Tag Archives: united airlines

Judging Mileage Offers

11 Jun

I’ve found a few new places to gather miles, and places NOT to as well, thanks to helpful travel bloggers!

[New Girl In The Air has a helpful post that brings together 52 ways to earn miles and points](http://boardingarea.com/blogs/newgirlintheair/2013/06/11/ways-to-earn-frequent-flier-miles/). Many of them don’t apply to United MileagePlus, or are for credit card offers, which I am not currently using as a strategy right now. The remainder were very interesting, and even though I didn’t see much that helps me now, it was great to learn about programs and some strategies for determining their usefulness.

For example, you can [trade in gift cards for miles](https://www.plasticjungle.com/united/web-exchange/gcWelcome). I actually did not end up doing this, as I don’t have any gift cards I don’t eventually plan to use. Also, there’s this:

> In 99% of cases, I’d suggest NOT turning your gift cards into miles. If you really can’t use them, re-gift them, donate them to local organizations, or turn them into cash with Plastic Jungle. However, here are a few times when you might consider using this option: 1. You need mileage activity on your account to keep it from expiring. Your miles will be posted within 5 days, which is a lot faster than a lot of other partner activity. 2. You are just short of an award and don’t want to buy the minimum miles normally required (2,000 miles for $75.20). 3. You are just short of an award and have gift cards to spare but no free cash! I have no intention of participating this offer, but it’s worth knowing about – and worth keeping an eye on in case they ever offer a bonus promotion. – See more at: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/newgirlintheair/2012/07/02/trade-gift-cards-for-miles/#sthash.54DHRYWo.dpuf

Sometimes the best thing to learn is what NOT to do to earn miles. I hadn’t considered the overall cost. We are still looking to earn 12k in the next couple of months, so this offer is not for us.

It seems like the majority of frequent flyers use “churn and burn” and manufactured spending strategies to accumulate mileage through signing up for new credit cards. We are thinking about buying a house next year, so I can’t afford to have a bunch of inquiries dragging my credit score down. This does not seem like a good strategy for us.

I have, however, been considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for the future. There is a [sign up bonus of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points](https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/sapphire-preferred-card.aspx), which can be transferred to United Miles 1:1. Other than my current quest for mileage, I don’t really *need* more credit, so I’m going to wait on this one. I might look at switching my current Chase Amazon card into this product, as I don’t really love the benefits of the Amazon card.

From 3/1/13 to 5/31/13

Beginning Balance as of 01/01/2013: 104,687

Airline Activity: 0

Non Airline Activity: 1,678

– all CC Spend

Ending Balance as of 03/31/2013: 106,365

None of my “extra” mile-accruing activity hit in this time period, but I am hoping this month sees a big jump as some of these bonuses start hitting my account. The goal is 120,000 miles by the end of July, hopefully!