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

Near term. Miles or ETC's better to purchase flights?

Near term. Miles or ETC's better to purchase flights?

Old May 22, 20, 7:53 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 623
Near term. Miles or ETC's better to purchase flights?

What's peoples thoughts on if needing to travel currenty what's the better way to purchase travel if you have both miles and etc's available.

Basically will one have better value 12-18 months from now?
bhunt is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 8:17 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,593
Originally Posted by bhunt View Post
What's peoples thoughts on if needing to travel currenty what's the better way to purchase travel if you have both miles and etc's available.

Basically will one have better value 12-18 months from now?
I am burning through some miles this year, as there is no pressure to re-qualify for 1K. It has already been extended.
Depending on how restrictive travel is later this year, I may shoot for the lower re qualification amounts.

ETCs will count toward PQ$, so will likely save them to use next year.

Also, the constant devaluation of miles factored into it.
Say Vandelay and cparsons like this.
goodeats21 is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 8:24 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Haze gray and underway
Programs: UA 1K MM, HH Diamond, Marriott 'clink clink' Titanium
Posts: 988
I blew through my miles for personal reasons and the fact that mile rates were massively better than $$$ rates. As for ETCs over miles, miles may devalue but ETCs will expire eventually.
Dublin_rfk is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 11:58 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS MVPG, Hertz PC, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Delta/United Gold
Posts: 3,084
Also easier to get miles refunded (instant in my experiences / taxes & fees within 2-3 days).

I have received refunds for all paid flights from UA, just a little longer.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 1:14 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 70
My singular focus in life is lifetime miles. So ETCs for me. Points for friends and family.
SPN Lifer likes this.
SFO_LOW_CLOUDS is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 2:39 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 696
Originally Posted by SFO_LOW_CLOUDS View Post
My singular focus in life is lifetime miles. So ETCs for me. Points for friends and family.
Translation: ETCs can only be used on 100% UA metal itineraries. RDMs are more flexible. If you need to do international itineraries, ETCs may limit you to just a few overpriced itineraries, which means their value is a bit diminished.

Do lifetime miles mean much after any M increment?
SFO_LOW_CLOUDS likes this.
Long Zhiren is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 2:44 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 25,223
miles whenever possible. Great availability right now and they won't stop devaluating.
cfischer is offline  
Old May 22, 20, 4:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by Long Zhiren View Post
Do lifetime miles mean much after any M increment?
Depends on personal preference but the consensus seems to be 1M (gold) and 4M (GS) are the significant milestones.
SFO_LOW_CLOUDS is offline  
Old Yesterday, 1:07 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA GS, Marriott Platinum Premier Elite, Hertz PC
Posts: 13
I value miles at 1.3 cents per mile and usually pick ETC. One important consideration is that when you get a new ETC, you can merge with an old ETC to extend the expiration of the old ETC.
dt408sc02 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: