Is Star Alliance Gold/Gold Elite Worth It

 
Old Dec 3, 10, 11:13 am
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Is Star Alliance Gold/Gold Elite Worth It

Re-qualified for Silver late this year. Gotten sudden buiness trip EWR-LAX in B so 150% EQMs bonus. Now, I am 15K EQMs short of Gold. I found mileage run LGA-IAH-HNL B fare for 15K EQMs with bonus that I can do in a weekend for $1,700. Wanted to see if people think this is worth doing to move from Silver to Gold. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by BJRDALBK; Dec 3, 10 at 11:15 am Reason: Clarity
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Old Dec 3, 10, 11:38 am
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depends.

Gold gets a 100% RDM bonus and lounge access on international flights.

With the creation of new elite tiers I wouldn't expect a whole lot more upgrades, but they will increase.

If you are planning on traveling internationally or need the RDMs then yes. If not then no.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
depends.

Gold gets a 100% RDM bonus and lounge access on international flights.

With the creation of new elite tiers I wouldn't expect a whole lot more upgrades, but they will increase.

If you are planning on traveling internationally or need the RDMs then yes. If not then no.
I hope that we don't get into yet another thread of "elite status stinks, I get no EUAs", etc.

Having said that, I echo colpuck. $1700 is not worth *G with the amount of flying you do. A better spend could be netted with EWR-SEA transcons, LGA-IAH-SMF/SJC flights, but done over and over again. EWR-SEA is $221 and ~4600 miles. LGA-SJC can drop to below $250, and ~6000 miles.

But I'd ask for this post to be moved to Mileage Run and ask others for a better MR advice.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 11:46 am
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I do 4 to 5 international trips per year, and I fly between countries on each trip. For the lounge access alone, * Gold is very worthwhile. But as a CO Gold flying out of EWR, I don't count on too many upgrades. One big exception, I do a lot of business in south FL, and I have an excellent success rate going to MIA, FLL, and RSW.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 11:57 am
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Assuming you fly another 50,000 miles in 2011, Gold will net you an extra 37,500 RDM miles. If you value those miles at $0.02 per mile, that translates to $750.

Star Gold will also get you into lounges for international flights. Considering a one year membership in President's club is $450. Since you only get it for international the "value" of this benefit is maybe ~$200-300?

As for increased Gold upgrade success rates over Silver, a multiple of nothing is still nothing. So you can forget about that aspect.

Net net... $1,700 spent for ~$1,000 return in benefits? I say the $1,700 is better spent on buying a new TV or something else that improves your life. A mileage run is definitely negative ROI.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 12:27 pm
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Gold Elite

Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
I hope that we don't get into yet another thread of "elite status stinks, I get no EUAs", etc.

Having said that, I echo colpuck. $1700 is not worth *G with the amount of flying you do. A better spend could be netted with EWR-SEA transcons, LGA-IAH-SMF/SJC flights, but done over and over again. EWR-SEA is $221 and ~4600 miles. LGA-SJC can drop to below $250, and ~6000 miles.

But I'd ask for this post to be moved to Mileage Run and ask others for a better MR advice.
Hey man! Thanks for the advice. Not trying to hate on EUAs. Just looking for some advice. My issue is that I do not have three weekends to get the 15K EQMs. I really have only one shot. I would need to do that run 3 times (presumably with a Sat. stay to get that fare) to get to 15K EQMs. But you make an excellent point. Thanks again!
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Old Dec 3, 10, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by jtwiz View Post
I do 4 to 5 international trips per year, and I fly between countries on each trip. For the lounge access alone, * Gold is very worthwhile. But as a CO Gold flying out of EWR, I don't count on too many upgrades. One big exception, I do a lot of business in south FL, and I have an excellent success rate going to MIA, FLL, and RSW.
Appreciated man. I do a number of international flights as well so the international lounge access would be useful. It is some food for thought.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by sweetkiddddo View Post
Assuming you fly another 50,000 miles in 2011, Gold will net you an extra 37,500 RDM miles. If you value those miles at $0.02 per mile, that translates to $750.

