Tag Archives: United Airlines

Reviewing my Embarrassingly Wrong 2020 Travel Predictions

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and a Merry Christmas (if you celebrated the holiday).  Since 2020 is almost over (thank goodness!), let’s review My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions.  To be honest, I totally forgot that I wrote this post and I haven’t looked at it since it was published on December 30, 2019.  Here is what I wrote last year for my predictions and my thoughts on each prediction (correct in green and wrong in red):

My 2020 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska, American, Delta, or United will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets. Clarification: This is not to be confused with Delta’s “Pay with Points” option where you get 1 CPP for each Delta SkyMiles for paid flights. I’m thinking more along the lines of the way British Airways and Avianca do it for award tickets.  No?  I haven’t booked any airline tickets in 9+ months, but I don’t think this prediction came true.
  • Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.  No, there were no airline mergers in 2020 among these airlines, but I expect to see some mergers of domestic and international airlines next year.

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Need a Last Minute Gift? Earn Rewards for Buying Virtual Gift Cards from Slide, Fluz & MileagePlusX

Good afternoon everyone.  The holiday season is upon us and we are now in the home stretch.  If you still have a few more gifts to give this year, there is still time to send your friends, family members, neighbors and teammates a gift card.  Of course you can run out to your local grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, or office supply store to pick up a physical gift card, but if you don’t want to leave your house, you can buy a virtual gift card from the convenience of your phone (and earn rewards).  Whenever I need to buy a gift card for myself or for someone else, there are 3 apps that I use: Slide, Fluz, and MileagePlusX.

I will go into more detail on how to use each app, but there are 3 important things to know about these apps: your virtual gift card is ready to use right away; you can usually purchase the virtual gift card in an exact dollar amount; and you earn rewards in the form of cash back or United Airlines Miles.  Without further ado, let’s go through these 3 apps.

Slide (Apple App Store / Google Play Store)

Slide offers 4% cash back on all virtual gift card purchases (which may be higher or lower than the other 2 apps, depending on the store).  If you are a new member, please use my Slide referral link and you will get a $5 credit towards your first 4 purchases ($20 off total).  For comparison purposes, I bought Panera Bread virtual gift cards from all 3 apps to compare the process and show the various rewards.  After you create your Slide account, type the store name into the search box.  If the store is offered on Slide, you will see it in the search results.  Click on the store name to purchase a virtual gift card.

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Why I Redeemed 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back Feature

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I recently had a change of heart and decided to redeem 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back feature.  Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature on May 31 and I wrote How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points via Pay Yourself Back (1.5 Cents Per Point for Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Home Improvement).  Initially, I was not very excited about the new feature, since I convinced myself that I could use my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in other ways and get more than 1.5 cents per point.

After realizing that I had no concrete travel plans remaining in 2020 (I recently cancelled trips to Boston & New York along with a big trip to Africa), I figured that my stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points would probably not be used much this year.  Before redeeming 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, I looked at Chase’s travel partners to see if there were any major reasons to keep my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  Chase has 13 airline and hotel partners, but only has 4 exclusive partners (Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, IHG, and Hyatt), the remaining 9 travel partners are accessible with American Express Membership Rewards Points, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles.

My wife and I have ~58,000 Southwest Airlines points and ~$150 in travel credit, so I would not need to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Airlines.  I am not a huge fan of United Airlines and can usually book Star Alliance flights with other travel programs, plus I have ~$178 travel credit from a cancelled United flight.  IHG points are worth ~0.5 cents per point and I have ~222,000 IHG points in my account.  Last but not least, Hyatt is the only travel partner that stands out from the list.  I decided to save at least 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points just in case we stay at a Hyatt later this year).

I figured that normal spending on our Chase Ink Cash Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Credit Card this year would replenish our Chase Ultimate Rewards Points balance by the end of 2020.

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My Travel Philosophy for Redeeming Miles vs. Paying Cash for Flights (w/ Account Balances as of March 2020)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I just finished listening to the Miles to Memories podcast (latest episode) and enjoyed listening to them talk about Disney when they redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule that I live by, so I thought it would be fun to share my travel philosophy of when I redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I specifically mention flights because I plan to write a similar article about hotels and didn’t want to make this article too long.  Lastly, when I use the word cash, that could mean paying for the flight with a credit card, or paying with an airline gift card, or using credit card rewards to pay for the flight – basically anything other than booking an award ticket with airline miles.

I also think it is important to share how many credit card reward points I have, since my thinking would be much different if I had 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points vs. 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward Points.  With that said, here are my transferable points balances, as of March 2020, from smallest to largest:

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8 Buy Miles / Points Promos Ending Soon: Hilton (100%), American (55%), Avianca (125%), United (85%), IHG (75%), Radisson (25%), Hyatt (25%) & Etihad (20%)

Good afternoon everyone.  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found a few offers ending soon.  Always check the math to make sure that buying miles & points makes sense for you.  Do not buy miles & points speculatively unless you have a use in mind.  With that said, here are 8 offers that end this month.  Up first, Hilton is offering a 100% bonus, when you purchase at least 10,000 Hilton Honors Points.  This offer expires today – February 19.

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