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Value of UA miles (cents per mile) after all changes/devaluations

Value of UA miles (cents per mile) after all changes/devaluations

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Old Mar 26, 19, 4:46 am   -   Wikipost
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Old Mar 26, 19, 5:03 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat
Posts: 11,567
As all my UA miles are earned RDM I am not as obsessed with redemption value as I would be for Chase transfers or purchased points. That being said i still use the old .02 per mile rule as a yardstick for domestic economy, and thus $250 one-way is roughly my over/under benchmark. But EQM is also a factor for me so there are times when I might buy a $250 transcon (2500 EQM) but use 12.5k for a family member. Conversely I will gladly spend 12.5k for a ticket that earns few EQM (eg SFO-ASE).

I don’t fly so much that I have unlimited miles so i do try to save them for international business class saver awards. And even there I don’t always get .02 but it’s fine with me as I’d rather use 70k one-way than spend $1400x4 on a family trip.

I’ve never regretted using my miles - my only regrets are the awards I didn’t get when I had the chance. But that’s another subject for another thread
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Old Mar 26, 19, 11:26 pm
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,800
In anticipation of devaluation I burned up my United / CO miles, maximizing a good cents per mile value:

In 2018 did MIA-IST-ZRH-NBO using TK, Swiss 80,000 miles business class
JNB-GRU-IGU - Using SA (A330-300) & some South American carrier 45,000 miles business class
EZE-Torono-MIA - Using Air Canada - 55,000miles business class
Note that the so called "Excursionest Perk" would not book for travel between Kenya & South Africa

Between 2011 and 2014 we did three First Class trips costing 160,000 miles round trip each:

MIA-CDG-BKK-RGN-BKK-DXB-MUC-MIA using Lufthansa & Thai (UAL for domestic segments)
MIA-FRA-CAI-ZRH-BKK-DPS-BKK-FRA-MIA using Lufthansa, Swiss & Thai
FLL-IAH-PEK-BKK-SYD-BKK-ICN-JFK-FLL using Air China, Thai , Asiana (UAL for domestic segments)

In 2002 did an off peak business class award to Cairns Australia for 80,000 miles round trip using CO & Northwest with a sto[over at NGO. - CO miles

In 2000s did several round trips business class awards to Asia.using ANA & THAI, ( with United & US Air for domestic)

Back in early 1990s did a few trips to Austrlia /NZ, and also to Asia on CO where two round trip first class tickets were 170,000, which is 85,000 miles per person round trip.

I still have a lot of devalued AA & Delta miles that I could not yet burn down.

Buring up about 500,000 THAI miles this year for two first class tickets to Asia using ANA & THAI (prices on a paid ticket about $26,000 eaach, $52,000 total works out to 10 cents per mile, but probably could find cheaper first class) Note: effective Oct. 1, 2019 THAI appears to be doubling their mile cost

But probably the best value of all time was 125,000 British or US Air miles for round trip on Concorde.
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Last edited by BF263533; Mar 26, 19 at 11:33 pm
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Old Mar 28, 19, 5:30 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, AA Gold LT
Posts: 1,664
I price United Miles at about 1.3 cents. I book primarily J or F, so for economy fliers my evaluations might not make as much sense.
I have three different ways that I calculate that.
1) They shouldn’t really be worth more than a lifemile. You can buy virtually unlimited lifemiles from 1.2 – 1.4 cents during their sales. This would be particularly true for people living in major cities like LA, New York etc. that have lots of simple *flights available.
2) I often see paid business class fares to Europe for $2000 or Asia for $2500 (Check out premium fares forum flyertalk) I see these priced fares about as regularly as I see award availability to Europe or Asia. There may be some cost positioning to and from but I will call that a wash as these earn miles too. So Europe = 140,000 == $2000 flight. Or about 1.4 cents.
3) Manufacture Spend – although many ways to MS earn miles much less than that, there is the cost of frozen cards, locked accounts and time to go and manufacture. Lets call it 1.2 cents here.
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