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United Mileage Plus versus Miles and More

United Mileage Plus versus Miles and More

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Old Nov 10, 15, 9:46 am
  #1  
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United Mileage Plus versus Miles and More

I may be re-assigned to Switzerland, and will be traveling a bit. Accordingly, I am considering whether I should concentrate on the Mileage Plus program or Miles and More. It seems a tough decision for me.

I will likely return to the U.S. after three years, so it might be nice to have the United miles. But it may be that miles and more are easier to earn and my status potential could be higher. On the other hand, it seems that M&M miles expire 36 months after receipt, while there are ways to extend united miles.

Has anyone faced this decision? Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 10, 15, 10:19 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Alexzander View Post
I may be re-assigned to Switzerland, and will be traveling a bit. Accordingly, I am considering whether I should concentrate on the Mileage Plus program or Miles and More. It seems a tough decision for me.

I will likely return to the U.S. after three years, so it might be nice to have the United miles. But it may be that miles and more are easier to earn and my status potential could be higher. On the other hand, it seems that M&M miles expire 36 months after receipt, while there are ways to extend united miles.

Has anyone faced this decision? Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.
Depends on what you intend to do with your miles and what status you care to earn

M&M rewards paid premium cabin travel heavily. If you anticipate lots of ex-ZRH long haul travel in J/F then it would be a good fit. Many fares (not P though) earn very hefty bonuses and if you can get status it stacks up quickly. Many European star partners will also result you much more M&M miles in J (example TP) than UA.

If you intend to redeem for transAtlantic J/F awards having M&M miles can be good as LH group airlines releases a ton of J/F awards to its own members - if you book far out you can pretty much always get 2 J awards on any flight. If you rack up enough miles you can get F awards fairly easily too (LX F award is only for SEN and above and LH F awards are only released to partners within 14 days of departure (SQ has special access to these) so there's very little competition for those seats).

Downside is that you have to pay YQ on LH awards which can be a lot depending on where you are going. It's also much more difficult to get *G with LH - SEN requires 100k qualification miles per year and that's not easy if you don't fly paid J/F (frequent traveler is only *S which is useless on partners).

If you fly cheap Economy tickets on UA/LH then M&M isn't for you. 25% earning on most discount Y fares. You are better off crediting low fare class UA Y tickets to SQ while you still can.
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Old Nov 10, 15, 11:16 am
  #3  
 
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can confirm hansyuwiwb

for mainly economy flights stick to Mileage Plus

if you fly premium classes then M&M is better
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Old Nov 10, 15, 11:22 am
  #4  
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Dn't forget the MileagePlus requirement of 4 UA flights per year. That could be trivial but if you're not planning to return to the US much it could be a problem.
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Old Nov 10, 15, 5:32 pm
  #5  
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I've given this a lot of thought as I used to fly LH across the pond a few times a year in paid C. If you are based in the USA then it's a tougher call as the UA perks (upgrades, etc.) have some value particularly on your low-fare family trips. Also LH flights don't count for MM status, so those of us without lifetime status are still incented to fly UA metal.

Personally I think it comes down to whether you can achieve SEN status. If yes, then I think the LH elite perks (and awards) would offset what you would lose under MP. But as you note you would also need a plan to burn those miles relatively quickly which could create a timing problem. As others have noted, this assumes you fly LH in paid C/F international - if not your RDM and perks are likely better with UA MP.

As for losing the UA elite status, I wouldn't worry too much about that, it isn't as if you can't re-qualify when you are back in the states, and your LH flights don't count for MM status anyway. You can get a lot of the perks with a UA Chase card. The biggest minus IMO is the loss of E+ at the time of booking.
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Old Jan 3, 16, 6:36 pm
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Great info

This thread has great info. I am contemplating changing to Miles & more also. just a few facts about my flight patterns:

1) I will be Million mile status on UA in a few months, so I will always have the perpetual Gold status

2) The main use of my miles is USA to Europe in Business class. I really don't use the miles for anything else

3) I fly 2 to 3 paid business class trips to Europe (for work) per year

4) I fly 3-4 paid business/first UA flights per year.

5) 1K almost every year.

Do you think I should change to Miles & more after I get the 1mm on ua?

Should I change my credit card from UA to Miles & more instead also?
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Old Jan 3, 16, 11:29 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Alexzander View Post
On the other hand, it seems that M&M miles expire 36 months after receipt, while there are ways to extend united miles.
The 36-month time limit is lifted when you become a M&M elite or having a M&M credit card.

Originally Posted by SFflyer123 View Post
Do you think I should change to Miles & more after I get the 1mm on ua?
First - thanks for all of your amazing trip report videos.

In your case, I would not suggest switching to M&M from M+.

UA gives out 6 GPUs and 4 RPUs when you requalify for 1K. However, Senator only gets 2 SWUs. It seems that you were able to use your GPUs most of the time. In that case, the 4 extra GPUs will benefit you more.

It will be another story if you ever make HON Circle.

