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Old Jan 31, 10, 4:58 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 178
Earning preferred Miles

Hi,
I've been reading this board for awhile and just recently signed up, so I am new but not totally clueless I have a few questions regarding earning preferred miles and segments. I'm in Phx, so I've been flying US Air for a few years and even though it doesn't mean much I'm silver this year. My question is I'd like to work towards Gold, Plat or higher, but other than a random bonus where you can get preferred miles it seems all require your to fly First or Envoy. So just looking at the number of miles needed or segments and paying for those classes it's going to cost me a bunch of $$$ to obtain these levels?. Maybe I'm totally missing something and there are hugely discounted fares that qualify, but how do I find them?, I'm trying to learn more about mileage runs but from what I've read they are generally coach fares? So I guess I'm trying to determine if paying for those qualifying fares is worth obtaining the elite status.

Currently I fly international about twice a year, but would go more often 4-5 times if I could get upgraded, I can also do weekend and long weekend runs just for regular miles to also use as upgrades for int flights. Any suggestions? Is United a better option?

I was also considering Red Carpet Club vs Us Airways as well.

Thanks, and I hope to become a worthwhile participant on this forum, but I have a lot to learn, reading these posts are like trying learning a new language. Is there a Rosetta stone for Flyer talk?
Bonesaz
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Old Jan 31, 10, 5:33 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 38
Welcome Bonesaz - Preferred qualifying miles can be earned on almost all paid tickets - no need for them to be first class tickets.
whatsthisbutton4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 31, 10, 5:42 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: US Plat, SPG Gold
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Welcome to FT!

Like whatsthisbutton4 said, you don't need to fly First or Envoy to earn miles, however, you do have to fly. US may have a promotions for a few EQMs (like 1,500 EQMs for joining the club or the 10k EQM conversion for spending more than 25k on the CC) but the only way to reach the higher levels is to fly the required number of miles.
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Old Jan 31, 10, 5:45 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: PHL
Programs: US Gold
Posts: 4,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsthisbutton4 View Post
Welcome Bonesaz - Preferred qualifying miles can be earned on almost all paid tickets - no need for them to be first class tickets.
The OP's post was not clear. The OP meant that the only way to earn bonus Preferred miles is to fly paid First/Envoy. The OP is seeking ways to earn more Preferred miles.

Bonesaz: If you spend $25k+/year on credit cards, some USAir-branded cards will give you 10K Preferred miles. That way, you only need to fly 40K miles to earn GP status.
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Old Jan 31, 10, 6:00 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: US-CP, UA, Marriott Rewards, HHonors, Avis,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonesaz View Post
Currently I fly international about twice a year, but would go more often 4-5 times if I could get upgraded, I can also do weekend and long weekend runs just for regular miles to also use as upgrades for int flights. Any suggestions? Is United a better option?
Keep in mind that US does not offer any complimentary upgrades internationally (except maybe the Caribbean--- I need to check)except at the Chairmans level, which gets you some certificates that can be traded in for upgrades on flights to Europe when they're available.

At the current mileage redemption levels for upgrades to Europe, you'll have to rack up a lot more miles to cover 4-5 International upgrades, and don't forget to factor in the taxes and fees.

Not trying to discourage you from trying for higher status with US; just make sure you understand what Gold, Plat etc buys you before you spend a bunch of money on mileage runs.

Also research the UA benefits as I believe they're a little more generous for international travel with the high-tier elites.

That said--- US had two double-miles promos last year, one for everyone and one for a reward if you bought a club membership; both counted towards Elite status althought the club membership one was capped at 10k extra miles in the month or so after buying the membership. Make sure you are signed up for every email imaginable from US so you can get notified in case they do one of these again (and I hope they do).

Sign up for the eSavers; there's good deals there now and then although usually not for the long hauls.

Also there is a Mileage Buzz forum here on FT that has lots of cheap fares. I do tend to see more for UA than for US listed there but since it's all Star Alliance it should all count towards status.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 31, 10, 7:03 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: PHL
Programs: US Gold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcpatti View Post
Keep in mind that US does not offer any complimentary upgrades internationally (except maybe the Caribbean--- I need to check)except at the Chairmans level, which gets you some certificates that can be traded in for upgrades on flights to Europe when they're available.
From personal experience, I can assure you that regular upgrades are available to the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Canada. Definitely not to Hawaii and Europe.
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Old Jan 31, 10, 9:26 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 178
Thanks

Thanks for replying, I'm glad to see that I don't need to fly paid First or Envoy to get preferred miles, I now understand with paid in that class you can earn bonus miles if you have status. I'll have to look at United's program as well to see what their upgrades are like, but I'm open to either program, I'd like to achieve status and be able to get complimentary upgrades domestic and International ( don't we all).

Hopefully Us runs some miles promos this year, think I should wait and see if they do one for the club membership, might work out as well.

tommyleo - I do have the US MasterCard and just signed up for the Starwood Amex based on info I read on this forum, should help with adding miles, and yes I was trying to understand how to earn preferred miles not just bonus miles.


I briefly looked at United's site,their credit card offers a lot as well, guess I have more research to do.

Thanks again for your insight
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