What’s the value of a MilePoint Premium membership?


The MilePoint site has their premium membership package available for sale again this week meaning it is time to decide if I want to spend $50 on a package of benefits for the coming year.

MPPremium

Here’s the list of benefits and the value I’m assigning to them:

Benefit Value to me Why?
1,000 MileagePlus points $15 That’s what I value the points at.
Hilton HHonors Gold Status $0 Already have it and it isn’t worth all that much anyways
One year of ad-free viewing on Milepoint.com $0 I already get ad-free via Gold status on the site
Free 1-year subscription to InsideFlyer.com or 50% discount for print edition of InsideFlyer magazine $0 Never really found the content to be compelling and worth the subscription, even if “free”
Free upgrade to PointsHound Level 2 Status through 2014 and a 1,000 mile or point bonus on first booking $0 Already have the status and already made my first booking with them
Free Upgrade to UsingMiles Premier membership $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
Free Gold membership at WorldMate $0 I’m a TripIt guy
Free upgrade to National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive Status $0 I don’t rent cars very often and when I do I want the compact I reserve
Free upgrade to AwardWallet Plus account $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
Buy-One-Get-One-Free Trip Pass for Award Nexus $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
One day free parking at The Parking Spot (not valid with DFW valet) $0 No car; no plans to get one
25% discount on “Frequent Flyer Master” e-book $0 Not particularly interested
25% discount at LoJack for Laptops $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
20% discount at SCOTTEVEST $0 I love my SeV jacket, but I don’t plan on buying a new one this year.
20% discount on ExpertFlyer.com yearly premium service $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
15% discount to Luggage Forward $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting
10% discount off all Hyatt Hotel Gift Card purchases (up to $5,000 in gift card purchases) $0 Unlikely that I’ll get value out of this given my hotel stay patterns.
10% discount on KVS Tool $0 Don’t use the service and don’t plan on starting

Maybe I’m being unnecessarily harsh on some of these valuations but I don’t think my numbers are all that bad. I know plenty of people who do use the services of these partners and if there is value for you in them then the bundle can be a good deal. But I did the math and I know it isn’t for me.

Make sure you do the math before deciding that it is the right deal for you.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

63 Comments

  1. Seth, you’re kind of a selfish guy, setting the value of Hilton Gold at $0 because you already have the status, you could of course gift the status to someone. A $0 valuation implies you place no value on being nice. 😉

    Same is true of course for the National status….

    For folks who value Hilton Gold at some amount — and the number of people interested in signing up for the Citi Reserve credit card at $95 which comes with that status suggests there are some — the package is worthwhile.

    If you place $0 value on the benefits, and that includes $0 value gifting the benefits, then of course you should not take up the offer.

    1. Selfish. Really?? Wow. There are lots of things I could give away to people. And I do so rather frequently. I have given away 4 GPUs this year, actually, often to support charity raffles for events you’re affiliated with. You’re welcome.

      Even if I did choose to give those things away to others I would not accrue the value of that transaction against my spend. That’s pretty bad accounting.

      I also made it quite clear that those are the values I place based on my travel patterns. I think that I’m pretty rare in many of my habits so I doubt that the numbers will match up 100% for others. My point was to make sure that people are thinking about the numbers and the real value, not just getting bright-eyed over the new shiny thing in the corner.

      1. “Selfish” was meant teasingly, sorry if that didn’t come through.

        My point is that embedded in a $0 valuation is that you value the ability to gift someone Hilton Gold at zero.

        If you value the ability to gift Hilton Gold at all, then you would bump up the valuable of that benefit.

    2. @Gary – the comparison to the $95 Reserve card signup is apples-to-oranges, as that includes free nights. So I wouldn’t say that shows people value Gold status at $95.

      Seth’s post seemed fine to me, it gave me some food for thought and it’s just one guy’s perspective (as he stated) I placed the value of some of these higher than Seth, but lower than Gary and others – but that’s just for my projected needs for the next year or so.

      1. Even after the free nights at sign-up, some people keep the card and pay the $95 each year just for the Gold status. I don’t think it’s quite apples to apples or apples to oranges, but there is a basis for comparison.

