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expiring frequent flyer miles - use or lose!
Old 06-15-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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expiring frequent flyer miles - use or lose!

I had about 2000 miles with United that were going to expire at the end of this month. I could keep them from expiring if I bought another ticket or something from one of their partners, but nothing interested me.

Then I realized I could spend them. I was surprised to learn I could get four $25 gift cert's from restaurant.com for the 2000 miles. That's $100 for 2000 miles...surprising considering it costs around 25,000 miles for one roundtrip ticket - which for most of the places we travel would be ~$250.

I thought this was a really great deal, especially when I was ready to just let the miles expire when the "aha" moment came along. So don't let your miles expire - you'd be surprised what you can buy with them!
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
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... you'd be surprised what you can buy with them!
Craigslist does a brisk business between sellers & buyers of FF miles.

The airlines hate this and discourage both parties whenever they get the chance. They'll actually refuse to board a suspected buyer if they figure out what's happening. But if you were going to burn a few bridges, they sell for about a dollar a mile...
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #3
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I had a bunch of FF miles with US Airways a few years ago. I prefer not to fly, so I spent some of them on a couple of subscriptions to magazines that I normally wouldn't have laid out real money for.....just to check them out for a year.....and then canceled them at the end of the subscription term.

But the majority of the FF miles.....about 12K miles......I donated to the "Make A Wish Foundation". Hopefully I was able to help make some kids' wishes come true!
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:26 PM   #4
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I have about 250,000 air miles on United. May have to take a trip or cruise one of these years.
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:04 AM   #5
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I had over 26000 mi on United that were to expire the end of May. I tried but was
not successful in getting my daughter to use them. I was about to donate all of the
miles to Make a Wish Foundation but was gently guided by a nice CSR......she kept
asking how many miles I wanted to donate. I was wondering why she was asking since all of them were due to expire . Finally after many minutes of guiding I realized that she was trying to teach me that the minimum donation was 1000 miles and that the very act of donating them was an "activity" in the account that gave 18 more months of life to the remaining miles. That gives more time to find a suitable place/time to travel and if I can't, the process can be repeated.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:25 AM   #6
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I also donated a 1k miles in order to have activity in the account.
It's just hard to keep track because different airlines have different policies. I have FF miles with NW and US Airways, so I guess we'll continue to subscribe (trashy) magazines for many years to come.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:08 AM   #7
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A freind was happy to tell me about all the "free stuff" he was getting from CC miles. He was less happy when I point out that the cumulative annual fees ($50/yr) exceeded the value of the "stuff".
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #8
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This thread is too late for me - I lost a healthy quantity of United FF miles a while back. This only made me more determined never to fly United again. They are almost never competitive on the routes I fly, anyway - no loss.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:34 PM   #9
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I checked out the restaurant.com option. Not many restaurant options in my area though.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:50 PM   #10
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There was a program where your frequent flyer miles can be donated to help families of injured soldiers travel and be with their loved ones while they were being treated in the advance care hospitals such as Walter Reed.

Northwest also announced a few weeks ago that the miles can be donated to help with relief work to help the earthquake victims in China.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:01 AM   #11
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United has a Mileage Plus Dining program that you register your credit card with, then you get miles for using that credit card at participating restaurants. I don't eat out on credit cards often, but it's a really easy way to keep my mileage from expiring. It took about a month for the first purchase to go through, so I'd recommend signing up a few months before your miles are going to expire.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:35 AM   #12
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United has a Mileage Plus Dining program that you register your credit card with, then you get miles for using that credit card at participating restaurants. I don't eat out on credit cards often, but it's a really easy way to keep my mileage from expiring. It took about a month for the first purchase to go through, so I'd recommend signing up a few months before your miles are going to expire.
Sounds like a great idea. Is there a threshold minimum tho to earn miles?
There is a similar tie in w/ some markets like Safeway. You get 1 pt/$ spent.
When I got to 125 pts, I thought I had it made but then found out threshold minimum was 125 miles and it took 250 points to get that. How does it work
with restaurants?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:06 AM   #13
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Hey, something I know something about!

All the major airlines do their rewards dining through Rewards Network (rewardsnetwork.com). It used to be called iDine, so you'll sometimes see people referring to it as that instead. You can join separately for every debit or credit card you have, so you can potentially keep a card for every airline (though why you would want to collect miles for every airline, I have no idea). RN's basic mode offers cashback rather than miles; if you want to be getting miles, make sure you sign up through the right link.

Miles start at 1 mile per dollar spent (including tax and tip). If you're willing to have RN send you e-mails, that goes up to 3 miles per dollar spent. Once you pass 12 dines in a given calendar year, you become "VIP" and go up to 5 miles per dollar spent. There are various bonuses that can increase your miles further; these vary from airline sponsor to airline sponsor, though I think almost all of them right now have a "rate your dine" promo that allows VIPs to review restaurants for an additional 5 miles per dollar.

Any transaction, no matter how small, qualifies; during promotions that give bonuses for extra numbers of dines, some people will hit up local fast food joints or coffee shops that are RN members to buy lots of small drinks as separate transactions. RN does generally tag multiple purchases made on the same day, at the same location, with the same card, and for the identical amount as duplicates/errors, so unless you want to spend some time disputing the issue with them it's good to vary at least one of those factors.

Miles usually post to the RN site within a week of dining and get transfered into your actual frequent flier account within 3-6 weeks.
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