Author Topic: What to do with United Airline Miles...  (Read 3839 times)

texxan1

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What to do with United Airline Miles...
« on: April 22, 2017, 07:10:58 AM »
Ok, so I work across the big pond and my company pays for my flights... I purchase business first tickets on my United Visa card and the get reimbursed from my company... Since I do it this way, I get double miles for every dollar I spent, then I get 1.5x miles I fly etc etc.

So ive reached like 1.8mil airmiles... Because my company pays for all my flights, im accruing over 45k miles a month..    Is there a way to make money off these.. Sell them or something, buy tickets for others for cash etc.

I know I want to keep atleast 250k worth of miles for trips I may take each year, but the rest just seems to be going to waste.

I thought about just racking em up for the next 4 years till I FIRE to have a shit ton left to travel on once I do retire, but I am always thinking im gonna end up losing them if I don't use them

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Tex

geekette

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 07:52:19 AM »
I know you can trade them in for gift cards (poor redemption rate) or buy iffy merchandise (also poor redemption rate).

You can book tickets for others. Getting paid for it is against UAL's rules, but it happens. There are companies that will do this for you, but I've never done it.

Before you ditch them, make sure you're keeping enough for your own trips. I've been having trouble finding availability for flights I want lately.


Catbert

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 12:21:15 PM »
I would be very hesitant to sell them commercially or directly buy airfare for people you don't know.  As geekette mentioned that violates their rules.  I'd be willing bet that buried in the award rules is the ability for them to close down your account and confiscate your miles for violating the rules.  Unlikely to get on their radar but I guess it could be obvious if you suddenly bought 1M miles of tickets for others.

However, if you have friends or family you could "sell" them tickets.  If anyone checked it's much easier to explain why you bought a ticket for you neice than for Mary W.  Or get gift cards.  Yes, the redemption is lousy compared to international airfare, but still much better than nothing.


maizefolk

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 12:36:13 PM »
What about switching to a non-united credit card to purchase the miles? The estimates I've seen for the value of a united miles if you're redeeming them for flights are on the order of 1.5 cents/mile, so if you were getting 2 miles per dollar spent and using them for flights would have taken anyway you'd be getting the equivalent of 3% cash back for using the united card. Since you are trying to cash them out in any other way, their value is much lower, so you might be much better off just using a 2% cash back credit card.

It'd still be accumulating miles from actually flying, but that would at least slow the growth of your giant pile of miles and get you some nice fungible cash to replace them.

missundecided

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 12:52:08 PM »
Likewise, you could use the ticket purchases for cash bonuses on new cards and churn.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 01:49:21 PM »
Buy gift cards with miles. Sell gift cards on Gift Card Granny for cash. Invest the cash with Vanguard. Profit.

SuperSecretName

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 02:27:43 PM »
Use a 2% cash back card instaead. Or even the new 3% from Alliant. But stop using a miles card and go for the straight cash back

Ocinfo

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 03:53:32 PM »
Get a Chase Sapphire Reserve card (or any high end Citi, Amex). 3x UR points on airfare and you can transfer to multiple airlines/hotels (including United) or redeem at 1.5 cents each through Chase. You'll still be earning your actual flight miles on United but you'll at least have some diversification.

Bigger question is why you're flying United every week. I fly international business/first class a good amount and I avoid United as it's usually the most expensive (out of IAD), seats aren't great, and service is completely hit or miss.


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chasesfish

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 06:58:38 PM »
Change credit cards, no sense in accruing more united miles via credit card points.

Enjoy the 1st class travel when you retire with all those nice miles.

Neva6

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 09:13:10 PM »
Wow that is a ton of miles. I would probably switch to a 2% cash back card since your tickets are pricey. For a $5000 ticket you would pocket $100 instead of additional 10,000 miles. You likely earn plenty of miles for your personal use from just flying the routes in First class.

You are fortunate you get to fly first all the time. My company sticks me in the back of the plane on my flights to Asia and it is not so fun. If you ever have any unused global upgrades expiring on United I could use em! :D

texxan1

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 05:33:23 AM »
some good points.. I will look into all above

Neva6.... How would one transfer unsued global upgrades.. I have 6 right now, and they wont get used before I get an additional six when I hit 1k again...

Neva6

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 01:02:18 PM »
Texxan1 - I sent you a PM.

rockstache

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 01:40:49 PM »

You are fortunate you get to fly first all the time. My company sticks me in the back of the plane on my flights to Asia and it is not so fun. If you ever have any unused global upgrades expiring on United I could use em! :D
+1 I would LOVE to have these on an upcoming trip!

KBecks

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 01:44:28 PM »
Perhaps you can donate air tickets or gift cards to charity and get a break on your taxes. 

CptCool

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 09:47:46 AM »
Perhaps you can donate air tickets or gift cards to charity and get a break on your taxes.

You can donate miles as well, but it isn't tax deductible. https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/CharityMilesSSO.jsp

If I were you, I'd make sure all your friends/family know that they shouldn't buy UA tickets without asking you first. Then just give them a discount and use your miles to buy the ticket.

Buy your parents a first/business-class ticket to that place they've always wanted to go to. Know anyone getting married? Give them a gift of first/business-class tickets to their honeymoon destination.

Use them up yourself - you have enough and continue to earn enough that you don't even have to look for saver availability. Just enjoy them.

texxan1

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Re: What to do with United Airline Miles...
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2017, 10:49:13 AM »
I tried to use them for my parents lol, but they are globbtrotters and have more airmiles than me.

Im gonna try and work something out.... but thanks for the idea's everyone has....

i like the idea of wedding gifts.... I have some great friends who are getting married soon

Thanks