Posted by William Charles on April 5, 2019
Airline Rewards

Published on April 5th, 2019 | by William Charles

58

United To Eliminate Award Charts

United has announced that they are removing award charts/rates today for travel on or after November 15th. This follows a move by Delta to eliminate award charts. Predictably United is claiming that this is good for consumers and that this will simplify the rewards program and make awards more affordable. The issue I’ve always had with eliminating award charts is that transparency is lost and it’s harder to keep loyalty programs accountable for devaluations as no set pricing is listed. An example of a good dynamic award program would be Southwest, points are worth a fixed amount (although this varies based on taxes & fees) and it’s clear when points are devalued.

One positive change is that close in booking fees are being removed for travel on or after November 15th as well. Partner awards will also continue to follow the current award chart. Overall it’s difficult to tell how bad this change really is. I always think it takes a couple of years for the real effects of an award chart being removed to be felt. That’s largely because award programs are careful enough to ensure that the big devaluations don’t happen immediately to minimize the outrage of changes like this. You can view the old award chart by clicking here.

 

Hat tip to VFTW



58
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
EYESONTHEPOINTS

The Golden Age Of Travel is slowly Fading😔

Lrdx
Lrdx

Nah, just wait for the next recession.

Satellite
Satellite

What happened during the last recession?

Lantean
Lantean

Award seats galore

Beefer
Beefer

Banks moved away from institutional lending (to large businesses) and focused more on consumer lending. More specifically they focused on credit cards as the whole housing bubble happened.

A big war happened for who could make the most from consumer lending and credit cards were seen as great because no matter what, they’re a huge moneymaker. Worst case scenario, they make 20%+ APY. Best case scenario you pay them off every month and they make 1-3% of the purchase price every time you swipe.

Huge credit card rewards were in direct response to the recession.

Justin

I think 20% APY IS best case scenario 🙂 Especially if they’re borrowing at <2-3%!

meed18
meed18

Point travel peaked about a year after the sapphire reserve was introduced (some will say when they lowered from the 100,000 point sign up bonus). There hasn’t been anything as good as that since. It’s still very good good, but has been in decline for sure.

Dave
Dave

You say partner awards will continue to continue to follow the award chart… you mean those will be the same as of now after 11/15 and only united direct flights are changing?

I wasn’t sure if I read it correctly

Thanks

sdsearch
sdsearch

United themselves has said that partner award charts aren’t changing at this point.

philco
philco

Another nail in the UR coffin for me in the medium term (once they deval the partner awards in a few years). Chase needs to up their game on transfer partners.

Drivesabrowntruck
Drivesabrowntruck

Welp, don’t feel as bad missing out on the 75k MPE biz card now. I sure won’t burn a 5/24 for a personal after this news.

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

I have mixed emotions about missing out on the MPE biz for P#2 as I have about 2 months to drop below 5/24 again. UA miles are far more valuable to me than SW even with a companion pass. I know some people love SW, being on the West coast SW could offer us some value on flights west of CST zone.

But for the time being UA offers a ton of value with Intl partners. I booked RT to Johannesburg from PDX for later this year . UA miles I got over $.10 pp for lie flat biz seats, your spending 22 hours in the air for the Int’l legs.

Alaska will get you First Class seats for 80K (for similar distance) but are now much harder to generate and fewer transfer opportunities (Marriott being one of the few to transfer points to Alaska.

Charlie
Charlie

If United devalues, I will likely be closing both my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase United Explorer credit cards. All my UR redemptions are through United.

And, unrelated to United’s actions, if Chase raises the net annual fee on the CSR, that will hasten the closing of that card.

Jr
Jr

No price is fixed, why should miles be?

Lrdx
Lrdx

Yeah, you don’t see anyone complaining on Southwest or JetBlue redemptions…

But I kinda doubt United will go for fixed cent per mile value.

Nun
Nun

Because they don’t have a large international network

djc
djc

It shouldn’t. but dysfunctional market pricing is how we get outsized return from this. (tbh how anyone get outsized return in finance)

Zachary
Zachary

_Monetary_ prices of things aren’t usually permitted to fluctuate by factors of 20 or 30 from one minute to the next in order to prevent people from buying them.

Christian
Christian

You don’t pay a fixed price in points for award stays at hotels?

sdsearch
sdsearch

It depends on the hotel program and sometimes even the specific hotel. Hilton Honors is doing dynamic pricing at many but not all of their hotels (a small portion of their hotels have stayed fixed so far). Marriott Bonvoy is introducing low season and high season award pricing this year. Choice Privileges changes pricing every few months for a new season.

Christian
Christian

Fair enough. I hadn’t actually thought about why I avoid those programs. It just seemed like instinct. Now I know it’s because the chain is trying to kill the possibility of attaining value. That’s why I loved SPG and still love Hyatt, while I avoid companies with variable pricing.