        Now if someone just signed up for the Reserve card and has a year of Gold status locked in, or if that person has other reasons for holding on to the card and views the Gold status as a free side benefit, that would be different.

      2. Sure, Scottrick. And some don’t think it is worth even $50, much less $95.

        Definitely a personal valuation call, but one which should be thought about, not just done.

  2. thanks for being honest. this deal for 49.99 sold by many bloggers are only good if you don’t have hilton gold. Otherwise it is not worth $49.99
    Expert flyer is too expensive even with 20% off. if $80 gets you 3 or more yrs , i could be a good deal

  3. I value the UA miles about the same as you. Everything else is just about ‘worthless’ to me as well except for the parking coupons. Unfortunately, I have to drive to LGA and JFK often enough so I should recoup my money in as little as 2 trips to either airport (if the coupon works the way people have been discussing it).

  4. Uh oh you just took on the FTU establishment with this one :). Its refreshing to see an objective post from someone “inside” the community. I thought I was alone on my apathy towards this offer. Seth just moved up on my blogger peg board.

  5. Fuck off, Gary. Keep your pimping to your own site. We don’t need your itchy trigger finger here to defend even the slightest of perceived slights. The Milepoint membership is a crappy deal and the only reason you are pushing it is your involvement with MP. Hilton Gold can be easily had for free so there is zero value even if gifted. Or in the self-important bullshit CFO jargon you seem to prefer, the replacement cost is zero. And all the rest is mostly crap that no self-respecting frequent flyer would need (i.e. the features can again nearly always be replicated for free).

    1. This deal is worthwhile for some, not to others, and those who will value it should take advantage of it.

      I think it’s hard to argue that it’s a “crappy deal” as you suggest, even if it may not be worthwhile for some.

      This deal doesn’t work for Seth. He’s already got Hilton status, he doesn’t rent cars and doesn’t park cars, and programs his own tools scraping similar data sources to the ones KVS uses so wouldn’t want those discounts either. My guess is Seth isn’t typical in this regard, but anyone like him won’t value it.

      I simply thought that the $0 valuation was a bit off, even for someone like Seth — since one’s personal use of Hilton Gold isn’t the only way to extract value from the offer. Since it can be gifted, there’s likely some value in being able to enter a name and account number and entitle someone to the status.

      That’s a simple analytic point, it fascinates me that it would engender this sort of vitriol. Nonetheless, it takes all kinds and all perspectives!

      1. Yes, Gary, worthwhile to some and not others. I stated that pretty clearly and you continue to suggest that my math is bad.

        What is the HHonors Gold status worth to you as a gift? What is the dollar value you get out of that gift? What value do you think I should accrue against the $50 cost to account for it?

      2. This year’s MP Premium was clearly directed at a certain type of traveler. Hilton staying, National Car renting, park at the departure airport frequent business traveler. It’s a shame that it left out such a large set of travelers.

        I agree with Seth on this one, and I currently don’t have Hilton status but, based on current redemption devaluations, refuse to stay unless there’s no other option. I’ve got National status for just over a year still, no point in buying this for a few months more of status. At best it’d be a wash for me to purchase MP Premium, and that’s best case.

        Somewhat amusing to me was the large number of MP posters who were buying just to ‘support’ MP. If a subscription purchase were needed by MP to stay in business they’d have fashioned an offering that would appeal to a broader and thus larger group of people.

    2. I did my calculations and came to about $30. I do use Expert Flyer but only value the United miles at $10, if that. I try to avoid chain hotels if at all possible. I am thinking of switching from Hertz to National but a) I can get a status match and b) I prefer small cars. So I’m not seeing anywhere near $50 of value in this.

      1. @Wandering Aramean –

        I am also a Hilton Diamond, so I will not use the Hilton Gold myself. I expect that I will get a soft landing to Gold next year.

        I didn’t mention a value for gifting Hilton Gold because the whole point is that’s subjective, I think the case is strong that it isn’t zero but it will vary interpersonally.

