6 Responses

  1. AA
    AA at |

    You mention several times in this post that a credit card can be used to sidestep the new minimum spend requirements. The only such exception for United expires this year, doesn’t it? Or do you have some inside information that it will be renewed going forward?

  2. Gary Leff
    Gary Leff at |

    I maintain that this was pretty darned good for the New York Times, and compared to most mainstream coverage; the difference between elite and redeemable miles; the economics of mileage runs and the difference between average cost and at the margin; and the nuance of different revenue requirements for status vs. break-even on redeemable miles.

    Perfect piece? No, but given desirable length and venue pretty good.

    Does it take precisely your perspective? No. The decade-old story was offered as an extreme contrast … lower fares, bigger bonuses .. not as a suggestion that that’s how it was until recently.

    The article doesn’t mention co-brand credit cards, but it wouldn’t change the analysis. Fares are pretty high now, mileage running from zero to status never made sense on an opportunity cost basis except for a very small number of people (too small for the audience of the piece) who valued the flying itself rather than seeing it as a tax.

    Not perfect. But pretty darned good. And mileage runs haven’t made sense for awhile for redeemable miles, they haven’t ever really made sense from zero to status or at least not in a really long time, but they still make sense at the margin as I noted if you’re close to status (eg flown 90k need to hit 100k and plan to fly a lot in the coming year).

    Very little to complain about here really. Or do you have a preferred mainstream article on the subject you can point to, other than anything Scott Mayerowitz may well have written?

    1. purcitron
      purcitron at |

      @gary leff
      lol you 2 are always beating up on each other. pretty entertaining, but i digress…

      can you please provide some info about using status on various airlines with award tix ONLY? which airlines even allow award upgrades based on status?
      any opinion on the agean star alliance gold for 3yrs trick please?

  3. Michelle S (Miles, Points, and Mai Tais)
    Michelle S (Miles, Points, and Mai Tais) at |

    Seth, for once I agree with you …but probably only until I make Million Miler 😉 Mileage running has been fun though, and I’ve always enjoyed the chance to go flying!

    In response to Gary, I disagree with the sentiment that mileage running from zero is somehow a waste. I made 1K last year for a little over $500 out of pocket last year (it’s possible!) with no real reason to fly United, maybe other than attending the Chicago seminars and my continued quest towards lifetime status. I feel the value of the RDMs alone more than justified the flying (not to mention upgrades, lounge access, increased flexibility, etc.), but I actually had a lot of fun doing it…more fun than going to Walmart at least.

  4. dave
    dave at |

    Seth I’m a bit confused why you said there are “plenty of games” still to be played but alluded to none of them. Are these “tricks” that need to be kept secret? If not can you please elaborate?

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