Buying Miles to achieve Gold Status

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by gkennedy1960, Oct 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. gkennedy1960

    gkennedy1960 Member

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    I will be about 15,000 miles short of achieving Gold status this year. I have a trip to Brussels in November. I can be miles with premier accelarator for almost $2000 to make Gold. Is it worth it? I have a Chase United Club charge card so the silver status doesn't give me many benefits.
     
  2. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    The only true direct benefit to you that you can measure is availability of E+ seating for 2 at reservation. If you and a companion are going to take 10 trips with 2 flights each then the value of the E+ seats is around $2000 if you were unwilling to stay in E-, half that if its just you. Unmeasurables are use of lounges internationally (which you do not need), free same day flight changes (this has been very helpful to me), 50% RDM bonus and modestly higher probability of CPUs.
    If I were in your position and knew I was going to have a busy flying year (by number of flights) this would be a tough call for me. I would probably do it if I was expecting to be travelling with someone - so we could get the 2 E+ reservations together. Anything less than that and I would keep the $2G.
     
  3. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I rarely think of luggage, but Gold gets three bags at 70 lbs each included. If you are an aspiring Golf Pro or ski bum this could matter a lot. It doesn't change my bottom line above, but it is another consideration.:cool:
     
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  4. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    one can definitely earn 15K miles on mileage runs for far less than $2k!:eek:
     
  5. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    MRs can be much cheaper and more fun if you have the time. You can go to Singapore and have money left over for the hotel!:)
     
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  6. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Or Star Gold lounge privileges, or baggage privileges, or fee reductions.

    I tend to think that, for most people not flying 50k miles a year already, it'd be difficult to argue that gold benefits are worth $2k more to them in a given year than silver benefits.

    That said, most people seem to think that silver's not worth a $400 mileage run, but I've gotten a lot more than that out of silver this year, so....
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I seldom have luggage to check, but *G benefits, which Premier Golds have, would be worth it to me for *A lounge access on international trips...then again, if I take enough intl trips for *A lounge access to be meaningful, it is likely I would also have a higher status from all the intl trip miles...

    Is it just me or has MilePoint switched their theme color to what is perhaps the worst possible color: pink
     
  8. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    It's Pinktober. You can change it in the bottom left. :)
     
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  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    :D Aha! Thank you!
     
  10. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I very much agree. The OP has a club card so he gets the *A lounge. Except for the same-day change privilege the fee reductions are nice but you generally can't assume you'll use them.

    To me the paramount consideration that would drive me to Gold would be whether I travel alone or with a companion. Gold makes companionship much easier, by myself I could deal with the 24 hour move to E+.
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I just got the United Club Business card (UCBC) and one gets so many benefits that the main reason I would try to re-qualify for 1K on top of these benefits is that the club card will not get me GPUs. I got the UCBC because it was offered to me as someone who was already a UC member. Since the ability to purchase UC membership with miles has been "suspended" indefinitely, and getting a United Club card costs about the same as getting a UC membership, I went ahead and got the club card. My UC membership was good to 2014 so I wonder whether UA will reimburse me for the extra membership that I will not use as a result of getting the club card (stay tuned). What all of this has made me realize is that the reason the ability to get a UC membership with miles might have been suspended is so that folks who care enough would do exactly what I just did: get the club credit with all the perks of UC membership and more (notably: I can get CPUd within most of Region 1 even on an award ticket). The option to get UC membership with miles ran counter to what I just did because I would always have used miles to get a UC membership. Getting rid of the miles option forces people to pay cash, making the UC card or the UCBC option seem more palatable. Therefore, I am hoping that the ability to get UC membership remains suspended indefinitely, which I assume it will be if what I surmise above is right.
     
  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Actually, if you call in, you can purchase UC Club membership with miles. I know two people who've done it in the last few months.
     
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  13. RRK

    RRK Silver Member

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    Currently there are super cheap fares to HNL. I just did a mileage run to renew my 1K for new year.
    A NYC to HNL r/t fare of $ 485 during the week with a no stay requirement, okay, I stayed for 6 hours and had a few
    Mai Tai's :) got me 10.000 miles and into my 1K 2013 United credentials.

    Check out Hawaii fares during October and the first half of November. No advance, no stay required. This will
    save you a bundle of money compared to your $ 2.000 premier accelarator offer.
     
  14. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    not sure if that particular deal is around anymore!;)
     
  15. RRK

    RRK Silver Member

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    YES, it is ... just checked LGA to HNL for Oct 30, returning on the same day and the r/t fare is $ 485
     
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  16. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Ah, wasn't thinking of LGA, but rather EWR!
     
  17. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    It also is quite useful when you're traveling with your SO on a holiday for leisure and she wants to bring several empty bags for the specific purpose of filling up with local goodies. As occurs with me... regularly.
     
  18. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    she must be related to my wife.
     
  19. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I highly recommend always checking the box to include nearby airports. That is often a very easy way to save a LOT of money, particularly in NYC.

    I recently had to go to southern MA. Previous trips have been cheapest using Providence, but last month I saved over $300 by flying into LGA. Yes, I had to drive quite a bit further, but my schedule permitted it without any great business or personal sacrifice, so it was worth it to me.

    As for making Gold, the luggage benefit is critical to me, but that has been addressed herein. One that hasn't been mentioned is the 50% RDM bonus. That's double the Silvers' 25% RDM bonus. That could have significant value down the road and add more value to the MR needed by the OP, which could pay off next year if the same situation repeats itself.
     
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  20. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    The sales documentation specifically states that "if you already have an annual or three year membership, you will be reimbursed for the unused portion of your membership price once you are approved for the card." I bought a lifetime membership to the President's Club in 1987 when they only had 13 lounges.:D
     
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  21. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Good point, If the OP gets the 15K he will add at least 25K over the course of his status (about 10K extra bonus plus 15K RDMs from the purchase or an extra 19K from MRs). That is an extra saver award flight which I have been valuing at $400-$500.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It would have a maximum value of roughly 25% * 50,000 miles = 12,500 RDM, no? In other words if the OP opted to remain Silver, then the first 50,000 miles (roughly) would earn a 25% bonus (=12,500 RDM), while as Gold it would be 25,000 RDM.

    ("roughly" because you don't start earning 50% right at the 50k EQM threshold. If you at at 49,999 and then fly from EWR to HKG, that flight will still only earn 25%. And of course there are other ways to earn EQM without RDM).
     
  23. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I assumed the OP's flying would be around the 35K to 40K flown this year. Of course if he gets sucked into the PQM status-seeking treadmill that I have been caught on from time to time, your 12,500 will be right.
     
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  24. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Checking nearby airports is very good advice. My wife and I are travelling to SFO in early December JFK-SFO was roughly half the price of EWR-SFO, a savings of over $600 between the two of us. We'll hire a limo for the ride to JFK for about $200 RT which saves on the parking.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, the OP says he/she is 15k PQM short of Gold. So if Gold is reached (whether via MR or PQM purchase), then extra 25% are earned up to the 50k BIS RDM next year. If the OP doesn't fly enough to even get to 50k BIS RDM next year, the 25% are even less than the 12.5k RDM I calculated.

    My basic point is that the earnings differential between Silver and Gold isn't THAT great when looking at the cost of $2000.
     
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