        My guess for me personally is $20, I have someone to give it to that will really value it (and will see it as several hundred dollars’ worth of value). I’m happy to spend $20 to make them happy. That probably makes ME selfish that I’m not likely to do more out of pocket for them 😛

        My own valuation is
        Hilton Gold $20
        United miles $15 [we agree]
        National Car Rental $10 [again, gifting value]
        Expertflyer discount $20 [will save me that]
        KVS Tool discount $7.50 [will save me that]

        I probably won’t use the Parking Spot discount or most of the other items, though several commenters on my blog value those a lot.

        So I will get $72.50 out of it, for $49. For folks like me that already have Hilton Gold and National status, the spread between value and cost is somewhat limited.

        But for folks that are not Hilton Gold already, especially if they focus on Hyatt or Starwood and are looking for status in a backup program for those places they go that don’t have Starwood or Hyatt properties, I think the value is much greater. The Citi card offers Gold status for $95 [leaving aside the signup bonus, lots of cards have signup bonuses and wave fees the first year while the Citi Reserve does not].

        I don’t think we disagree on the notion that each person will find varying degrees of value in the different benefits.

        I was simply pushing back on the notion that Hilton Gold status has ZERO value to someone who either (a) alleady has Hilton status, or (b) doesn’t stay in chain hotels. It seemed like part of the analysis – gifting value – was missing from that calculation.

        Cheers,
        Gary

      2. @Ronf I wrote about this on my blog when the deal came out, so not hiding anything. I did not come out ahead from last year’s premium offer, and I do not expect that to change this year either.

        1. I suspected as much and that explains why you are so aggressive in defending this deal. Not everyone reads all your posts and they might not have known you profit from this deal (not that there is anything wrong with that). Thx for the reply.

      3. Wandering Aramean: I value the Hilton Gold as a gift at $50 alone because my family is staying at a Hilton for 5 nights over Thanksgiving. That’s 2 x 5 @ $5/ea = $50. I already have Hilton Gold, but since my family has three rooms, we need three with Gold. That doesn’t count future stays, just for a single planned stay.

        Ronf: You seem to have basic reading comprehension issues. Gary said that he did not profit from this deal.

        1. There are two halves to the “profit” question. One is whether there is gross value to Gary (plus Ed, Tommy & Randy) in selling these memberships. The answer there is clearly yes. The other half is whether it is a net profit. Gary says no.

          I’m a little surprised to hear that they are selling something like this at a loss. That’s an interesting business move, especially given what is known about the members of this community and their tolerance for “loss-leader” type deals over the long term.

        2. Thx for the insult Hans and yes I did misread his comment that he DID NOT profit last year and doesn’t expect to this year. He does have a financial interest in this deal so the premise of my questions are still valid regardless if he profits or not. If he does this at a loss every year that is admirable and should be publicized as I’m sure the community would buy more so that doesn’t happen.

          I’m not shocked to see you come on here defending this deal since you are part of the insider circle (as evidence by your speaking this past weekend). Very pompous presentation I made add but at least you gave credit to Greg so that helps.

          1. None of the MilePoint founders have anything to do with running the Chicago Seminars. Yes on FTU (though I believe they are technically separate companies) but not Chicago events. They’re actually competitors for the most part.

      4. Ronf, actually, I don’t have trouble with reading comprehension issues by themselves. I often make mistakes in reading comprehension myself. What I find distasteful is when bad info is coupled with attacks on the basis of that bad info.

        Unfortunately it seems a pattern with you. Gary had nothing to do with me speaking this past weekend. FTU and Chicago Seminars are very different events that some observers would say are competing. And I receive no financial benefit from speaking at FTU or Chicago Seminars, in fact, I lose money based on travel reimbursements which either don’t cover my travel costs or which I simply neglected to claim. I have no financial or non-financial benefits from my interactions with MP/BA/FTU. I just don’t like to see bad info perpetuated.

        I’m sorry you found my presentation pompous. If you have any suggestions on particular parts that seemed that way, I’m open to hearing that and making changes.

        1. Cut this line from your presentation “I’m not going to spoon feed this to you.” Nobody asked you to. Just present what you want of you don’t want to answer a specific question don’t.

          I don’t have a pattern as I hardly ever comment on anything because this is always what it turns into. Everyone taking jabs at each other with the insiders protecting their territory.

