Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 13, 12, 11:44 am   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ballard, WA (SEA)
Programs: UA 1K MM, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Exec Elite
Posts: 7,362
MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange - turning old gift cards into MP miles

https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com...gcWelcome.html

http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings....481&highlight=
Quote:
United Continental Holdings, Inc., today launched the MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange, a first-of-its-kind program that enables MileagePlus members to convert the remaining value of unused or partially used retail gift cards into award miles.

MileagePlus members also may now use gift cards from more than 60 major retailers to purchase award miles electronically online.

After logging into their MileagePlus accounts, customers select the retailer and enter their gift card information. Once MileagePlus verifies the transaction, United converts the balance on the gift card to award miles and deposits the miles into the members' accounts.
$25 minimum on cards. Any guesses to the conversion rate? I'm going to say $0.03 to the mile...
__________________
@bmvaughn - my.openflights
bmvaughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 11:48 am   #2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1.5MM, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 24,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmvaughn View Post
....Any guesses to the conversion rate? I'm going to say $0.03 to the mile...
ugh ..
Quote:
Can I get better rates/miles for my cards or is it the same for all gift cards?

Our rates are determined by market pricing, which is affected by several factors. In order to find the rate for your card, please enter your gift card information to receive an offer. You are under no obligation to sell your card, and we will not retain your gift card information if you do not confirm your sale. Please note that the mileage offer you see displayed for the same gift card of the same value may change from time to time.
WineCountryUA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 11:51 am   #3
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 238
MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange

Just saw this advertised on the United (and EWR Terminal C) Facebook pages:

https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com...gcWelcome.html

As long as you have more than $25 on a gift card to different merchants, you can get miles for the remaining balance.

Haven't tried any of my cards to see how many miles I can get, but I am guessing the CPM won't be good.
ExitRowLegroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 12:03 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: PHX
Programs: AA EXP, US SP, UA 1K (bleh)
Posts: 217
The $25 minimum makes this offer almost useless. One of my main objections to gift cards is how difficult they are to use as the balance gets low. Often if you don't have enough on the card to cover the whole purchase, the merchant can't do the transaction. Or you have to know exactly what the balance is to tell the cashier, who can then enter it manually. What a pain.

I was excited to see this offer for RDM's, but looks like with the $25 minimum they have protected the gift card industry quite well.
intub8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 12:05 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ballard, WA (SEA)
Programs: UA 1K MM, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Exec Elite
Posts: 7,362
Given it's all being routed via Plastic Jungle, the $25 minimum is no surprise.
__________________
@bmvaughn - my.openflights
bmvaughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 12:06 pm   #6
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,549
Quote:
Originally Posted by intub8r View Post
The $25 minimum makes this offer almost useless. One of my main objections to gift cards is how difficult they are to use as the balance gets low. Often if you don't have enough on the card to cover the whole purchase, the merchant can't do the transaction. Or you have to know exactly what the balance is to tell the cashier, who can then enter it manually. What a pain.

I was excited to see this offer for RDM's, but looks like with the $25 minimum they have protected the gift card industry quite well.
Probably just not worth the time to do the conversion for $3.29 gift cards and the like. I doubt that the minimum is to protect the gift card industry, because I don't know why UA would care about protecting the gift card industry. (If UA really cared about "the industry" and wanted to ensure breakage, they would not offer this program at all.)

It looks like the $25 minimum is set by Plastic Jungle, UA's partner that accepts the gift cards for exchange, not by UA.
__________________
UA: "Sweeping" elite upgrades under the rug since 2012.
CollegeFlyer d/b/a EsquireFlyer. Names change. Values don't.

Last edited by EsquireFlyer; Feb 13, 12 at 12:23 pm..
EsquireFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 4:09 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: PHX
Programs: AA EXP, US SP, UA 1K (bleh)
Posts: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by CollegeFlyer View Post
Probably just not worth the time to do the conversion for $3.29 gift cards and the like. I doubt that the minimum is to protect the gift card industry, because I don't know why UA would care about protecting the gift card industry. (If UA really cared about "the industry" and wanted to ensure breakage, they would not offer this program at all.)

It looks like the $25 minimum is set by Plastic Jungle, UA's partner that accepts the gift cards for exchange, not by UA.
As far as taking time or resources to convert $3.29 gift cards (which I have a number of myself, LOL), since the process is entirely automated, what difference should it make whether there is $25 or $2.50 on the card? I can understand them not awarding fractional miles, but they could easily round down to the next integer.

I didn't really mean protect the gift card industry per se, but more along the lines of keeping unused balances in the hands of the gift card issuers. My guess would be that the gift card issuers are paying United a fee for this "service".. or do you guys think it's the other way around? Someone is making money off this somewhere, otherwise it wouldn't be happening in the first place.
intub8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 4:39 pm   #8
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 238
I just tried using a $25 LL Bean Gift Card for this. I was offered 670 miles. About 3.7 CPM isn't bad, but not worth it in my opinion.
ExitRowLegroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 4:43 pm   #9
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,549
Quote:
Originally Posted by intub8r View Post
As far as taking time or resources to convert $3.29 gift cards (which I have a number of myself, LOL), since the process is entirely automated, what difference should it make whether there is $25 or $2.50 on the card? I can understand them not awarding fractional miles, but they could easily round down to the next integer.

