award tix without enough miles

Old Apr 8, 19, 11:10 am
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award tix without enough miles

We are looking for 2 business reward tix MIA-ZRH in Nov Dec timeframe. I have 191k miles and can find 2 RT tix on Swiss at 140k miles each (280k total). I am, obviously, 88k short or what i need

United suggested that I can buy the extra 88k milesmiles for $2800, but that strikes me as the wrong way to go when a business class ticket is $4000 (and i get the mileage to my account. The mileage purchase, I assume, yields no mileage for me

I really dont fly United that much any more and only gain mileage through a Chase CC that I have had for a while. I am not looking to add orphan miles if I dont have to, but don't want to give United anything that i dont have to. I do have a ton of Amex miles to move if there was a reasonable way to use those to top up my UA account

thoughts?

Last edited by tfred; Apr 8, 19 at 11:18 am Reason: clarification
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by tfred View Post
We are looking for 2 business reward tix MIA-ZRH in Nov Dec timeframe. I have 191k miles and can find 2 RT tix on Swiss at 140k miles each (280k total). I am, obviously, 88k short or what i need

United suggested that I can buy the miles for $2800, but that strikes me as the wrong way to go when a business class ticket is $4000 (and i get the mileage to my account. The mileage purchase, I assume, yields no mileage for me

I really dont fly United that much any more and only gain mileage through a Chase CC that I have had for a while. I am not looking to add orphan miles if I dont have to, but don't want to give United anything that i dont have to. I do have a ton of Amex miles to move if there was a reasonable way to use those to top up my UA account

thoughts?

280,000 miles = $3920 (assuming a $0.014 valuation). That is far cheaper than the $8000 tickets for 2 people. Even if you were the count the value of 191k miles = $2674, buying another balance miles for $2800 brings the total cost to $5474 or $2737 pp for business class RT fares. At the end of the day, you determine the cost of your miles. If you have a mileage earning UA card, you can get 5600 miles (2x) or if you have CSR or Amex Gold, you get 8400 UR or MR points or if you have Amex plat, you get 14000 MR points.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by tfred View Post
United suggested that I can buy the extra 88k milesmiles for $2800, but that strikes me as the wrong way to go when a business class ticket is $4000?
You may be able to get 90K miles for about $1800 using the Award Accelerator: Consolidated Award / Premier Accelerator questions

It's up to you whether or not it's worth it, as opposed to purchasing one ticket with cash and buying the other with miles.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You may be able to get 90K miles for about $1800 using the Award Accelerator: Consolidated Award / Premier Accelerator questions

It's up to you whether or not it's worth it, as opposed to purchasing one ticket with cash and buying the other with miles.
I often buy mine and get my companion's with miles. Also, Chase Sapphire Preferred transfers to UA. My Amex Plat does not.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tfred View Post
thoughts?
Don't think about it too long or those 'cheap' award tickets might disappear.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 3:24 pm
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OP: I'm assuming that you mean the price of the round trip per person is $4,000, totaling $8,000. As mentioned above, the ticket price is actually a great dollar/miles ratio at 2.8 cents per mile, but the purchase price of the miles is 3.1 cpm.

Since you have 190k miles, you have 2 options:

1. Buy 1 cash ticket and 1 award ticket, cost $4,000 and 140K miles
2. Buy the additional miles and book 2 award trips. Cost, $2,800 and 190K miles.

You need to decide if the extra $1,200 miles is worth it to keep the 50K miles. You have to determine how much you value your miles. Will you have another use for the miles in the future? Are the miles enabling you to take a trip that you otherwise would not be able to take?
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Old Apr 8, 19, 4:57 pm
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Another option is to transfer Amex points for 1 ticket to an airline that partners with both Amex and Swiss, such as Air Canada Aeroplan, then redeem one from UA and one from Aeroplan, keeping the extra UA miles for another time.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:13 pm
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OP can book a full RT and a one-way on UA and should.

Then use the advice above (I like the Aeroplan idea, but Singapore also offers good premium options).
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Old Apr 11, 19, 8:30 am
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i ended up changing the RT ZRH to outbound MIA-ZRH purchasing two one ways. Forgot about the ability to get one way tix for rewards. We are usually RT through the same airport

we decided to leave from LHR so i transferred Amex points to Virgin for two Upper Class back to MIA. The interesting thing was that the redemption for UC through Virgin was 47k each, while on Delta the exact same ticket was 86k
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