          I’m well aware of the difference between FTU and Rick. I respect Rick but I’m losing respect for FTU more and more everyday.

      5. For avoidance of doubt, I do not expect Milepoint Premium to generate a loss. I do not expect to have to come out of pocket to fund this or other Milepoint activities.

        FTU is at a net cost, though I have historically been reimbursed for at least a portion of air and hotel (and have at other times turned down that reimbursement and directed those funds to charity instead). When I spoke at the Chicago Seminars the first two years of that event it was at a net loss as well, though the second year there was a travel reimbursement I think.

        I was asked a question about whether I would profit from this, and said I do not expect to. I think that’s more than enough on my personal finances. Given the calls for transparency though I think I once got a reimbursement check from Milepoint for something, although searching my records I can’t seem to find it. Beyond that I’ve not had any expectations of generating income from Milepoint, though if that ever happened that would be great. My day job, my award booking, and my blog keep me busy enough though.

  6. My valuation is pretty similar to yours, Seth. I value the UA miles at $16, plus I get $10 off of my EF subscription, $15 off my KVS Tool subscription, AwardWallet Plus is worth about $5, and the Executive status is worth about $5, for a grand total of $51. So, we bought one membership for our household. A second one would be worth exactly $16 for the UA miles. Last year’s offering was much better.

  7. Oops, I got the discounts mixed up. I’ll save $20 on EF and $7.50 on KVS Tool, so the package is worth about $53.50 to me.

  8. Those pointing out that Hilton Gold membership can be obtained through other means for free should also mention that those means usually include bypassing qualification criteria, e.g., through fake credit card numbers. Obtaining status without bending rules may be attractive to some (hopefully many!) people.

  9. I signed up for MP premium because this is what the benefits are worth to me:
    United miles: $15
    Hilton Gold: $50. I have hilton points to burn and prefer being a Gold while doing so.
    Expertflyer discount: $5. A 15% discount is readily available from the Chicago seminars, so the 20% discount saves me $5.
    National car status: maybe $5. I probably won’t rent a car, but if I do, this will probably be worth a lot more than $5 to me.
    All in all, if I was already going to be Hilton Gold next year (I’m not a fan of using the Australian gold sign up trick…and I’m not sure I want a Hilton credit card in my churns next year), I wouldn’t sign up for MP premium. . . but I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

  10. The key to valuing the Hilton Gold is to ask: what could you sell it for on the open market, ie, how much is a buyer willing to pay to have me ‘gift’ it to them? Personally, having been a Hilton Gold, my answer is $0. YMMV.

    1. @kokonutz I think for someone that would use the status, or someone that would gift it, the relevant question is what could you BUY it for on the open market. That’s the most you should pay even if you would derive far more benefit from it.

      1. The “real” value should be what I’m getting out of it that I’d otherwise pay for. If you were already planning on eating breakfast at a Hilton for a week (e..g the HansMast example) and had allocated some amount of cash cost to that future expense and now it is lowered then that can be a good value decision. Personally I rarely find hotel breakfasts a compelling choice and would rather spend my money eating a real breakfast elsewhere, but I understand that not everyone agrees with me on that.

        There is no doubt that this is probably the easiest and least expensive way for many people to acquire HHonors Gold status. I just don’t think that’s worth very much. And I think that my valuation of that benefit shows that thinking.

      2. It can be had for free on the open market. That’s why the better question is what some sucker, ahem, BUYER is willing to pay.

  11. Well, I signed up for the Hilton Gold. I have mid level SPG amd Hyatt status (and Marriott through UA) and like the idea of trying Hilton. I appreciate the concept that is put together in this package, even if I only use a portion of it.

  12. Can I use Hyatt Gift Cards to pay for my own hotel stays? Could I use multiple cards to pay for a stay? If so, given that I’m a Hyatt Diamond and would spend that money anyway, wouldn’t that be beneficial?

    1. @Ken Y – generally you can use Hyatt Gift Cards to pay for domestic Hyatt stays — your own or someone else’s — and I’ve never had a problem using more than one gift card on a single stay.

  13. Got it. Given that most of my stays are at Hyatts in Asia and sometimes on Advanced Purchase rates, I’ll skip this one.

  14. I am currently a Hilton Honors Gold but will not qualify for next year. Every year as part of our family vacation plan we spend around 10 days in a Hilton beach hotel andwe always book 2 rooms. As Hilton Gold that means we get breakfast for at least 2 people per room per day plus free internet for 2 rooms per day. Well, how much would that cost if I had to pay for those benefits if I did not have the Gold status? Also, we stay at a Waldorf Astoria for 3 to 4 nights per year and as Gold we get upgraded to a suite. Thus in my case since I won’t get a credit card just to get Gold status with Hilton I am happy to pay $49 per year to ge that benefit. I bet that the cost of breakfast for 2 plus internet just for one day would cost me more than $49.

  15. The post by Seth if fair just like he said it is from his perspective, travel pattern, needs etc.

    Im another ‘sucker’ (as some1 mentioned it) who bought the program ONLY because it has theParkingSpot. Everything else is nice as a bonus…

    but doing 6 LAX-BDL run using theParkingSpot in LAX, thats 17 dollars * 6
    and any same-day turn run in the future will only increase the benefit.

    Unless anyone can tell me how to get Free 1-day parking in LAX, which makes this is deal only $15-$20 value… otherwise this is a GREAT deal if you ask me.

    1. I was also considering the package for the Parking Spot coupons which would really come in hand for my own BDL runs… 🙂 Great minds think alike!

      I possibly found a way to generate free 1 day parking at LAX though – haven’t tested it yet (next run is in Nov). If you do Park and Fly, you get a confirmation # which you can use to fill out their customer satisfaction survey (one survey per confirmation #). At the end of the survey, you have the chance to email a free 1 day parking coupon to as many people as you like… Or maybe.. your other email addresses. >_> Print coupon, then present at cashier upon exiting! 🙂

      1. Awesome! another option (which ive done before) is to park in front of Fox-Rent-A-Car parking lot but its only good for weekends, and it’s roadside parking. Yeah…not secure at all.

        So ive used theParkingSpot and its very very convenient.

  16. Last year I rented once from national and got a minivan for a week at the rate of a car. For our family, it was worth $150, as I would have happily paid that much (rates were $400 more for vans if I booked it!).

    So I bought it again based on one use once of the National Exec status. But I do appreciate Seth’s valuation and it totally makes sense to me.

    But I would like to read a detailed post of how you avoid KVS and EF. I don’t like paying for what I can get for free.

  17. Meh. I saw this, and was excited for about 10 minutes, and almost pulled the trigger. Then, I did the math and thought about it.

    I have some upcoming work travel coming up. The National Car rental upgrade caught my eye, but, then, I looked into it. For the time I’ll need the car, I’ll have to spend $385. Yes, I’ll get an “upgrade”, but, that’s still $385. By contrast, by using my company’s corporate rate with Avis, I can get a nice mid-sized car for $208. Now, I could easily book the higher rate and my bosses wouldn’t care. But, I’d like to think I’m careful with my company’s money. Also, if I’m going to “splurge” on the corporate dime, I’d rather have a nice meal or a slightly nicer hotel room than a car upgrade.

    The Hilton thing. I’m in the process of burning ALL of my Hilton points, but, this caught my eye. Again: upcoming work trips. But, when I looked at it, I didn’t see a ton of value. If I need internet access in my room – which I often do – my bosses are ok with me adding it and putting it on the expense account. Same thing with breakfast.

    In some instances, I can see where this would be a benefit. If, as others above have said, they travel a lot with the family, this deal could be worth it. But, for most people traveling for work, I just don’t see it.

  18. This is an interesting, though ultimately sad discussion. Since no one seems to be shy expressing their opinion, here’s my take.

    The first thing I noticed is that the valuations were author-specific. Fair enough. But the headline “What’s the value of a Milepoint Premium Membership” was stated definitively. It doesn’t say “What’s the value of a Milepoint Premium Membership (to me)”.

    I get it – it’s a personal blog that is more on the editorial side, rather than straight up objective journalism. The “to me” is implied. Maybe I have issues with reading comprehension too but the headline just made it seem that whatever he was saying – absolute, factual – like a 50,000 point sign up bonus. To Seth’s credit, he is plenty even handed in saying that he knows many who will find value in this offer, even though he does not.