I didn't really mean protect the gift card industry per se, but more along the lines of keeping unused balances in the hands of the gift card issuers. My guess would be that the gift card issuers are paying United a fee for this "service".. or do you guys think it's the other way around? Someone is making money off this somewhere, otherwise it wouldn't be happening in the first place.
I don't think they are returning the value to the gift card issuers (the gift card issuers probably would not pay anything for the unused value, if they thought that the alternative was breakage). Instead, PlasticJungle sells the gift cards to other consumers (and earns a margin between the more deeply discounted buy price and the less deeply discounted sell price).

So a gift card for $3.29 for example, requires PlasticJungle to take delivery of the gift card (usually mailed in, except for some that can be entered in electronically as e-certs), and then market and ship the gift card to another buyer. So for such a small denomination of gift card (which is also harder to resell), the sale income may not be worth the transaction costs.
__________________
UA: "Sweeping" elite upgrades under the rug since 2012.
CollegeFlyer d/b/a EsquireFlyer. Names change. Values don't.
EsquireFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 6:09 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: PHX
Programs: AA EXP, US SP, UA 1K (bleh)
Posts: 217
I may be misunderstanding how this works, but it says prominently on the splash screen displayed at the start of this process, and in the FAQs, that you are not required to mail in the cards. So what's the loss in not accepting gift cards with less than $25?
intub8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 6:11 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ballard, WA (SEA)
Programs: UA 1K MM, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Exec Elite
Posts: 7,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by intub8r View Post
I may be misunderstanding how this works, but it says prominently on the splash screen displayed at the start of this process, and in the FAQs, that you are not required to mail in the cards. So what's the loss in not accepting gift cards with less than $25?
The fact that somehow Plastic Jungle needs to resell the cards and they've probably found that it's difficult to make a profit on a card for $3.92.

Keep in mind all of their infrastructure costs and the fact that they have to resell a card with a value of $3.92 on it... so they would probably only want to pay you the equivalent of $2 for it, or 50 miles. At some point, it doesn't make sense to support.
__________________
@bmvaughn - my.openflights
bmvaughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 6:15 pm   #12
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,549
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmvaughn View Post
Keep in mind all of their infrastructure costs and the fact that they have to resell a card with a value of $3.92 on it... so they would probably only want to pay you the equivalent of $2 for it, or 50 miles. At some point, it doesn't make sense to support.
Excuse me, we said $3.29, not $3.92. So, 36 miles?
__________________
UA: "Sweeping" elite upgrades under the rug since 2012.
CollegeFlyer d/b/a EsquireFlyer. Names change. Values don't.
EsquireFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 6:18 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ballard, WA (SEA)
Programs: UA 1K MM, Alaska MVP Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Exec Elite
Posts: 7,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by CollegeFlyer View Post
Excuse me, we said $3.29, not $3.92. So, 36 miles?
Awesome valuation for that $0.63, that's like 1.75cpm
__________________
@bmvaughn - my.openflights
bmvaughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 7:03 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: BOM
Programs: UA Gold, AC, AA, DL, Marriott Gold, Hyatt
Posts: 5,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by intub8r View Post
The $25 minimum makes this offer almost useless. One of my main objections to gift cards is how difficult they are to use as the balance gets low. Often if you don't have enough on the card to cover the whole purchase, the merchant can't do the transaction. Or you have to know exactly what the balance is to tell the cashier, who can then enter it manually. What a pain.

I was excited to see this offer for RDM's, but looks like with the $25 minimum they have protected the gift card industry quite well.
Why do you think retailers love gift cards? How often are you going to spend exactly $25, or exactly $50, or whatever it is. And most people don't like leaving extra money there. So the retailer gets the incremental purchase value.

Unlike you, however, I have never had a problem using a gift card to purchase an item where the gc only covers part of the value. Usually, it is swiped as the payment, then the amount left on the gc gets taken off the balance, then you just pay the rest in cash, with CC, etc. In fact, I can't recall a single time where anything different has occured.
emcampbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 12, 9:47 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Anaheim Hills, CA
Programs: UA 0P/0.566MM, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, Hertz 5*, National EE
Posts: 4,072
Discrepancy #1.

In the FAQ Best Buy is listed, but when you click on the Retailer List it is not there. It also isn't in the drop down to start the process. Probably not worth it anyways.

Also, OT, but for those of you who are talking about losing small amounts on gift cards, check your state laws. For instance, in CA, if your gift card has less than $10 in value on it, the retailer is required by law to provide the balance back in cash if you ask. Some places, like Home Depot, just give it back to you automatically when the balance drops below $10 (at least at the self checkout lines)
jasonvr is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 2:02 pm.




SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.