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Is it me or is it pointless to collect miles?

Is it me or is it pointless to collect miles?

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Old Jan 15, 19, 10:27 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Now it's routine for DL domestic awards to price in the hundreds of thousands of miles.
Which is why I'd never exchange UR points for Delta's SkyPesos. Look into American or United instead.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 10:55 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by shmom View Post
I just used 131,000 UR points to fly 4 of us from NYC to London on Delta buying on the Chase CSR portal. If I had transferred to Delta I don't think I could have gotten 2 tickets.
You are buying revenue Delta tickets via Chase, but I understand the point. Virgin Atlantic is a good option to redeem Delta flights with very little fees.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:31 pm
  #33  
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If it really bothers you, I'd be glad to take the burden of tracking and managing all of those useless miles off your hands. I'll even book all the flights to use your points by myself.

You could also do what I've always done - get a 2% cash back card and you'd have, I assume, several thousand dollars in cash instead.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Counsellor View Post
Which is why I'd never exchange UR points for Delta's SkyPesos.
Good, since you can't do that anyway.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 4:36 pm
  #35  
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Not pointless.

I have a Europe trip for 5 people this summer booked with a mix of miles and cheap tickets. Taking advantage of the tail end of the off-peak Aer Lingus calendar to get ORD-DUB one-way for 13,000 Avios per person. Best part: the junk fees are only six dollars per ticket (plus some legit taxes). Coming back on TAP with a stopover in Lisbon.

Still planning on getting an early 2020 ticket on CX in J using AS miles. We have date and route flexibility so cautiously optimistic that we'll get that one booked in the next 60-90 days.

Actually have a few DL awards booked at 5,500 to 7,500 miles per ticket in the ~2cpm range. I don't have status on DL, am not chasing it, and won't ever have the miles to do long-haul F with them, so I just take small awards when I can get them. For all of Delta's warts, they seem content to allow members to redeem on the cheap end.

Just finished up 2 years using the hell out of a Southwest Companion Pass.

Have done multiple nice Marriott/SPG, Hyatt, and Hilton awards in the past year. Have more scheduled in 2019. Hilton is frustrating in that they devalue and then shower us with ever-more points, but you can still work the game if you pay attention.

The game evolves. But it's not pointless.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 5:51 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by Productivity View Post
It's you. For 240k UA points (transferable from your UR), you can get two round trip business class seats from North America to Europe.

Yes you have to do searching and work what you can with availability and this has certainly been made more difficult over the last few years, but you can still get lots of value if you learn the system and work it.
You have to do a lot of work. If you don't know anything, you have to read for hours to even know where to begin.
There are award services that will help you find and book, and fees are reasonable (well, in the hundreds. Depending on how valuable your time is, and whether you find award searching fun).
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:03 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
It used to (even just a few years ago) be way simpler and more worthwhile.

For a domestic roundtrip, 25k miles was the "saver" (off-peak) price and 50k miles was the "anytime" (peak) price.

Now it's routine for DL domestic awards to price in the hundreds of thousands of miles.
As someone who just managed to find four Delta C+ award tickets so family could come down from PIT during peak summer tourism season for 94K TOTAL, (standard economy was 18K a ticket but BIL is 6'4") I'm rolling my eyes at the bit of hyperbole. And know I couldn't have done better with the United/AA option because I'm not going to find four saver award tickets on the same regional jet flight they use into here compared to Delta's mainline options.

As others have said, flexibility is the key and deals are often still out there; you just have to put more effort into finding them.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 7:27 am
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If there's any possibility I might have to cancel or change my plans (due to weather, or whatever), I make sure I buy those tickets with points. This is for non-refundable domestic coach seats, not F or Business and not to Europe obviously. Bailed me out big time when I kept cancelling and then re-booking a Florida trip a few years ago; tropical storms wanted to rain on me every date I picked.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 1:24 pm
  #39  
 
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I don't find miles useful for flying. I do use them for hotel rooms - and those you can still get in exchange for miles without paying fees.

wg
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Old Jan 18, 19, 1:41 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
As others have said, flexibility is the key and deals are often still out there; you just have to put more effort into finding them.
Yes, but that's part of the issue. They've made it much harder and less flexible. Last August I was looking for award travel on AA in October, DSM to ORD, at the lowest redemption level. Didn't have to be a weekend, preferred not to take 6:30 AM or late-night flights since I was traveling with my 4-year old granddaughter for a quick overnight at the Hilton ORD, just to see how it went. I wanted to pay in one direction, redeem in the other, didn't matter which direction was which.