    But then the conversation goes south.

    abcx starts us off on the right foot with a “fuck you.” Classy, right? Clearly this person has had a deep seated hatred for Gary. Gary, what did you do? Kill his puppies? I mean, whatever it is, it must be horrible. It can’t just be because your opinion differed from his, or just doesn’t like your personality! Are you neighbors and have a property line dispute that’s costing him thousands? It has to be pretty bad for someone to really go off on you like that.

    Then we have ronf who, while claiming apathy, really gets into it with Gary and HansGolden. There’s a backstory between, ronf, Gary and HansG. My guess is a love triangle but if any of you know, do tell. I won’t tell another soul.

    I’m new to this frequent flyer thing so I don’t really have an opinion on any of these bloggers. I read Seth’s blog, Gary’s, enjoy Lucky’s trip reports… even Mommy Points even though I’m not married and have no kids. They’re all interesting and great for someone just starting out.

    What’s terribly disappointing is that instead of respectful discourse and dissent, we end up with this. And no one, particularly Seth, wanted to keep it civil and allowed the vitriol by being silent. I once read a comment on Road Warriorette’s blog that basically called her stupid for not knowing a particular perk of some program because she just “discovered” it. I’m sure she is less knowledgeable than some and more knowledgeable than other. But was it necessary to call her useless and stupid?

    If you don’t find an offer of value to you, then great, you just saved yourself some money and are ahead of the curve. But for newbies who may not have yet discovered Amex Platinum (have) or HHonors Reserve (have), or live by a Parking Spot (do), it may have been an easy entry instead of scouring the web and trying to find the “free” way to get HHonors gold. Some have lives to live and don’t have time to look for every bit of money-saving trick?

    I mean, unless of course you want your tombstone to say “I had the highest perks and lowest spend when it came to frequent flyer-ing.” In which case, I say good luck to you.

  19. Pretty much my valuation too. No one I know needs HHG gifted and I have a car but not in the USA, so parking spot no good and have 5* with Hertz.

  20. My goodness what a nasty thread here. I think it is important to remember that the Wandering posted value to him…not to everyone. I don’t have Hilton Gold and I’m not aware of how to get it for free so for me personally, there is a value there. I don’t take the original post as anything but a personal opinion, and it isn’t very helpful for me in assessing the value of the membership overall. I get the feeling there is some tension and axe grinding going on here…that’s pretty petty. The post would have been infinitely more useful if it helped me assess the value of the membership by placing value on the individual perks, perhaps even explaining them. As it stands, it feels like Wandering just wants to bad mouth this promo. KVS, for example, is an incredibly useful tool…what is a decent free replacement if you don’t use it? That sort of thing would have made this more useful and would have kept some of this crap that is being allowed to persist off this comment list…which really reflects poorly on the blog in general.

  21. I make a point of not editing the comments here very often; almost never AFAIK. If someone wants to demonstrate their inability to engage in a coherent and reasonable conversation then I let them. I’d rather allow them to show their weakness and make sure that everyone else can see it. If someone wants to claim they “won’t come out ahead” and at the same time acknowledge that it isn’t losing them money then I’m OK with that, too, though I don’t really understand how both are possible.

    I actually think that the discussion here overall has been pretty tame and pretty reasonable. Many people are debating the value of things like the HH status or the Parking Spot free day benefit and figuring out how that applies to their own personal needs.

    As for the suggestion that I need to make the headline more personal, I suppose I could have if I wanted to not engage others in the conversation. But that wasn’t the intention of this post. The intention was to get others to think about the value to them as they made a decision of whether to buy or not. I think it was reasonably successful in that regard.

    1. “If someone wants to claim they “won’t come out ahead” and at the same time acknowledge that it isn’t losing them money then I’m OK with that, too, though I don’t really understand how both are possible.”

      You can come out ahead, behind, or come out even.

      I said definitively that I did not come out ahead on last year’s premium membership. But that it isn’t designed to lose money either, and I expect this year to be similar to last. In other words no money in my pocket, but I am not feeding it either, what’s confusing about that?

      1. I guess I interpreted Gary’s comments to be that there could be some profit, but that based on margins and anticipated participation there likely would not be any, and that they aren’t buying a bunch of miles or memberships but, rather, buying them as orders come in. So there might be some profit if sales exceed last year, he/they/whoever are not expecting that, and they don’t buy much or any until a membership is purchased. That seems like it leads to no to minimal benefit, and no loss…just my take.

      2. This seems to me more of a loyalty/brand-building exercise than a pure profit-play. That said, no one but the owners will ever know.

        Bottom line: if you see value, buy it. If you love MP/Randy/Tommy/Gary/Ed, buy it.

        But if you want to figure out how to get some of these benefits for free or the expenditure of a little time…well…you might want to check out flyertalk.com (or, if they exist, the clone threads on Milepoint). 😉

    2. This is my personal opinion and not a statement of fact:
      “fuck off” isn’t reasonable or tame Seth. Look, I love your blog and I love Gary’s blog and I love any blog that helps me travel for free/get points/get more out of my travel. But honestly, letting that post live reflects more on you than the unnamed person who posted it.

  22. To the people asking what I use other than KVS and EF, the answer is a bit of a mix. I spoke about it at FTU in Tampa a few weeks ago and shared the list of tools in my slides from that event.

    The data KVS is showing can be had for free from the various underlying sources, whether that be FlightStats.com, the various airline websites or others. Yes, it eases the process but I have personal objections to the business practices of the company and I’m no longer willing to pay money for that ease of access, especially when most of the content isn’t all that hard to get at anyways.

    EF used to be “special” in that all the data supposedly came from paid/licensed agreements with providers. I’m not quite as convinced that remains the case, particularly with respect to the way they access UA award data directly via the UA site. There are still many things it offers but I’ve found that they are not resources I get value from. Fare rules are easy enough to find and routing rules don’t do much for me.

    I’ve got my tools sitewhich exposes some of the same bits of data and even some the other two don’t have (e.g. SPG Cash+Points alerts). Combine all of that and I get what I need without spending the cash on those subscriptions.

    1. I love the idea of a subscription free world! Already free data should remain free! I’m curious then, Seth, how you balance that with your own subscription services? I’m currently subscribed to one but find it to be buggy at best, I guess I’ll evaluate next year just as I’ve evaluated my MP Premium purchase this year…

      1. Fair question about the paid subscription services I offer and one which I struggled with for a long time before choosing to add that layer on to the free tools site. The basic data remains free. If you want value-add functionality like ad-free and the ability to save more alerts then I charge for that. Yes, the data is free but running servers to access it and send emails about the availability most certainly is not. I’m not shy about explaining where I’m getting the information or how to access it for free. I even have the <a href="http://blog.wandr.me/2012/08/reintroducing-the-ana-partner-search-link/"GreaseMonkey scripts to help people get at ANA for free and such. But if you want to have my tools send you alerts on dozens of award options then, yes, I want a little help with the operating costs to make that happen.

        I haven’t checked the numbers in a while but I can assure you that I’m not getting rich off of the premium membership fee nor the click ads on the site. That said, I’ve never claimed that I wasn’t going to realize the income from the ads or the subscription fee or pretended that it wasn’t about trying to make a little bit of money for myself in the process. It isn’t my full time job and so I don’t need a full time income from it. I think that helps keep the costs down, well below that of the other options in the space.

        As for the experience being buggy, I’d love to know what troubles you’re having. It is a lot easier to fix stuff if I know that it is broken.

  23. Actually, this package is fantastic for any non-US travellers, but especially Asia Pacific travellers, where Hiltons actually give you proper free full proper buffet American breakfast, the Exec lounge are actually stuffed with great food and upgrade policies are quite good and consistent. All others are useless to me (including MileagePlus 1000 miles). I got this package just for the Hilton Gold alone. I know US people can get Hilton Gold with credit card signup but this is not the case for most of the rest of the world there are no credit card signup where you can get free Hilton Gold status.

    For me, 1 full buffet breakfast for 2 people at Hilton easily covers the $49 paid for this membership. It is a no-brainer.

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