Getting Started

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Jessfish, Aug 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jessfish

    Jessfish Active Member

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    I was looking to find out how I can make the most of my points and if I need to move some of my cards around to obtain the most benefits.
    I have 200,000 United points and just switched my Chase Visa to a Chase Mileage plus with United. They told me for every dollar spent up to $35,000 can be used toward EQM's. I also have an American Express Gold card and am thinking of switching to the Starwood Amex, that Amex currently has 500,000 points.
    At this point in time I buy many fully refundable business class tickets. How can I use that to obtain more points? Also, can I hold my points and not use or do I have to use some each year?
    Thanks
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP

    Both the AmEx MR points and SPG AmEx card which gives SPG points are considered very good, although the SPG card is most useful when staying at Starwood properties. Do you frequently? And are you signed up for a SPG account? One of the advantages of both types of points is that they're very flexible, and hence considered valuable.

    I suspect you misunderstood the statement about your new Chase UA card. I would be very surprised if $35K annual spending gives you 35K EQMs toward UA status.

    If you buy "many" full fare business class tickets I'm surprised that you don't have more than 200K US redeemable miles. Are you sure that every flight has been credited correctly to your UA FF account, including fare class and FF elite bonuses? If you're not already high status, can you do a challenge to get more benefits and earn more miles?

    You need to check the T & C of each program, but many allow you to keep points as long as there's some type of (listed) activity in your account regularly. However, a number of foreign airline FF programs do expire miles even if you fly them, so be careful.

    WARNING: If you close/cancel your Gold AmEx to exchange it to a SPG AmEx card, all of your MR points will vanish. It's probably better for you to keep both cards, even if it means that AmEx makes you effectively split a credit limit (I know they say there's no predetermined credit limit with AmEx charge cards).
     
  3. Jessfish

    Jessfish Active Member

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    Thank you for the reply. I wasn't clear about my total miles. I have a large amount of miles in my Amex Centurion account which is shared. I fly frequently to Colorado which is mainly serviced by United. Since United has no partnership with Amex I am trying to gain points and status on United.

    I am a Platinum Medallion member with Delta due to Amex but only have 2500 points with Delta and I also have staus with USair due to amex.

    My question regarding United is:
    when is it worth it to engage in their offers such as "buy miles at 20 percent discount" or mileage dining?

    Regarding Amex, are points transferable and if not does it make sense to transfer to mileage points or save to use for travel in the future?

    Lastly, if I buy a full fair ticket on United what is best way to maximize points?

    Thanks
     
  4. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    AmEx MR points are considered valuable because they are so flexible. Standard advice would probably be to avoid transferring them unless there's a good bonus (redeemable or status miles, whichever matters more for you) as well as an award you want and can actually get. Another advantage of MR points is that they can be used to get tickets without inventory constraints (based on the price for a purchased ticket) that earn airline miles.
     

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