What To Do With 2,377 United Airline Miles

My United Airlines mileage account has 2,377 miles in it, and they’re going to expire in about a month.  So what should I do with them. Many of my friends who are in the same boat often say to me, oh, there’s so few miles, I’ll just let them expire. Some people look for ways to have some activity on their account so they don’t expire.  Some will just let them go.

I have no plans to fly United anytime soon, and even if I did, I’d credit the miles to US Airways. In the future, when US Airways leaves Star Alliance, if I fly a Star Alliance carrier, I would likely credit the miles to an American Express transfer partner (ANA, Singapore, Air Canada, etc…)  So I am looking to use up my 2,377 miles.

My first assumption was that I could probably get a magazine and that would be it.  However, after a few searches, I discovered a few other things I could get.   Now, please note, under normal circumstances I would never use my miles in this way…but since 2,377 miles won’t get me anywhere, I’m going to use them in the manner.

First, United offers Restaurants.com gift certificates.  You can get a $25 gift certificate for 500 points or four $25 gift certificates for 2,000 points.  I started searching the Restaurants.com website, which I thought I’d used in the past, but it’s had been quite a while since I’d visited.  I found the site very non-user friendly. I looked for restaurants in my neighborhood and it listed about 15 restaurants, 6 of which have closed.  None of the restaurants listed had any offers available.  I then expanded my search and looked in downtown Charleston and couldn’t find anything either.  Finally, it dawned on me, the site I usually use is Restaurant.com not Restaurants.com (s vs. no s).  This turns out to be a bad deal for me.

Next, I looked into the United Digital Media Store. Here you can stream music, TV and movies.  You can rent or buy movies and TV shows.  Movie rentals started around 500 points and went up. I could watch movies….but you have to be connected to stream the videos, and I’d most likely watch on a long flight and those typically don’t have wifi. The few that have, block streaming and the price is cost prohibitive. Single songs started at around 150 miles and albums ranged from around 1,000 – 1,200 and went up from there.

What else was left? FTD.  I found some FTD bouquets for 2,400 points…just a tad more than I have. But most things started at around 3,000 points and went up.  Well, that’s not going to work either.

Looks like there’s nothing I can do with my miles, or is there?  I noticed that I could join the Opinion Miles Club and get 300 points for taking 1 survey. The survey took 25 minutes and filling out the registration took about 5 minutes.  30 minutes 300 points…that’s too much time.

Could I transfer the miles? Yes, but that would be ridiculously expensive . $15 per 1000 miles plus a $30 fee. Not an option.

The last thing I found that I could do with my miles was donate them.  You can donate in 500 mile increments. So I could donate 2,000 miles to an organization like Make-A-Wish, Feeding America, The Wounded Warrior Project, Shriner’s Hospital For Children and more.  I think this is the best option for my 2,377 miles.

Have you ever donated left over miles ?

11 Comments on "What To Do With 2,377 United Airline Miles"

  1. Personally, I’d transfer 1 Chase UR point or 2 SPG points to keep the account alive … and then at some point leverage a credit card signup bonus or point transfer to redeem with United 🙂

  2. @Howie, wow, creative!

  3. Just hang on to them for the next time you are building up your United/UR point stash. The Opinion Miles Club is a great way to keep them active. Just do a survey and you get 50 miles or so that will keep the account active.

  4. Miles, Points, and Mai Tais | July 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

    I’d also keep the account active, especially if you have a Chase card where you can transfer in to MP at a later date.

  5. Keep the miles active. You already did that by taking the survey. Rinse and repeat as needed.You never know when you may be rebooked on another airline because of a cancellation or something and add some more miles to the account, once crediting to US is no longer an option for Star Alliance.

  6. I had over 20 thousand United miles that were going to expire. Ordered People magazine for less than a thousand points and my miles are safe for another 18 months.

  7. Don’t let them expire, ever. Do something to keep them active, like use the shopping portal. You could also consider looking at some trades on points.com just to see if there is anything interesting.

  8. The Deal Mommy | July 21, 2013 at 7:48 am |

    I was gonna suggest the shopping portal as well. Earn one mile by buying an itune, buy another 18 months!

  9. @Wendy, yes, had I had 20k miles I would have bought something to keep them active too!

  10. I donated 1300 Hawaiian Airline miles I had left after I exchanged my miles for Hilton points.

  11. @Lynn – I’m glad I’m not alone in the donation category!

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