Accelerator - ever worth it?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by daboogah, Dec 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. daboogah

    daboogah Silver Member

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    I travel only for personal and realized after trips to IAD, BKK, NYC this year (from HNL) I have one last trip to Tokyo next week and it will leave my like 2,000 miles short of *GOLD. I do travel with bags since I generally have a golf bag with me when I travel and as much as I do enjoy flying, Im not too sure if I want to do a turn since a turn anywhere from Hawaii means at LEAST 5 hours in a plane during the holidays. Was thinking of going to do the accelerator but when I add in the premier accelerator, its almost cheaper to turn my butt right back to japan, grab some sushi and come back.... here are my options.

    1) do a run between the 24th and the 31st.
    2) buy into the accelerator and the premier accelerator (about $1800 for both..ouch!)
    3) wondering. what if I buy into a business class ticket? i know it gives me 150% bonus but it doesnt help my cause does it?

    arrrghhh! or wait until the end of the year and have United send me the stupid email saying i am so close i can buy the additional miles from them. last year i was about 5K short of gold and i think it was offered at 900 bucks... thoughts?!?
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There is no guarantee that you'll get the "oh, so close" email. Anything on a B fare or higher will get you 150% PQMs if you fly it. That can help a bit, though as you note leaving Hawaii is always more than enough miles.

    Basically you have to decide if you want to save time or money.
     
  3. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    If you are 2000 miles short it shouldn't be $1800 to buy them... That would be 90cents per mile... Seems high.

    If you buy a business class ticket you would get 1.5 Eqms, which would help your cause.

    Can you book a stopover on your way back from Tokyo somewhere?
     
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  4. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I wouldn't count on the email showing up. Given where you are, I'd try to see if there are still cheap mainland fares to be had. Otherwise, Tokyo for a day might not be so bad.

    Like WA said, buying a business class ticket will get you at least 150% PQM. I'm not sure if you'll still meet the AP requirements of the cheap holiday biz fares, but it's definitely worth a look.

    It's a shame you can't earn PQM from inter-island flights.
     
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  5. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

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    That pretty much says it all! But I would enjoy sushi in Japan, just saying.

    Sent from my iPhone using Milepoint
     
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  6. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I thought I was going to need them earlier in the year, so I bought a few thousand at $0.10/mil + $0.023 for the RDMs. Now I'm going to finish with 120,000 miles. Not enough for the extra RPUs @125K and more than I needed to make 1K. They want $0.20 + RDMs now that year end is near. Ain't no way. Wish I had my money back for the EQMs I bought earlier in the year, but it's hard to predict in June where I'll end up in December.

    Last year I had to make two MRs to make Plat. I wished I had bought the Accelerators last year and not this year, but my crystal ball is defective. The airline has the advantage of pricing them with full knowledge of what we need to achieve the acquisition of the next carrot. They don't need a crystal ball.
     
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  7. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    I disagree. The airline had no idea what you needed back in June to make whatever level you wanted to make. Heck, they didn't even know what level you wanted to make.

    They price accelerator EQMs based upon demand and demand is clearly going to be higher toward the end of the year. It's not nearly as malicious as you make it out to be.
     
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  8. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Today, December 10, 2012, they know exactly how many miles I have and how many it takes to, A) get two more RPUS or B) get 4 more RPUs and 2 more GPUs. Although I kind of see your point. Neither of us knew back in June.

    I just checked, and they have gone up again. YMMV, but mine are now $0.30/mile +RDMs.
     
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  9. daboogah

    daboogah Silver Member

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    it used to be worth 500 miles on AQ when they were around but ever since HA turned into the player.. only player, crap outta luck!
     
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  10. daboogah

    daboogah Silver Member

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    this is a great way to think about it. i didnt know higher fares got more qualifying miles. thanks!
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Now is not the time to purchase premier accelerator miles (PAMs) because UA has jacked up the price and is banking on making a killing off of folks desperate to requalify status.

    E.g.,
    In Q2, 40K PAMs went for $4,400 (or 11 cpm); if you purchase 40K PAMs today, you'll pay $12,840 (or 32 cpm)!!!

    Not.worth.it
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    For how many miles? Is that on your existing Tokyo ticket, which accelerated would give you way more than the 2000 miles you need?

