Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Mar 26, 19, 4:46 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Sep 8, 16, 4:31 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,491
Value of UA miles (cents per mile) after all changes/devaluations

Up 2-3 years ago UA miles were priced by majority of this forum on average of 1-2c per mile.

Interesting to know how much public values UA miles after all earning/redemption/qualification requirement changes.
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:32 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 3,850
Their value will vary with their utility to a particular individual. For example, if you need to book domestic tickets on short notice they are worth a lot more than booking the same ticket months out. Bloggers value them at between 1.5-1.8 cents per mile.
JetAway is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:44 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: WAS DCA IAD BWI NCR ALX
Programs: Hilton Gold, Hotels.com Gold, Pizza Hut Rewards Supreme
Posts: 409
As the first reply said, it varies on your use for them, I'll add two examples for coach.

Two litmus tests for uses I'm used to:

My next hopeful award: Mainland US (East Coast) to Hawaii, usually a $700ish street value round trip at the time of year I want to go, also usually available that time of year for 45,000 miles saver Y, $700/45,000=1.55 cents per mile. Not great, but if you already have the use you want planned, and are looking to minimize cash spend, it saves you $700.

And then, my favorite flight in UA's global network, HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM on UA154 aka the Micronesian "Island Hopper," is a $1,250ish street value but only 25,000 points saver Y in the off-season (post holidays Jan + Feb), so that's roughly 5 cents per mile.

That alone is more than a 3x spread, but there are probably even more extreme examples out there.
aoumd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:48 am
  #4  
Used to be MBS PremExec
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Saginaw, Michigan (MBS)
Programs: UA 1K MM, Marriott Lifetime Useless Gold, IHG Plat, Hilton ♢, National Exec, Sixt Plat
Posts: 5,133
I just booked a 1 hour short-haul one-way for 10,000 miles, $350 ticket otherwise. $0.03+ per mile. Booked an 80,000 roundtrip to Hawaii in F class, $2000 otherwise. $0.025 per mile. I see J tickets to Asia for about the same redemption rate when those fares are on sale. Those are all, IMHO, realistic substitutions for paid fares.

Others say they can get a $0.05, $0.07 ot $0.10 per mile for a $10000+ F class International ticket. I wouldn't use that valuation, as I wouldn't pay that much $ in lieu of miles if no award was available, but if that's their choice to value, it's their choice to value it as such.

I think my brother-in-law, who flies quite a bit, is a damn fool for every time he gets 100,000 miles, he books 4 coach tickets to Orlando for his family. He must value his miles around $0.000002 each.

So, to each their own...Based on what their goals and travel needs are.
MBS MillionMiler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:55 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1P (1k ain't what it used to be)
Posts: 341
I just booked NYC-FRA-SIN-TYO-FRA-NYC on LH & NH F. It was 260k miles, I'm guessing if i priced up that itinerary it'd be close to $15k+ (not that i'd spend that kinda money on it). Individual utility wise it was probably worth ~2.5c/mile, conversion to actual flight cost >6c/mile
oblisk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:56 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Programs: UA *G 1MM LT United Club & Global Entry
Posts: 2,725
You can frequently purchase UA miles in the 1.8 to 2.0 cpm range. At that point you can individually judge redemptions as miles redeemed vs. $$ spend + miles earned. Frequently last minute domestic redemptions will the beat cash price on popular and/or thin routes.

I like to redeem USA to SE Asia in J. 160,000 miles or ~$3,000 in miles cost. With that you get the flexibility of booking *A partners like NH/OZ/LH/TG/BR. These tickets usually cost $5,000+ but the best *A cash price I have seen is $3,000 on TK via IST.


SL
SunLover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 6:11 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 7,609
I agree that it's what you do with them that counts. For me, I use them to buy Business Class vacations to far away places, either as a real treat for a longer vacation, or to make a one week vacation possible despite the length of trip. Over last New Year Mrs LHRSFO and I enjoyed 10 days in CPT courtesy of miles. The year before it was Argentina.

