Frequent Flyer Mile Value

by Dual Income No Kids on August 22, 2009 · 0 comments

Hello Readers,

On my to do list this morning is to deal with United Frequent Flyer miles that are expiring for my husband James at the end of September. I know, some of you might be wondering why I am dealing with James’ miles. Frankly, I’m the travel junkie and know what the miles are worth. Since setting up James’ account before our honeymoon we’ve gotten several free tickets out of the deal, so it has definitely paid off.

Anyway, United used to have a great deal where you could just transfer miles to friends or family – no questions asked. I was going online to do just that, when low and behold, they are now charging 1.5 cents for ever mile, plus a $35 fee.

On the surface this might not seem like much, but the reality is, if you do the math on what frequent flyer miles are worth – they average between 1 cent and 1.5 cents. That means, you are paying the full value of the miles, plus the penalty fee. This means you are paying to keep your miles and get nothing value added in return.

The same goes for some of those new programs out there, which United has as well, where you can buy extra miles, or pay to double the miles you are earning on a trip. The thing is, you are paying outright for those miles, with no extra deal out of it. Some people just love miles and it feels like you are getting a deal, even when you aren’t.

Reinstating your miles is equally as bad of a deal.

In the end, the only option was to use the miles towards gift certificates. Luckily one of James’ favorite places down the street is on their list, so it looks like we’ll be having a few dinners there in the next year or so. Could be worse I suppose.

Good luck getting the most out of your frequent flyer miles!



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