Have you seen United’s latest redemption option? “Now you can use your award miles to listen to your favorite musical artists and watch the best movies and TV shows, whether you’re at home or at the airport.” Top singles cost 150 miles, albums 1,000-2000 miles, and new movie releases can be rented for 575 miles or purchased for 1,835-3000 miles depending on the movie. The value proposition is pretty poor (under a cent per mile), though if you are in need of an activity to keep your miles alive, a single at 150 miles isn’t so horrible…

The same movie can be had on iTunes for $4.99 per rental and $19.99 per purchase. The rental would value your miles at only .0087 cents and the purchase at .0079 cents.

The same single can be had on iTunes for $1.29, valuing your miles at .0086 cents.

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Mike January 26, 2013 - 3:14 pm

I just bought 5 albums and 10 movies.

Kris Ziel January 26, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Some people will never have enough miles for a first class redemption, or an economy class redemption for that matter. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would rather redeem miles at 1cpm for music or movies than let them expire or never have enough to be put to good use.

STAN January 27, 2013 - 1:11 am

Kris I agree.
Or if a person has more than they can use in the foreseeable future, why not spend them —instead of cash!, one credit card can get a family 100 movies

The airlines are not dumb , I assume they did research before they went into this venture and found it a good enticement for ordinary folks—- not everyone is trying to squeeze , some feel “I got the miles for nothing and why not “splurge” plus it just may bring a little loyalty to United

PH January 28, 2013 - 8:32 am

You’re off by two orders of magnitude, the redemptions look to be worth about 0.8 cents per point instead of 0.008 cents per point. The redemptions *ARE* 0.008 dollars per points, though.


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