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Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Somerville...
posts: 4
reviews: 3
Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

I'm flying to Australia in 3 weeks. I'd like to take advantage of getting the most miles for the trip. I have to fly United so I can travel with my wife. My plan is to open a United Airlines credit card and put the trip on there. Is this my best course of action, or is there a way to get more miles or a different way of doing it?

I was also wondering where I could go to pay someone to use their United Airlines miles so my wife and I could be upgraded on the trip there. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Jim

7 replies to this topic
Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 14,168
reviews: 71
1. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Hi,

"I was also wondering where I could go to pay someone to use their United Airlines miles so my wife and I could be upgraded on the trip there. Any information is greatly appreciated."

==> Be VERY, VERY careful when you use the term "pay" with respect to using, trading or otherwise, your miles or someone else's miles.. In most cases it is explicitly forbidden to sell, trade, barter or exchange anything of value for miles and if caught the carrier almost always has the unilateral right by the mileage program rules, to cancel that ticket (even if it's only partially used), collect the proper fare for you to travel or continue to travel, cancel the mileage account used, seize all miles used on that account.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 3:20 pm, April 28, 2014
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 12,246
reviews: 181
2. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

<I was also wondering where I could go to pay someone to use their United Airlines miles so my wife and I could be upgraded on the trip there. Any information is greatly appreciated.>

Unfortunately, the best way to maximize your miles is to pay for your upgrade. This will be costly, because I believe only the higher up fare classes are eligible for upgrade with miles. Do you have any relatives who fly a lot? Make sure you heed the warning above about being caught "paying" for miles or awards.

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 12,598
reviews: 187
3. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Jim,

I think that you have gotten good advice, that covers the UA "Miles" aspect, regarding swapping, or buying them.

Family (not sure how broad "family" is) can transfer miles, but that procedure is fairly expensive, IMHO.

As for a way to maximize miles, I would look into the Chase, United Club Card VISA. Initially, after the first purchase (might be a $ amount attached, but I do not remember), one gets a mileage bonus. One gets a mileage bonus when buying a UA ticket on that card, also.

IIRC, that card costs US$ 350 annually, but gets one a free membership in UA Clubs, about a US$ 400 cost. Also, one gets earlier boarding, direct access to E+ seats and a baggage allowance. [Terms and conditions are subject to change.]

Though I already had a Chase UA MasterCard, I sprung for the previous version of that Chase VISA card (forget name now), which also gave us an increased PQM (were called EQM's back then), as well as miles. That card was replaced by the Club Card, and while not quite so good (no extra PQM's), it's still a good deal.

Look into all CC "dining programs," and enroll every card you have in all of the ones that offer points/miles where you want them.

Look at hotel loyalty programs, and sign up for any that partner with the airlines that you fly (for instance, UA has offers with Marriott and Hilton, plus others), and channel part of your hotel loyalty points to your UA account.

Check all credit card companies (for cards that you have) for offers to accelerated UA points.

Those are just a few ways to maximize UA Miles, and I do them all, plus any legal ones, that I can discover.

Good luck,

Hunt

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,008
reviews: 378
4. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

As with many airlines, the cost to transfer miles is almost as high as buying miles. You can, of course, earn miles through specific non-flight purchases, car rentals, etc.,. noted on the airline's Web site, but that can be a very slow process.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 12,246
reviews: 181
5. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Just a quick follow up about my "relatives" comment...I realize transfers come at a cost, but I was thinking about family members or even friends who have SWU's (now called GPU's) to sponsor the OP's trip. I tend to use all mine, but I've sponsored friends on special trips in the past.

Edited: 7:07 am, April 30, 2014
Somerville...
posts: 4
reviews: 3
6. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Thanks Gopbi! I appreciate the warning.

Somerville...
posts: 4
reviews: 3
7. Re: Flying on United - Best Way to Maximize Points?

Thanks Hunt! I really appreciate it!

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