Archive for category united mileage plus
TopGuest is an interesting affliate for loyalty programs. They offer participating programs advertising, in the form of user checkins on foursquare, facebook or Twitter, in exchange for loyalty plan points for those users. There is a pretty good list of affiliate programs including:
- Hilton HHonors
- Virgin America Elevate
- M life
- Priority Club Rewards
- Best Western Rewards
- Wyndham Rewards
- Kimpton InTouch
- Voila Hotel Rewards
- United Mileage Plus (registration in this program requires a different link).
I’ve been a user of TopGuest for quite some time now, earning close to 20,000 miles/points across several programs (about half of them in Priority Club). I happen to work nearby the hotel area just outside of a pretty busy airport, so it’s easy to pass by several participating hotels during an afternoon stroll (and I drive through the airport on the way to work).
The one thing that’s been missing for me is a Doubletree. You see, the TopGuest partnership with HHonors only gives bonus points for checking in at Doubletrees… or so I thought. During lunch yesterday, a friend that also participates in TopGuest mentioned that he was checking in at Hampton Inns for the HHonors points, so I visited the TopGuest partnership site. Sure enough, Hampton Inn has recently been added as a partner for HHonors checkins!
Now, you don’t get a ton of points from TopGuest (typically 50 per day for each program), but it is probably plenty to get you enough points for, say, a US Airways Grand Slam hit in each of the programs if you do it regularly. Or, even if you don’t do the Grand Slam, it still nets about 1,000 points per program per month if you can be consistent. Given that I can do weekday checkins for HHonors, Priority Club and Mileage Plus, that’s about 30,000 miles/points per year just for doing checkins.
With Hampton Inn now participating, I’m only a month or two away from having enough points to transfer for a Grand Slam hit later this year. How about you? Are you a TopGuest user?
I’m a big fan of TopGuest. It’s a great service that, in exchange for you publicly checking in via FourSqaure, facebook or Twitter, gives you points toward an associated loyalty program. For example, I take a walk most days that drops me by a Holiday Inn and a Cambria Suites. Dropping by and checking in at each of those places nets me 50 Priority Club Rewards points and 50 Choice Privileges points. To give you an idea of what this can do over time (I’ve been a member for almost 6 months), here is a quick list of my tallies of points from TopGuest:
75 Virgin America Elevate Points
500 M life Tier Credits
3,300 Choice Privileges Points
200 Hilton HHonors Points
100 Wyndham Rewards Points
7,050 Priority Club Rewards Points
150 Best Western Rewards® Points
That’s not bad for just clicking Checkin on my mobile phone app. Well, TopGuest just got even better. Though I don’t see it listed on the official partners page, you can visit http://mileageplus.topguest.com/ and associate your Mileage Plus account with TopGuest. Once you do that, you can check in at airports serviced by United and pick up 50 Mileage Plus points for every checkin. This is a great way to pick up some extra points with very little effort and, as a nice added benefit, can help keep your miles from expiring if you have that issue (which I never do :)). I’ve only been able to take advantage of this twice so far, but it is great to see an airline join the TopGuest partners list!
United Airlines is currently offering a 20% discount on buying miles–which is additive with the current tax hiatus (yes, airlines did raise their rates to cover the tax break, but that doesn’t affect buying miles). This is not quite as good as it sounds, however. The cost of their miles has also increased to $35/1,000 miles and is then discounted to $28/1,000 miles until 31 July. To somewhat make up for that, there is no longer a “processing fee” to purchase miles. You can tack on the tax break and the savings go up to just about 25% from the new $35 cost. I don’t know what the old cost was (if a commenter fills me in, I’ll edit the post to outline the actual savings).
I’m not big into buying miles unless it’s just to top off an account for an award that is about to be booked since you can usually get miles for free if you try. However, if you’re in that latter category, and UA is your airline, then this represents a good deal. The minimum purchase is 2,000 miles for $56.
I just noticed that my United Mileage Plus account went up by 750 miles last night. Curious, I went to the activity report to find out why. As it turns out, I signed up for a promotion and forgot about it. The upside of that is that it gets a blog post so that maybe you can take advantage of it, too.
It turns out that MyPoints has a promotion that allows new subscribers to get 750 miles added to their Mileage Plus accounts after 30 days of “active” membership. The definition of “active” is not spelled out in the terms and conditions, but I’ve been receiving their emails and clicking on the click-thru links to accumulate points to spend on travel-related expenses; so, that must be enough. FWIW, I’ve built up just over 600 points in that 30-day timespan. Below are some of the lower-tier redemptions that you can get with these points:
- 4,000 points for a $25 Hyatt certificate
- 6,850 for a $50 Marriott certificate
- 5,200 for 2,500 United Mileage Plus miles
- 4,600 for a $25 prepaid Visa
So, my 600 points are not enough for anything, but in 4-6 more months like that, I’ll be able to redeem them for something… and it’s not a lot of effort to click things. Just use an email dedicated to “spam-like” stuff and there’s not even any worries about too much email.
From Deals We Like, there are currently 2 separate promotions running with Continental Airlines, each for 100 miles. There was a third promotion running as well that I missed out on (it expired on 30 June). The promotions are just for “Learning More” about services that Continental offers. Just follow the links follow and enter your Continental OnePass number:
Also, keep in mind that after the Continental/United Airlines merger (or now if you’ve already linked the two programs), these miles will contribute toward your United Mileage Plus balance, so if you are a United flyer, this deal is still for you!