for 25k FF miles, and while that may not always be available, I may buy some for this type of last second trip.
 

beejaybeeohio

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I bought last sale

I spent about $650 to purchase 23k miles so as to have enough in my MileagePlus account for a one-way business saver ticket at 80k for our return from Sydney next year. (DH had plenty in his account) Absolutely worth the $$ for me- we are on an AirCanada direct flight via Vancouver to Toronto in Business Class on a plane that has no 1st class seats. We will have to purchase tickets for the leg home from YYZ at around $250.

We did much better using AAdvantage miles for our flights over to NZ via OZ. 62.5k for 1st to LAX on AA, then in business on a 2-class Qantas 747 (upper deck seats) to Brisbane and from there in business on a 2-class to AKL. The AA miles were accumulated via opening a USAir credit card right before the merger and by opening an AA Citi Platinum (already had an AA gold). And using them for purchases, of course.
 

am1

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I earn 1.5 united miles per dollar spent and have to pay 1.87% fee to use the card. Paying with the card is easier then a check or wire transfer. I feel that it is worth it although less now as I have more miles then I can spend.
 

Timeshare Von

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With the restrictions and the way the airline manipulates seat availability, I wouldn't spend on miles unless I had a very specific flight and needed to top off my account as was previously mentioned.

I have bought on two occasions, to get to where I needed to be. Once was for my first class return from Kenya after a 10 day safari. In that case, including the purchased miles, my ticket cost just under $2,000 for a round trip (WT+ over and 1st class home). In that instance buying the miles was certainly worth it.
 

Timeshare Von

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Received an email from United offering up to half off to purchase FF miles, e.g. $875 to buy 50k miles, and $1750 for 100k miles. Is this a good deal for someone who no longer flies a lot or use branded credit cards to get miles?

Thanks in advance.

As for using branded credit cards for miles . . . I have become a card churner JUST FOR THE BONUS MILES.

United had their card available for I think 40K in bonus miles plus a $50 off statement credit about a year ago. I think that's a pretty standard offer with their credit card partner.

The other thing to keep in mind, and United is one of the "bad ones" for this . . . miles do expire. With United you have one year from the last activity to use them. I'm still sitting on the 40K bonus I got and they expire in May 2016.

Using them for what I want to do, has become a challenge. I will be sure they do not lapse, however.
 

bogey21

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I am surprised by how many people have told me they were "saving" their hotel or air mile points for when they retire (some 10+ years from now).

I earned over 3 million miles on Delta and over 1 million on American. All were used before I retired. Back then I was worried that neither airline would survive real and potential bankruptcy. I thought it was a good decision then and still do.

George
 

jtp1947

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I believe United Miles may expire after 18 months of inactivity.
 

BocaBoy

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With United you have one year from the last activity to use them.

No, it is 18 months and it is real easy to have activity to extend them if necessary. If nothing else, take one survey at Opinion Miles or eat one meal at a Mileage Plus Dining program restaurant. Even a cup of coffee would qualify to extend the miles. No big deal.
 

MuranoJo

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I've found the best way to save miles from expiring with the UA cards is to use Mileage Plus Shopping. It's really pretty easy to just remember to log in using your MP ID's and then go to a fairly extensive list of online merchants. Many times, you get bonus miles for your purchase.

I personally don't need to do this because I use their credit card quite a bit, but for those who don't use the credit card often, it's a pretty simple solution.
 

Timeshare Von

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No, it is 18 months and it is real easy to have activity to extend them if necessary. If nothing else, take one survey at Opinion Miles or eat one meal at a Mileage Plus Dining program restaurant. Even a cup of coffee would qualify to extend the miles. No big deal.

Curiously, my account it is 12 mos, but you're right, it's easy to do "something" to keep them from lapsing.
 
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