What to Do with Small Number of Miles in Account

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HaveMilesWillTravel, Dec 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    (kept the title of this thread somewhat generic to help with search and keep this thread generically useful)

    I am managing the OnePass account of a family member. I set it up for her when I paid for a flight for her, and it currently has about 3600 miles in it. She's never flown UA or CO again and it's quite unlikely she will in the forseeable future (and if she did, putting the OP number into the booking would likely be the last thing she'd think about doing... earning mileage rewards just not something she's spending time on).

    Anyway, with the pending merger, those 3600 miles will turn into MP miles and become subject to the new expiration policy. Time to start thinking about what to do with them...

    Looking at the OnePass and Mileage Plus site, it appears there isn't a whole lot these are useful for.

    - I could subscribe to a magazine for the next five years or so, but I already have piles of unread ones that p*$$ my wife off, so adding to them wouldn't be a wise choice.

    - I could transfer most of the miles into my own account for around $45 ($15/1000 miles). I'd rather keep my $45 :)

    - I could try and somehow acquire more miles into that account to get enough for an award (eg intra island HI for 5000, though no plans to fly intra-HI) or one-way domestic (12500). Are there any transfers into CO/UA's programs that are cost-effective and don't require the names to match?

    - I could donate them on the CO/UA website.

    Any other ideas?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Donate or let them expire. At that volume it isn't worth the costs of growing the accounts. There are reasonably cheap/easy ways to keep them alive, but if you're never going to grow them anyways it probably isn't worth it.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Seems Ultimate Rewards can transfer into an account with a different name.
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But the value in that is still somewhat limited? Probably less value than transferring a few extra points to your real account where you already likely have more to combine them with and where you already have status to get redemption benefits, too. There's a little bit of value, but not a ton. I wouldn't go out of my way to use them that way.
     
  5. Titans26

    Titans26 Silver Member

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    I dislike giving miles back to the airline. If you control the account (password) I would wait around for a special mileage sale or bonus and top off the account (12,500 or 25,000). I would then use the miles as needed. If you are a frequent flyer the miles will definitely come in handy.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, it's peanuts compared to the miles in my own account and definitely not worth spending too much mental effort on ;).
     
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  7. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Have you considered using something like points.com? The exchange rates are awful but if you are thinking of just letting the miles expire, I guess moving them into another program at a really bad rate is better than nothing at all.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I thought about it, but in the past the value/cost just didn't seem worth it.

    But I took a quick look.

    I could get 1000 Alaska miles for a $20 fee and 2000 CO miles. Not really worth the $20 to me, especially considering that I have just about 26000 RDMs with Alaska that have been sitting around for ages and require "maintenance" to keep alive. I really need to use those, not add to them :)
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    if you are going to pay the ridiculous fees anyways it is almost certainly better to stay within the same program if at all possible.
     
  10. hulagrrl210
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    You can trade there without fees. That rates still suck though.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Between your own accounts, right? (or do they not compare names?)
     
  12. hulagrrl210
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    Yes, between my own accounts. I transferred something like 4 or 5 US miles into 1 Frontier miles (I had 1,000 they gave me from some promo) and then 1,001 Frontier miles back to a couple hundred US miles during the Grand Slam promo. Again not the best rate, but I had no use for the Frontier miles and the requirement was 1,001 to transfer out of the program so it worked out perfectly.

    I guess there would be no harm trying between accounts with different names, as long as you know the numbers. Worst case is it doesn't work and you are back where you started.
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yes, I send a few AA miles (5?) into my US account for the grand slam hit. There was no fee involved in that case.

    True, worst case the miles get lost between the systems and I am out 3600 orphan miles that might otherwise have not been useful for anything. 3600 CO miles apparently translate into 790 AA miles or 1200 US miles or 1500 Priority Club points or 2800 HHonors points (via Hawaiian).

    I guess what I'll do is keep this option and the UR top-off option in mind. If I end up needing a one-way ticket on UA/CO some time in the next 12-18 months, I'll push some UR points into the account and use them to buy the ticket. Else, I'll try points.com.
     
  14. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    That works and works instantly. You can transfer to any Onepass Accounts.
     

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