Buying miles at 1.7 cents each-good value?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Travelmom4, Mar 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Travelmom4

    Travelmom4 Silver Member

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    I am paying a bill for a rental house for part of the summer for approx. $10k. I have the option of paying by check or using my cc for which they charge a fee. The fee amounts to 1.7 cents per mile if I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and get double points for travel which I will then likely use on United. I usually redeem my points for either premium seats or economy tickets north of $500, I'm on the fence about whether it's a wise move as I don't usually buy points/miles. Opinions?
     
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  2. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    If I understand you correctly, you can get 10,000 miles for $170. I would jump on that like a duck on a june bug.
     
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Are you sure you are going to get double points, i.e., are you sure the rental is going to be classified by Chase as Travel?
     
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  4. Travelmom4

    Travelmom4 Silver Member

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    No, I'm not certain about that but the rental is from an agency in HI called PureKauai that books homes and travel related services. I have read that Chase is pretty generous about classifying charges as "travel". What do you think?

    And yes, Ken, you are on the right track with your math. If it is classified as travel, I get 20,800 points for $360.
     
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  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Down here in Central America, that's one round-trip ticket to a LOT of places that otherwise cost $700 plus. This is probably the main reason that UA would have to really get awful to run me off. I get mores travel:dollar value than most. I can even go to Panama in Clase Negócios for 20,000 miles RT.
     
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  6. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I'm not sure I totally understand this, so let me ask this:

    Your charging something on your CC (seems like a rental unit) through a company in the US (Hawaii I think I understand) and they are charging you an extra fee if you use a CC (that you calculate to 1.7 cents per mile)?

    If I understand this as above, I think Chase would be very interested to know who this company is. Would think this is a direct violation of their terms (in the US) as I remember. I might be wrong but I thought no company is the US can charge an extra fee for using a CC. Here is Europe it's a totally different story, but that is OT.
     
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  7. Jaimito Cartero
    Original Member

    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    For most airlines miles that I value, say AA and UA, I put a maximum 1.2 cpm on obtaining them (purely for miles, not in conjunction with an activity I'm already doing). Unless I had an award I needed more miles for in the very near term, I wouldn't pay above that.

    I've been amazed at the amount of offers over the years for 1 cpm or less. I look for these opportunities, and then try to get a year or twos worth of miles from them. I also factor in the hassle in some of the offers, too.

    For DL miles, 1 cpm would be the best I'd do. They are spendable, but harder than most.
     
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  8. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Bzzzzt. Wrong answer. Merchants are now allowed to do this. Also in the past, it was charged as a convenience fee, and usually by a separate company.

     
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  9. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    Hmmm, did not know this changed in the US. Guess I need to keep a close eye on my charges now and would think every company in America would want to charge an extra fee, which I never saw yet.
     
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  10. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    There were always ways to do it before. Saying we take cash only, but our partner will process your charge for $xxx. Usually 3% or so.

    Most merchants wouldn't be stupid enough to do it here. They'd lose lots of customers.
     
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  11. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I would get something from Chase stating that the rental is considered travel, or you may not be pleased with the results later.
     
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  12. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    To join the chorus of "be sure it counts as Travel first:"

    I just booked my parents a 10-day trip through Russia with Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). It covers their guides, their accommodations, their transport, and their food. It was billed as "Education and Child Care Services." 1 pt. per dollar.
    See if you can do a small transaction (a deposit) and see how it bills. Or see if the company will give you their merchant code. I don't know that Chase gives out (or has) the info.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  14. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    To just simply answer the question. This is a little on the high end I feel like to making the fee worthwhile unless you had a trip coming up in the immediate future and needed the top off.
     
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