Planning out my travel for the rest of the year…. can’t decide!

Usually my travel goals don’t require too much planning since I easily hit the thresholds I want and I just stop there. This year is different. With increased travel and the double elite qualifying miles (EQM) promotion earlier in the year, I’m sitting at 155,000 EQM’s already, with two trips booked bringing me to 170,000 EQM’s. I’ll easily make 200,000 EQM’s, which will get me an extra two systemwide upgrades (1K’s get an extra two SWU’s for every 50,000 EQM’s they earn over 100,000), which is nice. At the same time United has the Elite Choice promotion, and for getting to 225,000 EQM’s I would earn an extra 25,000 redeemable miles. That basically means that I’ll be earning a 200% mileage bonus on those extra 25,000 miles, so I would be earning 75,000 miles for flying 25,000 miles. With a bit of effort I could probably get there, but I’m not so sure it’s worth it. At the same time if I get to 225,000 I should fly the extra 25,000 miles to get to 250,000 miles for the two extra systemwide upgrades, but that’s unrealistic.

See my problem? Any thoughts? ­čśÇ

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I would seriously consider putting everything else on BMI instead. With the buy a RT or 2 one-ways on BMI metal and get double EQM/RDM, buy 2 RTs or 4 one-ways and get triple EQM/RDM promotion, that is hard to ignore. You could make *G pretty easily and have access to the Virgin lounge all the time. We all know BMI miles are some of the most valuable. So that’s what my plan is as soon as I have 1K in the bag (12K more miles with 11K booked).

  2. Thanks David. The thing is, I know I wouldn’t actually fly BMI metal, so sticking to UA metal there really isn’t a promotion. While BMI is a good program, the lack of 100% mileage bonus and the huge fuel surcharges are what keep me with UA…. for now.

  3. No need to fly bmi to use their program. The double miles once you reach 55k as a gold status member, plus attractive award chart makes for a lucrative offering. However, in lucky’s case I am not so sure it would be that worthwhile because (correct me if I’m wrong) most paid tickets are in economy and so the earning is 125% or 225% (with minimum miles). The bmi program is much more lucrative if flying paid business or first class (225% or 425% for business class and 325% or 625% for first class).

    By the time lucky gets gold status and enough additional miles to earn the double miles, there will only be a short window of a year or so until the program is merged with Miles & More (assuming Lufthansa does take up it’s option to buy bmi which seems certain).

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