    Not sure if you know this, but you can just buy a short refundable ticket and buy the accelerator miles on that. Then refund the ticket itself, so you only pay for the accelerator miles. Pick the flight such that the accelerator offering matches as closely as possible the number of miles you need. I don't recall exactly how they today calculate the miles offered by the accelerator.
     
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  13. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    I think it really depends on the situation. I finally gave up and I have my first MR ever coming up this week because UA wanted to sell me 6,000 Accelerator EQMs for something like $1,400 in total, which seemed ludicrous. I declined and set up an MR this week where I'm going to grab 4,100 EQMs for about $390 all-in. My time is valuable, but I can take a day out of my schedule for a thousand bucks. If UA had offered the Accelerator EQMs to me at a cost of (roughly what I'm paying per-mile for my MR EQMs) + (how much I value a half-day of my time, which is about how much productivity I'll lose), then I would have taken the deal and they could have sold my seat and pocketed my 100 percent marginal revenue. But they didn't, so I'll be BIS to requalify as 1K.
     
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  14. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    FYI, this is why it's a good idea to keep a spreadsheet with all one's completed, booked, and projected travel for the year. It makes it much easier to look ahead and determine whether requalification seems likely, and if not, to plan MRs or purchase Accelerator miles (at an earlier-in-the-year discount) as appropriate.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Definitely not at 40K of them. But if the 2000 gets you GPUs, RPUs, CPU priority and 25% more RDMs on next year's travel then there is a price point at which that makes sense. Getting 2000 more PQMs at 32 cents each is just under $650. I'd rather only pay $200 for the same but it still isn't a horrid deal at that price given what you get.
     
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  16. daboogah

    daboogah Silver Member

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    this is whats its asking me to pay if i go way of accelerator. obviously not a good choice since it might be cheaper to check in and buy into business class.
    Purchase 7,636 MilesPurchase 15,272 Miles

    F(Premier Silver)
    $161
    Add Premier Accelerator for $1,375 more
    $321
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, yes, and you get to pay for at least 7,636 miles even though you only need 2,000. So see my post above for how to possibly buy the number of miles you actually need.
     
  18. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i just did something similar. a few days ago i returned from my last flight of the year, only to discover a portion of the flight mileage didn't count. i was 294 miles short of 1K. :eek:

    last night i booked the cheapest fair i could find, PIT-EWR, then waited for it to ticket. once ticketed i went into the booking and bought the RDM/PQM for 1000 miles. more than i needed but didn't figure i could find a 500 mile PQM accelerator. i have just refunded this ticket, which was not actually refundable, but b/c it was within my 24hr grace period for canceling, it worked fine. cpm = 0.33. not the best ever rate but it was well worth it to me.

    having a spreadsheet is the ONLY reason i made 1K. if i hadn't done this, i wouldn't have had any idea how close i was, would be, or to plan those Accelerator purchases throughout the year. earlier in the year purchasing is always better, however i am interested in seeing how this plays out for next year. in another thread, many of us had noted the marked spike in pricing after the merger took full effect.
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    If I need just 2000 PQM I'll fly T-con for under $650 and still have money left over to enjoy myself at destination...but YMMV.
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Spreadsheet and some careful planning was definitely the way to go for me every year. This year I am ending less than 700 miles above the 100k. And I just started next year's spreadsheet (haven't booked any revenue trips yet, though).
     
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  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you don't have the time or if, like the OP, you are in Hawaii where a transcon isn't a viable option then paying for it isn't so bad.

    And if you really only need 2000 may as well do a FLL turn instead, saving time and money. ;)
     
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  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The buy-up inside of the check-in window does not generally get you the extra miles. Don't bank on that approach working.
     
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  23. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I must be getting a break as 1k, as UA is offering 40k PAM for 'only' $10,840. :eek:

    I don't know either, but the lowest amount available for purchase on my OW ORD-BOS trip (867 BIS) is 4,000 PAM for $132 + $1,000.
     
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  24. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i picked a flight that is less than 500 miles, gambling that the lowest RDM/PQM they would offer would be 1000-ish. it seems so random what they offer for different flights. i had an award ticket MGW-BOS offer me, soon after booking, the RDM/PQM for 1106 miles or 2212 miles. then as i got closer to flying the offer became 4000 or 6000 miles. very strange.
     
  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Fair enough...

    I am 1K as well, so you 'discount' would appear to have little to do with your status...;)
     

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