Originally Posted by SFflyer123 View Post
Should I change my credit card from UA to Miles & more instead also?
Up to you. Since the expiration policy will not apply to credit card holders, I don't see why not if you want to earn miles for other programs.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:29 am
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Sorry but IMHO MileagePlus >>>>>>>> Miles + More
Fees for awards are much less on United c.f Miles+More As are point requirements with Saver Awards for 1ks/Global Services
Just finished a 115K + US$78 award ZRH-FRA C on LH FRA-SIN on LH F and SIN-ADL on SQ in C You could never do this on M+M And after a ADL-SIN-BKK in C SQ/TG BKK-FRA TG F FRA-MXP LH C for 115K Miles + AU$80 Taxes
Throw in 45000 for LX C MXP-ZRH-TLV and another 45000 TLV TLV-ZRH in LX C This would never be possible on M+M M+M Senator or higher status is worth maintaining for preferred seating on LX/LH (1A or window seats on LH/LX F longhauls) and also for the ablity to upgrade on LX using a SAUA or M+M eVouchers
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:02 pm
  #9  
 
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Surprise Senator renewal on Lufthansa - should I continue MileagePlus?

For the second time in a row, Lufthansa has renewed my Senator status even though I don't have the miles (probably because I have a miles and more credit card). I moved to the US in 2014 and started MileagePlus then.

I'd like some advice: is there any advantage with reverting to collecting mileage on Lufthansa/Miles and More rather than MileagePlus for my United flights? I can use the Miles and More miles on United flights too, and I wonder how much more Star Alliance Gold members get over Premier Silver United in terms of upgrade/standby/seating privileges.

I have the MileagePlus Explorer credit card too now - if that's relevant.

Thoughts?
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:04 pm
  #10  
 
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If you are flying with United more frequently than with Lufthansa, then I'd say the major benefit of having a MileagePlus account with status is having free Economy Plus seats.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:31 pm
  #11  
 
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That makes sense - thank you! That's exactly the type of advantage I was wondering about and I realize I never took advantage of that!
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:27 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by joseeantonior View Post
If you are flying with United more frequently than with Lufthansa, then I'd say the major benefit of having a MileagePlus account with status is having free Economy Plus seats.
This is presently true but may be very iffy going forward as DL has just shafted its elites by requiring them to "upgrade" to E+ after they purchase a ticket (and UA likes to copy everything DL does).

That being said, the sweet spot is really UA Gold (50k EQM) as you can reserve E+ for yourself and a companion at the time of booking, whereas MP Silver is unable to get free E+ until 24 hours before the flight (at which point E+ is often full).
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Old Jan 4, 16, 3:33 pm
  #13  
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I would say that in pretty much every way, the United MileagePlus program is superior to M&M. (I've had status with both, but have never made it to SEN on M&M.) As a foreign-based elite w/ UA, you're also exempt from the PQD requirement, which is a sweet benefit.

The only way I'd consider switching to M&M is if you think you can reach HON status, which is unobtainable for pretty much anyone.

Keep in mind, you can use UA GPUs on LH, and UA *G gets you access to the SEN lounges throughout LH/LX's network.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 3:36 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by dawninthedelta View Post

I'd like some advice: is there any advantage with reverting to collecting mileage on Lufthansa/Miles and More rather than MileagePlus for my United flights? I can use the Miles and More miles on United flights too, and I wonder how much more Star Alliance Gold members get over Premier Silver United in terms of upgrade/standby/seating privileges.
The only real advantage of M&M is much greater access to LH J and F award space (but with fuel surcharges). If that's your #1 priority, M&M could make sense for you. Otherwise MP is the better program.
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Old Jan 5, 16, 11:37 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
The 36-month time limit is lifted when you become a M&M elite or having a M&M credit card.



First - thanks for all of your amazing trip report videos.

In your case, I would not suggest switching to M&M from M+.

UA gives out 6 GPUs and 4 RPUs when you requalify for 1K. However, Senator only gets 2 SWUs. It seems that you were able to use your GPUs most of the time. In that case, the 4 extra GPUs will benefit you more.

It will be another story if you ever make HON Circle.



Up to you. Since the expiration policy will not apply to credit card holders, I don't see why not if you want to earn miles for other programs.
Thanks for the kind words, Gary. Good advice.


Originally Posted by cbourl View Post
Sorry but IMHO MileagePlus >>>>>>>> Miles + More
Fees for awards are much less on United c.f Miles+More As are point requirements with Saver Awards for 1ks/Global Services
Just finished a 115K + US$78 award ZRH-FRA C on LH FRA-SIN on LH F and SIN-ADL on SQ in C You could never do this on M+M And after a ADL-SIN-BKK in C SQ/TG BKK-FRA TG F FRA-MXP LH C for 115K Miles + AU$80 Taxes
Throw in 45000 for LX C MXP-ZRH-TLV and another 45000 TLV TLV-ZRH in LX C This would never be possible on M+M M+M Senator or higher status is worth maintaining for preferred seating on LX/LH (1A or window seats on LH/LX F longhauls) and also for the ablity to upgrade on LX using a SAUA or M+M eVouchers
Good to know. Thank you.


Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The only real advantage of M&M is much greater access to LH J and F award space (but with fuel surcharges). If that's your #1 priority, M&M could make sense for you. Otherwise MP is the better program.
Yes, for me, I will have life-time UA Gold since I will be UA MM. Thus, I will always have economy plus seating. But from SFO, it's very hard to get LX awards to Europe. You can get LH near the last minute, but nearly impossible for LX. How much is the surcharge on LH and LX? When I book LH on UA, it's usually $150 surcharge for the ticket anyway.

Thanks.
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