Alvin Care
Alvin Care

so what we going to do with our ump card ?i finally got it after so many 5/24 denied. now it’s becoming useless this is very bad….. :'(

Lrdx
Lrdx

Close it. If many people do, Chase will not be happy, and will tell it to United.

tolikfox
tolikfox

Lol chase has not control over what united does

Lrdx
Lrdx

No, but they are free to decide to not extend their partnership and shut down their united credit cards if it’s not profitable for them. It won’t be profitable for them if people close the cards because they are useless.

brian
brian

If you recall, when United pushed to change the cost of a domestic RT from 25K, Chase pushed back on United and they balked (to some degree) over a weekend. Primarily b/c it was pushing costs onto them (chase) as they couldn’t advertise “2 free RT” with a 50k card. and Chase would have to buy MORE miles from UA. In this case, it’s more…”murky”…so pretty sure Chase isn’t going to “fight for their customers” w/ this one..and we’ll be sucking it up…whether we like it or not.

sdsearch
sdsearch

Why is it useless? Do you only use United miles for United metal flights? Have you read that this change is not affecting partner redemptions?

Philco
Philco

Key word is yet. United is following Delta here who has over the last two years continuely devalued their reward chart. That said it is good news that we have some time to burn up our points.

USam
USam

United really wants to win TPG’s best airline loyalty program next time. They’re stepping up their game to rival Delta.

MSer
MSer

Yeah, but United is always a copycat and TPG hates that (roll eyes)

ktenorman
ktenorman

This makes MR and TYP more valuable relative to UR with the LifeMiles and Aeroplan transfers for sure. UR seems to be huring right now with this and the loss of KE.

Philco
Philco

Agree at this point for me UR is basically good for Hyatt at least once United devals their partner award chart. I really wish I transferred more UR over to Skypass.

P
P

This will make UR more valuable. Let’s wait for this headline from some of the affiliate bloggers.

Drivesabrowntruck
Drivesabrowntruck

Just looked up some flights and found some interesting results comparing MPE across vs Non. These are example flights on August 24th, found some interesting results. ATL-ORD 10:55-12:05. Through my wife’s MPE access, the flight is 9.5+$5.60. When I log into my account that doesn’t have a MPE attached, it shows 15k +$5.60. Anyone else seeing these difference in fare prices? MPE used to just open up availability, seems there’s discounts now as well.

Drivesabrowntruck
Drivesabrowntruck

Found another example on a different date
ATL-DEN Sept 27th 8:04-9:35pm with MPE access 12.5k miles, without 18k miles. Fare classes are XN and HN, respectively.

K-Man
K-Man

Yup, I’m seeing it as soon as 3 weeks out: April 27 IAH-DEN 6K no MPE and 5K with MPE same flight. Interestingly it seems like the flights listed as MPE exclusives are now available to everyone, just a little more expensive. So it seems like we lost flight exclusives, but gained some sort of discount.

Aleks
Aleks

I have predicted it several months ago when I start seeing United placing off-the-chart mile values to award tickets. United has tried to tie mileage prices to cash prices (e.g. 46,000 miles for $487 ticket). I also remember getting some kind of survey from them, asking about this possibility, and replied very negatively about the idea of “no chart” overall. Seems like they did not listen much, and went the way “to make a big buck” – only time will tell if United will win or loose it’s loyalty customer base. At least they will keep the partners redemption levels tied to the award chart, although it is not explicitly explained in the email United sent today.

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

The problems is AA, UA and Delta are Monopolies and unless your in a City with multiple hubs and carriers. Your basically SOL,

For example In PDX its either SFO for UA or Delta in SEA then your choices are AA, SW and AS as alternatives at those hubs or PDX

. Loyalty and Elite status is not what it used to be worth and has been devalued as well.

Gareth
Gareth

For someone like me who frequently book through United using miles for travels between Asia and North America, MileagePlus is dead and will become another Delta Miles. In the meantime I like Delta as an airline way better than United. So, I will likely stop flying United. Then subsequently, UR is dead, therefore CSR is dead.

I lost faith to all point systems now. I will stick to cash backs from now on.

MSer
MSer

Sure you will. Go MS a premium seat with a 2% card and get back to us. Such silliness, lol.

Ez-E
Ez-E

I have legit business spend. Travel to asia many times a year on points. UR died for me when they removed KE Transfers. Moved over all my spend. The only times i used the chase card is for payments that don’t accept amex lol.

Mar
Mar

Cash back is 100% the way to go for most people

MSer
MSer

I rarely mind when they devalue. I can hopefully find premium seats again. For me, the miles are trivially easy to MS – the difficulty is finding space on decent flights without shitty convoluted layovers.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

1000x this. Finding something without 9 hr layovers or 2 connections becomes increasingly difficult.

Charlie
Charlie

I really need those nonstop flights to Europe. Connections usually add about four hours to the length of the trip. My body can’t handle that any more, as I’m unable to sleep on the planes. I live in a United hub, so all my redemptions for the last five years have been on United or Lufthansa.

Frogger
Frogger

Cant get a United card due to 5/24 anyway.

Back to Top ↑