Introducing Mileage Plus Choices

 
Old Apr 28, 06, 4:52 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridge MA (BOS)
Programs: MP Platinum
Posts: 2,240
Arrow Introducing Mileage Plus Choices

Totally UNOFFICIAL/UNANNOUNCED as of 4/28/06

Introducing Mileage Plus Choices

It's a new points system tied to usage of your MP Visa Card. Pay for tickets, hotel stays, rental cars, E+ and EQM. Actually looks pretty good from what I can see so far.

Program FAQ


The website has been quiet lately, now we know what the elves have been working on....

Last edited by yogi; Apr 28, 06 at 5:30 pm
yogi is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 4:59 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA, AA
Posts: 4,039
Unhappy

Uhh... After reading the Choices FAQ I am still confused as to what exactly they are, seeing that using Choices DEDUCTS from RDMs.
rar indeed is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:01 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MUC/LAX/SMV
Programs: LH, UA, BD, AA, NW, FB, NH, AC, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, *W, HH, Marriott, PC, Leaders Club, AMEX
Posts: 12,407
Ironic thing to call this "choices".

Since it's become very difficult (if not almost impossible) to utilize MP miles for *A awards (involving NZ, LH, TG, SQ etc.) in premium COS, the only real "choices" to burn miles are either (quite expensive) standard awards limited to UA metal or spend them on third-party goods and services of limited value.
flysurfer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:07 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Too many
Programs: Lots
Posts: 5,751
...deleted pending further review/clarification of the program...

Last edited by Axey; Apr 28, 06 at 5:32 pm
Axey is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:08 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridge MA (BOS)
Programs: MP Platinum
Posts: 2,240
No doubt there is complexity that is going to take some time to understand the pros and cons..... I don't think we've lost any benefits of using the MP Visa card....but it is complex.
yogi is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:11 pm
  #6  
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,704
Basically it looks like RDMs that come from MP Visa now get flagged as "choices" which can be redeemed either as standard RDMs or under the special "choices" options.

This allows interesting possibilities like:
-redeeming miles ("choices") for a free ticket AND earning RDMs & EQMs on that ticket
-upgradable free tickets
-the ability to exchange RDMs for EQMs (albeit at the steep exchange rate of 10:1).

For once, a United "enhancement" actually enhances the customer experience.
EsquireFlyer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:12 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K, DL Gold, Marriott Amb
Posts: 360
Yes, but the value (at least for purchasing flights) only appears to be 1 cent per mile, so you still have to weigh it against other ways to redeem miles.

I definitely see how this could be useful in urgent situations, or when someone has so many miles and they don't fly/upgrade enough to redeem them all. In terms of of pure bang-for-RDM, there are better values (upgrades).

I do like how I can get back-credit for flights purchased with my MP Visa in the last 90 days. All of the sudden the March Madness seems more justified...
espostor is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Programs: UA/*A Gold, AS MVPG, MR Plat, Hertz 5*
Posts: 672
So to get a "statement credit" on a $250 UA ticket you bought on United.com with your United Visa, it will cost you 25,000 "choices" (which comes out of your RDM, so still effectively "miles"). They are just buying your miles back at $0.01/mile.

But if I want to BUY 25,000 "personal miles" from United (from their website), it will cost me $701.88 or 2.8cpm.

No thanks, I'd like more than 1cpm for my miles, please.

EDIT to add, yes, it looks like maybe a good solution for otherwised orphan miles, and over the last 90 days to boot. But still the value is too low IMHO.
omahajim is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:14 pm
  #9  
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,704
Originally Posted by espostor
Yes, but the value (at least for purchasing flights) only appears to be 1 cent per mile, so you still have to weigh it against other ways to redeem miles.
If you fly expensive routes or during peak season, the traditional RDM route is probably the way to go.

OTOH, if you are flying a cheap route (either due to short distance or high competition) or flying off-season, the "choices" route will likely give you a lower-cost award than the RDM route will, and the award you get from "choices" even earns RDMs & EQMs AND is upgradeable!
EsquireFlyer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:17 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 350
Hmm.