Star Gold will also get you into lounges for international flights. Considering a one year membership in President's club is $450. Since you only get it for international the "value" of this benefit is maybe ~$200-300?

As for increased Gold upgrade success rates over Silver, a multiple of nothing is still nothing. So you can forget about that aspect.

Net net... $1,700 spent for ~$1,000 return in benefits? I say the $1,700 is better spent on buying a new TV or something else that improves your life. A mileage run is definitely negative ROI.

Thanks Sweetkiddddooo (sp?). I actually calue the miles at a little more than $0.02 cents per mile. I use miles almost always for international upgrades or international Business Class tickets. Those tickets usually cost $5-6K, although better fares canbe had at various times of the year. Business class ticket can be had (off-peak) for 100,000 miles so that is between $0.05-0.06 per mile. Am I thinking about that right? If not, please let me know. Thanks
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Old Dec 3, 10, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by BJRDALBK View Post
Hey man! Thanks for the advice. Not trying to hate on EUAs. Just looking for some advice. My issue is that I do not have three weekends to get the 15K EQMs. I really have only one shot. I would need to do that run 3 times (presumably with a Sat. stay to get that fare) to get to 15K EQMs. But you make an excellent point. Thanks again!
Both flights I mentioned didn't (at the time I booked them) need a Saturday night stay.

Oh, and the EUA comment wasn't directed at you.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BJRDALBK View Post
Hey man! Thanks for the advice. Not trying to hate on EUAs. Just looking for some advice. My issue is that I do not have three weekends to get the 15K EQMs. I really have only one shot. I would need to do that run 3 times (presumably with a Sat. stay to get that fare) to get to 15K EQMs. But you make an excellent point. Thanks again!
You can always buy EQMs without flying using CO's mileage maximizer on cancelled refundable ticket or cancelled reward ticket. That'll at least save you time from flying. By buying the maximizer on your LAX ticket, you'll be that much closer to hitting the threshold you need.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Both flights I mentioned didn't (at the time I booked them) need a Saturday night stay.

Oh, and the EUA comment wasn't directed at you.
Thanks. I am checking itout. I have posted this discussion in Mileage Run Discussion as suggested above.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by BJRDALBK View Post
... I use miles almost always for international upgrades or international Business Class tickets. Those tickets usually cost $5-6K, although better fares canbe had at various times of the year. Business class ticket can be had (off-peak) for 100,000 miles so that is between $0.05-0.06 per mile. Am I thinking about that right? If not, please let me know. Thanks
Would you pay $5k-6k in cash for that business ticket? If not, then the true utility of that business class seat to you is less than $5-6k. How much would you pay (in cash) for that Business Class seat? $2k? $3k? If $3k, then the relative value of miles is $0.03.

Miles should have a huge negative liquidity premium thereby discounting their value even further. You cannot always get the flight you want with with 100,000 miles but you can almost always get the flight you want with cash. Therefore, you need to apply another discount to miles.

When you apply those discounts, the value of miles is often stated between $0.01 to $0.02 per mile is probably fair.

As another data point, you can often find credit cards that give you either 1% cash back or 1 point per dollar spent. This means credit card companies are essentially valuing the miles at $0.01 per mile.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 8:35 pm
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buy a club membership

Buy a club membership (US CO or UA they reciprocate) if that's all you will use star gold for. Or buy a US airways club pass and 49999 PQM on US for maybe $1700 total. You will often get upgraded way more on US than CO so it will give you that benefit too.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Gold gets a 100% RDM bonus and lounge access on international flights.

With the creation of new elite tiers I wouldn't expect a whole lot more upgrades, but they will increase.
The creation of new elite tiers has no effect on the gold upgrade rates.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jfinsocal View Post
Buy a club membership (US CO or UA they reciprocate) if that's all you will use star gold for.
Club membership does not equate to star gold. PC membership does not allow you entry into many lounges worldwide - I have both PC membership and star gold and outside the USA find myself using my star gold card far far more than the internationallly worthless PC card.
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