Mileage Plus adds new FFP currency of choice
United Airlines has partnered with Chase to launch a new loyalty currency called 'Choices', which brings a range of new rewards and benefits for members of the airlines' Mileage Plus frequent flyer programme.
The new Mileage Plus Choices option is available only to Mileage Plus Visa cardholders (issued by Chase), and is intended to offer members enhanced redemption opportunities for the rewards they earn when using the Visa card to make everyday purchases.
New rewards Members can use the new Choices currency for five new redemption options:
- Any open seat on any available United, United Express or Ted flight booked through United.com, with no capacity restrictions or blackout dates;
- Any hotel stay (booked through United.com), with no blackout dates;
- Any car rental (booked through United.com), again without any blackout dates;
- Economy Plus Access in-flight, offering up to five inches of extra legroom for Economy Plus seating;
- Elite Qualifying Miles or Segments that count toward elite status.
Alternatively, members can use their Choices rewards for more traditional redemptions such as Standard and Saver awards or flight upgrades.
Flight redemptions Members can also choose to redeem their Choices rewards for flight tickets by simply using the credit card to purchase the ticket (from United.com), then using the programme's web site to redeem Choices for a credit toward their next Mileage Plus Visa card statement.
Unlike Saver or Standard Awards (which have set redemption amounts) the amount of Choices that members need to redeem for flights is based purely on the price of the ticket. For example, members can purchase a US$129 ticket from United.com using their Mileage Plus Visa card, then redeem 12,900 Choices for a corresponding US$129 statement credit. Members can also choose to redeem Choices for less than the full amount of the ticket (subject to a minimum redemption of 10,000 Choices).
Other redemption options For hotel stays and car rentals booked through United.com, the same arrangement applies, although the redemption requirement is slightly different. For example, for a US$120 hotel stay (paid for with a Mileage Plus Visa card), members would need to redeem 15,000 Choices for a corresponding US$120 statement credit. Or for a US$60 car rental, they would need to redeem 7,500 Choices for the corresponding US$60 statement credit.
Alternatively, by redeeming 40,000 Choices for an annual subscription to Economy Plus Access, members can gain access to United's Economy Plus class, which includes extra legroom.
If they choose to redeem Choices toward elite status in Mileage Plus, they can do so for up to 5,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) and five Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) per year. For 10,000 Choices members can gain 1,000 EQMs and 1 EQS, or for 50,000 Choices they can gain 5,000 EQMs and 5 EQSs.