These are not "additional points". You get "Choices" that has some value that you can

(a) use as money to buy tickets for $100 per 10K Choices, using your CC (see (d).
(b) use as RDM to top up your RDMs if you don't have enough RDMs for award tickets
(c) use as money for hotel/cars at $100 per 125k choices
(d) use as money to pay you MP+ Visa statement credit which you use to buy tickets on united.com (cool thing : these tickets are real life tickets, you get RDM/EQMs from it, so it may better in some situations than using Choices as RDM...)
(e) use to convert 10k Choices to 1k EQMs


All in all, in short, the M+ Visa "Choices" are now worth slightly more than the usual RDM, but I am waiting to see how much you get per dollar spent.....

A new way to play the game. So more FT threads to post!

Btw, they gave me 1000 Choices .


F
Miles Heighway is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:19 pm
  #11  
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,704
Originally Posted by omahajim
But if I want to BUY 25,000 "personal miles" from United (from their website), it will cost me $701.88 or 2.8cpm.

No thanks, I'd like more than 1cpm for my miles, please.
But the "choices" you earned using an MP visa only cost 1 cpm (the opportunity cost of 1% cashback you could have earned using a cashback card).
Sometimes more than 1cpm (since some cashback cards give 3% back on gasoline, but MP only gives 2 miles/$), but sometimes even less than 1cpm (e.g. double miles for United purchases, when the cashback card would only give you the regular 1% for United purchaes).

I see this as MP Visa's way of being competitive with products like Citi PremierPass by offering MP cardmembers their choice between the two systems--clearly a change that will benefit some people and hurt no one. (At least not unless this is used as an excuse to jack up traditional MP redemption rates, but that's a whole other story.)
EsquireFlyer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:20 pm
  #12  
Formerly known as CollegeFlyer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: JRA
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA PLT, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 6,704
Originally Posted by Miles Heighway

Btw, they gave me 1000 Choices .

They gave me like 10,000 choices. I'm still tryign to figure out how i earned them and whether they owe me 11,000 more.
EsquireFlyer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:23 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 350
Originally Posted by CollegeFlyer
They gave me like 10,000 choices. I'm still tryign to figure out how i earned them and whether they owe me 11,000 more.
Heh. I have no idea. The "Choices" linked me to my old lousy MP+ visa (which I never use) page. I suspect it has something to do with MP+ Visa activity or status or something like that.

On the other hand, I wonder what I will get when the 17.5k bonus RDM M+ Visa that I just applied gets approved....
Miles Heighway is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:26 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cambridge MA (BOS)
Programs: MP Platinum
Posts: 2,240
I can see the utility in competitive markets where the ticket (fare?) price is less than $400, $250 or $150 based on standard, saver and short haul. You can use left over miles earned on the company dime to pay the taxes and fees on those award tickets.
yogi is offline  
Old Apr 28, 06, 5:26 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MUC/LAX/SMV
Programs: LH, UA, BD, AA, NW, FB, NH, AC, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, *W, HH, Marriott, PC, Leaders Club, AMEX
Posts: 12,407
Originally Posted by Axey
I think this is an interesting program. In essence, the MP Visa Card now offers you not only 1 mile per $/spent, but also offers you these choices points which are redeemable as currency against hotels, flights and cars. This program has effectively increased the amount of rewards we earn for each $ spent with the MP Visa, so I give it a ^
Miles, no matter how many you may have, only have value if you can effectively use them as advertised. Currently, I have only about 500,000 miles on my MP account, but even if I had 1 billion miles, they would be pretty useless these days.

Here's an example as recent as today: UA MP is incapable of giving me an LH award seat on LH457 in F on June 9. OTOH, LH M&M, ANA MC and pretty much every other *A program (mabe except for US DM) can get me that award seat without a problem! Just to be clear: StarNet shows O class availability through the ANA website (where I could book it with MC miles), LH M&M also lets me book the very same award through their website, and doing an O class longsale on Worldspan shows availability for that seat, as well. Still, UA keeps claiming they can't see it, they can't book it, and there's nothing they can do. And no, UA doesn't offer any saver award seats on UA metal on any routing, either. Result: useless miles. Luckily, I also own a million M&M miles that, as it turns out, become more valuable (at least compared to MP) every day.
flysurfer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: