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Strategy for United award travel
I have approx. 300K points on United, mostly coming from purchases on United’s Explorer card, but also the Explorer signup and annual bonuses, and 30K points from signing up for DirecTV. My wife and I want to take at least one European trip a year starting in Denver, and we want to travel business class. Seems to me that we can blow 2/3 of our total points on one trip using only points IF we’re lucky enough to get a saver award, or we can purchase economy and upgrade at a hefty $500 co-pay + 20,000 points per person each way, or we can save $2,000 round trip and just fly economy and keep the points. After all, $2,000 would go a long way toward better lodging and some amazing meals in Europe. What’s the point of having the points if it’s so costly to use them? I’m looking for a good strategy, and maybe I just don’t know enough about United’s program to know how to use it to my advantage. Any thoughts?
[USER=1068]@PDG[/USER] I think many people think that using FF miles is free or close to it. In my opinion it is not. The cost is significant whether you pay in cash or to a lesser extent if you use miles. Where it gets really beneficial is if you are able to regularly able to acquire miles at a discount to boost your miles balances. Most people do this via regular credit card applications or generating miles through spending, manufactured or otherwise. If you only gain miles through daily spending on a single credit card it’s going to take a long time for you to get your balances high enough to travel in premium cabins. I’d recommend starting by reading the section for beginners under “Start Here”. Feel free to ask additional questions as you encounter them!
[USER=1068]@PDG[/USER] — Welcome! The other thing to consider is that you’ll want to [I]keep[/I] [I]building [/I]up your mileage balances. You can look at more than one credit card, for example, or diversifying your portfolio of points.
If you’re earning 1pt/$1 of spending it will take forever to earn a flight.