United To Sell Mileage Plus Prepaid Travel Card
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Jan 17, 2005)
Buying elite status is nothing new, but buying a whole year?s worth of travel in advance and picking up the perks right away? That?s precisely what united Mileage Plus is allowing members to do.
For $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000, members can purchase a ?PrePaid Travel Card,? from which their 2005 travel purchases will be deducted. In exchange, they will immediately receive Premier, Premier Executive or 1K status immediately.
Sales of the cards begin Feb. 1, and members who purchase the card this year will receive a 5 percent discount on their yearly purchases. The card is provided through Chase.
United says the cards expire annually on Feb. 28. Which begs the question: What happens if you haven?t used up your card by that point? For many, annual travel is a crap shoot. The outlook in February may be far rosier than the reality in August. So if you?ve only used $10,000 of your $20,000 card, are you up the proverbial creek?
It appears that if the traveler is a few hundred dollars short of redeeming the full value of the card, United will "refund" the difference in the form of a travel voucher. If you're a few thousand dollars short, there will be a penalty of arounf 50 percent on any refund. The idea is to prevent folks from using the benefits and then welching on their agreement.
Get the news straight from the horse's mouth at http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050117/cgm030_1.html
posted: Feb 1, 2005 at 1:48am (MT)
I'm already a 1-K status with United.
This program is not worth the plastic its written on.
Presently a person can fly from Las Vegas to Singapore for about $ 750 round-trip and earn 18,000 miles in the process. Multiply that by 5 round trips, the total cost would be $ 3,750 and the person would have earned 90,000 miles.
Its a lot easier to to fly to distances like Singapore for less, and earn more miles. Much cheaper and faster to continue or get 1-K status.
1-K member United Airlines
posted: Feb 1, 2005 at 2:00pm (MT)
Be leary of pay up front deals with bankrupt companies. If (when) they fail, you will become one of thousands of other creditors in line at bankruptcy court.
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