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MileagePlus Account Balance (How many miles do you all keep in your accounts?)

MileagePlus Account Balance (How many miles do you all keep in your accounts?)

Old May 16, 13, 11:12 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: National EE, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 465
MileagePlus Account Balance (How many miles do you all keep in your accounts?)

How many miles do you all keep in your accounts? I'm curious as to how many miles you consider too many. I don't want to load it up too much, only to suffer a mile devaluation; right now my balance is 161k and my wife has a little over 78k.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; May 16, 13 at 11:43 am Reason: poor thread title
JaysonW is offline  
Old May 16, 13, 11:21 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: PDX
Programs: UA, AS, AA, DL
Posts: 250
Surely one's MP balance is a rough proxy for life/work balance, at least for most of us. When I worked for a Fortune-50 company and flew 100k BIS miles/yr on UA, I had over 1.5M miles in my MP account, and frankly mileage deflation was the least of my concerns, though I wasn't a mile-counter either, really.

While not retired, I now travel less for business and more with my family (on my own dime), and while I still prefer to use my miles for upgrades rather than award seats, it is nonetheless sometimes convenient to spend them, and my account fluctuates between 100k and 400k miles, as I still have considerable credit-card spend going to my account.

Perhaps the better question is: what life event is it that turns folks here from deeply analyzing how to earn miles to deeply analyzing how to (most effectively) spend them?

I do honestly get the road-warrior mentality, as I was there once, but I would by lying if I said that in retrospect a better work/life balance is desirable. Of course, some people just love to fly.
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Old May 16, 13, 11:24 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jersey Shore/YYZ
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Gold, National Exec, Hertz PC
Posts: 12,348
I have ~200K, but usually cycle between 50K and 300K, as I have parents who are now spoiled flying back home to KTM in C.
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Old May 16, 13, 11:27 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: IAH
Programs: UA/CO-GS/PPlat,AA-Gold,SPG-Plat,Hilton-Diamond,Marriott-Plat,Hertz-Pres_Circe
Posts: 824
I have been letting my account grow, using maybe 80% of what I earn. The last 3 years I have earned 800K - 1M miles per year. I am just short of 1M miles currently in my account. I am saving miles for when my travel eventually declines. My wife also has ~200K. I think keeping a min of 100K is a good idea for booking last minute personal travel (berievement fares stink for example).
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Old May 16, 13, 11:34 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K / GlobalEntry / 1.2MM
Posts: 688
Just crossed the million mark on my account. I like to think of it as my other 401k plan.
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Old May 16, 13, 12:56 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Originally Posted by gnetwerker View Post
Surely one's MP balance is a rough proxy for life/work balance.
Unless of course one doesnt fly a single mile for work

I try not to keep more than 200k in my account at one time.
Burn burn burn.
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Old May 16, 13, 1:19 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTG, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
I try not to keep more than 200k in my account at one time.
Burn burn burn.
Agreed I'm concerned about mile devaluation all the time so for me 200k is enough to have flexibility and put together a pretty nice F / J itinerary, while also having some reserve in case you're in a real pinch.
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Old May 16, 13, 1:48 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hawaii
Programs: United 1K 2 MM
Posts: 1,075
We have about 700K each. It is nice in case of emergencies to have enough miles to rescue a vacation, or send a friend somewhere special. We rarely use the miles for ourselves.
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Old May 16, 13, 2:04 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA 1K 3MM , Marriott Amb, Hyatt D, HH D, Hertz PC
Posts: 840
I keep around 1.2 million miles in my account and whatever I burn is for friends and family.
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Old May 16, 13, 2:07 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Bend, IN
Programs: Delta-Gold Hertz-PresCircle HH-Gold Hyatt-Discoverist IHG-Plat National-Exec
Posts: 636
Originally Posted by jchiguy1 View Post
I keep around 1.2 million miles in my account and whatever I burn is for friends and family.
Can I be your friend???????

Seriously, I try to keep 100K in either my wife's or my account in case of an emergency need (first class, of course). Currently I have 111K and my wife has 75K so it's time to plan a trip!
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Old May 16, 13, 2:54 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA 1K 3MM , Marriott Amb, Hyatt D, HH D, Hertz PC
Posts: 840
Originally Posted by jgxtrav1 View Post
Can I be your friend???????

Seriously, I try to keep 100K in either my wife's or my account in case of an emergency need (first class, of course). Currently I have 111K and my wife has 75K so it's time to plan a trip!
<G>I've probably been around a lot longer than you...Actually I do find that I've been using miles quite a bit more for domestic upgrades as certain CPUs (ORD-LAX/SFO) seem far less likely to clear now than in the good old PMUA days. Happy travels to you and your spouse.
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Old May 16, 13, 3:05 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: united mileage plus
Posts: 145
I'm saving mine (just over 800k) until I reach nirvana . . .er, retirement
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Old May 16, 13, 3:06 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP, UA GM (2013 Gold, 2014 Silver), Hyatt Diamond, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum, Marriott Silver
Posts: 423
I have about 200k, but I don't have a goal. I use my miles when I can't find a reasonable airfare. I just used 120k miles for two round trip tickets that would've cost over $4k. If the tickets were reasonably priced, I would've bought them and earned the miles / status.

It also depends on whether you are saving for something, and how fast you earn miles.
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Old May 16, 13, 4:10 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
Posts: 5,698
My objective is to keep enough for the possibility of using for upgrades, so at least 40k for a R/T. Ideally more in case I have two itineraries pending (I tend to have intermittent international long haul).

Above that and it's flexibility to buy award tickets if needed, but to have that flexibility I would need to be up near 500K for 3 saver C tickets to other parts of the world, which is a pretty lofty number of miles.
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Old May 16, 13, 4:18 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: National EE, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 465
Thanks everyone for the replies. Like some of you, I mainly use the miles to purchase tickets for family to come visit and usually at the last minute so the rates (and fees) can get expensive.
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