Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Limited Time Offer ends 11/8/2017. Terms Apply.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Also Hertz President's Circle status, 2 free checked bags, and more.
United miles are very valuable to us. With generous availability they are great for getting international flights – premium and economy, and domestic flights to expensive destinations at reasonable mileage levels. Getting a $1,500 ticket to Europe for 60,000 miles or $4,000 business class ticket for 100,000 miles makes them worth more than 2 cents each to us, better than the 2% cash back of the best cash back credit cards.
So when we saw a link for ‘unpublished hotel awards‘ with United miles we were intrigued.
United partners with Hotwire to let you use your miles for the same discounted hotels that appear on Hotwire.com. When you use cash at Hotwire.com you can often save 20-40% off the going rate for a hotel. That’s because they don’t tell you the name of a hotel before you book. We use it often to get good deals on nice hotels.
Is this an opportunity to get some great value out of your United credit card miles?
We checked some bookings side by side with the United site and Hotwire.com.
Both give you the exact same hotel options when you search. The problem is, the price in miles is very high versus the price if you paid cash at Hotwire.com. For example, in a search for San Francisco we saw a 4.5 star hotel for $144 per night on Hotwire.com. That same hotel option shows up on United’s site, but for 25,550 miles.
That’s terrible. It’s like saying your United miles are worth one half of a cent each!
The equivalent would be spending 50,000 miles on a plane ticket that cost only $250 in cash. And if you’re using credit card spending to earn miles, you could have easily earned $250 – $500 in cash value for the spending that would earn you 25,000 points using a cash back credit card.
So if you want the great rates Hotwire offers, stick to cash. Save your miles for the airfare to get there.
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