I would not value the miles at the price of the Business Class flights, as I wouldn't spend that much. I wouldn't value them at the price of the Economy Class flights, since I wouldn't travel that far - two overnight flights - stuck in the back.

So the miles make the trip possible in that we wouldn't do it otherwise. And there's really no value you can put on that.
lhrsfo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 6:45 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: São Paulo, Brasil
Programs: Mileage Plus Platinum
Posts: 90
I only use mine to fly back and forth from Brazil, when prices are low I pay in cash, when they get up over $1500 RT a 60,000 mile saver ticket gives me 2.5 cents a mile. In the process of a move back to the US and a one way ticket was going for $1750, paid 30,000 miles for it, giving me about 6 cents a mile.

One way international tickets if you ever need one is probably the best return on miles, at least for those of us flying in economy.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 8, 16 at 10:05 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
DrewBach is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 1:40 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: EWR
Programs: UA GS, Marriott Gold
Posts: 372
I use them to fly my parents over to the US, which is 60k miles for $1k ticket or to fly my wife and kids in business to Europe, which is even better conversion rate, but I would also have a hard time convincing my wife to actually shell out $2.5k-3.5k / ticket to fly all of us over there. So I get a ton of perceived value out of them.

I also really like the flexibility of being able to cancel award tickets without fees (as 1K)
FTLexMUC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 1:44 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,677
So I have no access to GPUs so I just used miles + copay to upgrade ORD-MEL. Difference in fare between V->J is ~3,000 minus 500 for copay = 2500. ug cost 30,000

so around 8c/mile.. BUT I don't get PQM or extra RDM.. so, very literally, YMMV
cyclogenesis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 1:45 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: ORD
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 655
I use my miles for companion tickets for my wife, mainly (GS benefit). I typically purchase a business/first class ticket for myself and open up saver space for my wife. This results in some very good redemption rates (often in the $0.04 - $0.08 per mile range).

The cool part is if I am earning these miles by flying (at 13 miles per dollar including the 2 miles per dollar via the UA credit card), I am getting an over 50% return on my United purchases! Quite a fantastic benefit.
FlyHighInTheSky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 1:58 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA GS 1MM, CM PP
Posts: 669
I continue to set the bar for my redemptions at 2c/mi. Occasionally I'll go lower, to say 1.25-1.5c, usually due to the fact that I obtain more flexibility in award flight reservations (change or cancel for free) than outright purchasing. On the other end of the spectrum, I've also been redeeming for some international flights at 4c+/mi.
Air Houston likes this.
1015-1k is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 2:14 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SJC
Programs: UA 1MM
Posts: 241
I agree that it's silly to value them against international C/F fares, as those are not prices I'd ever pay. I still value at 1.5c, but will of course save and try to redeem at much higher return.

There's also your own supply. After years of spending down my balance, I've found that RDMs are much harder to come by for me these days (no longer 1K or flying as much), so I've been net positive for the past 2 years in order to preserve enough miles for the next large redemption.
jeebus is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 16, 2:22 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist, Virtuoso Travel Agent, Commercial Pilot
Posts: 1,726
Originally Posted by 1015-1k View Post
I continue to set the bar for my redemptions at 2c/mi. Occasionally I'll go lower, to say 1.25-1.5c, usually due to the fact that I obtain more flexibility in award flight reservations (change or cancel for free) than outright purchasing. On the other end of the spectrum, I've also been redeeming for some international flights at 4c+/mi.
I'm pretty much the same way. 2c/mile is my benchmark, but I value the free cancellation with 1K heavily too. I do a lot of tentative and last minute bookings.
Air Houston likes this.
Sykes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 16, 1:39 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 4,491
So at this moment which routes for award bookings offer the best price/performance ratio?

For award booking in Economy I'd assume it would be EWR-HNL, how about C in international routes?
invisible is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread