Javan69 made a good comment in the mileage redemption post, so bear with me as I step on my soapbox and start preaching here.
*Gets on soapbox*
I’ll never understand people that accumulate a lot of miles (and it’s all relative, so let me say 500,000+) without burning them periodically, at least in most cases. Miles, just like money, suffer from inflation. Fortunately for money, you can earn interest, something you can’t do with your miles. Between all my efforts, I earn around 400,000 miles a year. That being said, I don’t remember the last time I have had over 250,000 at a given time. Typically I end the year under 100,000 miles in my account, having already planned trips for summer the following year. Right now, for example, I’m sitting at only 90,000 miles, something which may seem low to most. That being said, I have successfully converted those miles into amazing trips, and will continue to enjoy them as quickly as possible for as long as the system lets me.
Now in some cases I understand people that don’t burn their miles, specifically those that travel for work and don’t have the time or desire to use their miles (while I can’t imagine ever being in a situation like that, I know it exists). Other than that, you should be burning your miles! For example, about 16 months ago United raised the award level for North America to Europe from 100,000 to 120,000 miles, a pretty hefty increase. I’m sure we’ll see a similar move again very soon, probably in the next year or so. Another thing I have noticed is that those that save up a bunch of miles don’t appreciate them as much, in the sense that they’re content using their miles for standard awards (essentially double the price, although better availability) when a saver award is a possibility. If you have 800,000 miles, using 270,000 miles for an unrestricted ticket to Australia in United First Class may not seem like that much, while it would if you only had 300,000 miles, for example.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, award availability is just getting worse and worse as times go on. More and more people are charging their coffee at McDonalds, etc., to a credit card. Add that to there being less and less award availability over time, and we have a bit of a problem.
I’m still thankful that not everyone is totally savvy on how to use miles best, and that some people are happy redeeming miles once a year for a standard award to see grandma in Birmingham.
Sorry, but I felt like I had to say that.
*Steps off soapbox*