Should I buy the AA Platinum Upgrade offer or just do the UA Economy Plus Subscription?

So in 2017 I was Gold with American Airlines. I reached that again by mid year but managed to miss Platinum by a hair at the end of the year. I just didn’t see the profit in doing a mileage run. So far in 2018 I have some AA flights booked and some long haul award trips on AA but some of my business trips have been moved over to United for various reasons in this first Quarter.

So here comes the offers. I can buy up to Platinum on AA for $795

FireShot Capture 4 - Secure your eli_ - https___elite.americanairlines.com_eliterenewal_purchase.cfm

But after thinking about it I don’t think it’s worth that much to me. Sure I might see a few additional domestic upgrades but the main value is the MCE seats. And if I’m stuck flying United more than normal in 2018 I might be better off to just get an Economy Plus subscription for $499.

FireShot Capture 5 - Economy plus choose options I United A_ - https___www.united.com_ual_en_us_su

I’m not sure it’s worth it for either one. I actually wish AA would have given me a bit cheaper of an option to move up to Platinum since I was so close but at least I’m still Gold with a bunch of 500 mile stickers for now. I don’t think it’s worth it to do a status match with United either but we’ll see.

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Trip review Houston / Kemah Texas

I had a recent quick trip to Houston for business. I stayed at the Kemah Texas Holiday Inn Express. Not a bad hotel located near the Ocean front boardwalk area in Kemah. This is on the South side of Houston.

The room was decent although I’m not sure it was much of an upgrade based on my IHG Spire and Ambassador status. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet.  The only negative was the HVAC system. It seemed to be set way too sensitive. It has the dumb Inncom electronic thermostat which can be set to VIP mode but it would switch between cold and hot. For example I came in the room and it was slightly too cold like at 68 degrees so I turned it up to say 69 and the AC would go off and then switch to heat to try and moderate 1 degree.

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The view from my room was nice. It was a bit cloudy and rainy but you could see the boardwalk area and ocean. img_20161106_150027654

The wild colored bathroom sink. Interesting. This room had a walk in good shower. Not sure if all the rooms have walk-in showers. img_20161106_145958886

Another view of the room. Microwave and mini frig. Desk was fairly good set up for work. img_20161106_145937762

A morning run view of the boardwalk amusement area. img_20161107_062803777Part of my morning run in the area. View of the rough sea on a cloudy morning. img_20161107_063438777

I flew into Houston Hobby on AA but had to get over to El Paso for other business so I elected to fly the United non-stop out of IAH. I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay a big surcharge to drop the rental car from National at a different airport so that was impressive.

The regional UA jets are lumped into one terminal cattle holding area where they call you down the hallway method to walk outside to board. I always love it for some odd reason. My wife things I’m an idiot for getting so excited about walking out on the tarmac. img_20161107_144617778Always a good photo-op situation. I love it. img_20161107_144643367

$25 United Airlines Gift Cards on My Coke Rewards

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This redemption on My Coke Rewards http://www.mcr.com is now available today to Silver members. The Southwest card must be sold out.

Not really a good value since it cost 1750 points. They offered this back in 2014 for 625 points. Neither was a good deal as you can’t combine them and they can only be used for tickets and fees so no on-board purchases, etc.

However…..if you have a ton of MCR points and are planning on buying a United ticket soon you might get a little value out of this, maybe.

The Southwest card was about the same value in my opinion.

Home   Catalog   Online Catalog   My Coke Rewards2

United Mileage Plus X – Earning miles on local shopping with United Chase card

I don’t get a kickback from United or Chase on this. Just news.

So United has a new mile earning scheme where you download the phone app to your smart phone. Once you install it you log in with your mileage plus account and then it will find nearby retailers that participate. When shopping you type in the total spent at the register into the phone app and have the merchant scan the bar code on your phone to award the miles at 0.5, 1x,2x, 3x or 4x depending on the merchant.

If you have a United Mileage Plus credit card and it will link your United MileagePlus X app you are suppose to earn an extra 25%.  Click this photo below to link over the site for me info. See my thoughts below…

United Hub   MileagePlus X

This seems like a good idea and promo video shows it working so smoothly. So here are my main concerns:

  1. Poor Wifi or cell signal at the point of purchase may slow the app or make it useless. I’ve experienced that with Shopkick.
  2. Merchants or checkers may not know how to process or scan the phone.
  3. The pain to use the app for small purchases doesn’t seem worth it (well worth it for large items though).

I hope it works well.

I can see myself using it for large purchases at Lowe’s however they only award 1/2 mile per $ where as it I buy it through the United shopping site online and do in-store pick up (Even while standing in the store) I earn 2 miles per $. Not to mention that American pays 3 miles per $.  They need to fix this issue and make the miles match the online shopping portal offers. I know they may not be run by the same company behind the scenes but they need to match. Lowe’s is the lowest by the way and I didn’t see Home Depot on the list.

They have a bunch of restaurants like Cheesecake factory, Texas Roadhouse, etc. that have good 3 or 4 mile per $ earning but how does that work. You have to give your phone to the waiter so they can scan it? Seems like trouble but maybe I have trust issues.

I could see this being really good in a couple areas:

  1. Manufactured spend folks (you know who you are). I assume gift cards will fly out the door at some of these places since you enter the data on your phone manually.
  2. Amazon is on the list for 1x through online spending through your phone (at least the Android app shows it). Some how this will let you buy gift cards or something. Not sure how it works yet.
  3. Restaurants for 3x or 4x plus your credit card miles at 1x or 2x plus your dining program miles in a few cases.

Anyway it’s a new part of the miles and points game. Should be interesting.  Below is a screen shot of the merchants but this is a list of all of them. Basically the app finds them based on your location so that should help if it works any better than Shopkick which I like (Where it has reception).

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Buy a Benz get 25,000 United MileagePlus Miles

benz UA

Here is a car offer if your in the market for a new Mercedes. If you buy a new Mercedes and use a certificate from United they will give you “up to” 25,000 MileagePlus miles. The key part is the “up to” statement in the offer. In my personal valuation I find that United miles are worth roughly $10 per 1,000 so I figure this is worth “up to” $250. I would assume you would still get a good price and other discounts from Mercedes for the purchase. You might even be able to pay for part of the car or down payment with a airline credit card for more miles. It seems like a good idea but disappointing in the “up to” part depending on your loyalty level with United. They should just make it a flat amount for all members.

benz ua 2

Basically you log in with your united log in and it comes up with a form to confirm the amount you will get.

benz trucar

Once you enter your info you will get the ticket that you can print and take to the dealer.

benz ticket

Notice how I blocked out my control number “as if”.

After you click the print form it takes you out to a Mercedes shopping site basically.  But what’s weird is that the rules say it must be a new purchase or lease but the site shows you pre-owned or certified models. I assume you might be able to use it more flexibly based on the local dealership.  So is it worth it? Not really unless your in the market anyway. My wife is after me to get her a new Mercedes but I’m just not all that impressed with the CLA or C class models I could afford. A used or certified model might fit the bill but it seems like a little work. Interesting offer though. What do you think?

benzThis offer was received in an email and seems somewhat targeted. You have to have been a United member for 6 months at least to get the full offer.

Here is the other fine print in the email:

Terms and conditions

Mercedes-Benz terms and conditions
The bonus mileage offer and incentives are only available to members who are eligible MileagePlus members at the time of an eligible transaction. An eligible MileagePlus member is a U.S. resident and has been enrolled in the MileagePlus program for at least six (6) months prior to the time of accessing the bonus mileage offer and incentives, or if less than six (6) months, has flown at least one (1) flight eligible to earn miles since enrollment. To receive the miles or incentives, the MileagePlus member must log in tounited.com/mercedes using their MileagePlus credentials and print out a Savings Certificate to present to the dealer for the applicable car of their choice. In order to be eligible for the bonus mileage offer or other incentives, the member must obtain a Savings Certificate prior to the transaction. Upon completion of the sale or lease, these bonus miles will be posted to a member’s account approximately 6-8 weeks after the date of completion of the eligible transaction. These offers are not valid for any purchases already completed. A member may only take advantage of the offers on Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz vehicles one time per calendar year. Mercedes-Benz and MileagePlus reserve the right to change or terminate this offer, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice.

Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus® program, including without limitation the Premier® program (the “MileagePlus Program”), which are expressly incorporated herein. Please allow 6-8 weeks after completed qualifying activity for miles to post to your account. United® may change the MileagePlus Program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus Program at any time and without notice. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products or services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count toward qualification for Premier status unless expressly stated otherwise. The accumulation of mileage or Premier status or any other status does not entitle members to any vested rights with respect to the MileagePlus Program. All calculations made in connection with the MileagePlus Program, including without limitation with respect to the accumulation of mileage and the satisfaction of the qualification requirements for Premier status, will be made by United Airlines® and MileagePlus in their discretion and such calculations will be considered final. Information in this communication that relates to the MileagePlus Program does not purport to be complete or comprehensive and may not include all of the information that a member may believe is important, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to all of the information on the united.com website and the MileagePlus Program rules. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus Program, go to united.com.

See additional MileagePlus terms and conditions.

11552 ET01

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