I found ONE pair of days during October when I could make it work with those criteria and of course it involved a lot of searching and clicking and charting the results.

Really- for Des Moines to Chicago, two months out? It's not like I wanted to go to Orlando during Christmas break. The good news is that we had a blast!
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:16 pm
  #41  
 
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One caveat I will add is this:

Once you spot a half-decent redemption opportunity, go for it. Don't hoard the miles in the hope of getting something better later on.

A case in point; I recently needed to book a one-way flight from ATH to MUC at reasonably short notice. I chose AF via CDG and had the following options:

184EUR cash

or

13,500 Flying Blue + 48EUR cash

Not the best redemption - almost exactly one Euro cent per mile, but given FB has quite a strict expiry policy and I am not a big Sky Team flyer, I decided to grab the 136EUR saving.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:50 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Athena53 View Post
Really- for Des Moines to Chicago, two months out?
Yep. This has gotten comically brutal on AA. I've had lots of cases where I want to book something long-haul, plan 10 or 11 months in advance, find all of the hard-to-get segments on various Oneworld partners, but then can't find any decent MCI-ORD segment on AA. On a random off-peak Saturday almost a year in advance!

Eventually, I usually give in and take the 6:30AM flight to ORD, spend a whole day in Chicago, and continue the itin. I mean, a day in Chicago is always fun, but it's frustrating that the noon, 2pm, 4pm, etc. flights are *never* available. They simply loaded them with zero award seats. It's not like these are seats that people camp out for 330 days in advance.

If I'm doing segment-by-segment itins (as with Avios and Aer Lingus), I know the trip is just going to start with a WN flight to Midway.

Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
Not the best redemption - almost exactly one Euro cent per mile, but given FB has quite a strict expiry policy and I am not a big Sky Team flyer, I decided to grab the 136EUR saving.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Exactly how I spend the few miles I get on Skyteam (DL). Just grab something. Don't let them sit there. For me, DL is in a better state (with the variable awards that could be as cheap as 5k-ish miles) than we were when it was only peak vs. off-peak. I can actually get 2 cents per mile if I'm lucky. But who knows how long this will last and they just cut it down to a flat 1 cent.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 1:14 am
  #43  
 
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There are certain places when miles can come handy. For example if you fly from South Africa to Victoria Falls. You can get R/T ticket in Economy for 15K miles. Revenue ticket on the same route would cost $500.

But I do agree what was has happened with points/miles in last 10 years is the they become way more specialized in usage/application. It requires considerable amount of flexibility and time invested to find meaningful redemption options.

And it will get only worse, so my recommendation to everyone - don't hoard miles/points and redeem them as soon as there are meaningful options to do so.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 7:15 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
You have to do a lot of work. If you don't know anything, you have to read for hours to even know where to begin.
There are award services that will help you find and book, and fees are reasonable (well, in the hundreds. Depending on how valuable your time is, and whether you find award searching fun).
Nobody ever said they didn't require effort. But when I've wanted J or F over the last five years, I've got J or F availability. It takes having balances spread out across alliances and a decent chunk of transferable points (Chase/Citi/AE) but it's rare that I can't find *something* in the dates I'm looking for.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by Productivity View Post
Nobody ever said they didn't require effort. But when I've wanted J or F over the last five years, I've got J or F availability. It takes having balances spread out across alliances and a decent chunk of transferable points (Chase/Citi/AE) but it's rare that I can't find *something* in the dates I'm looking for.
Actually, Juicy Miles has released a search. I presume this is better than any other award search engine. I don't know if this will be a game changer.
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