Up to 25,000 Miles for Switching Utility Providers – Worth it?

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On my daily visit to united.com I noticed a box on their homepage advertizing 10,000 MileagePlus miles for those switching to Energy Plus.  I am somewhat familiar with mileage bonuses for switching energy providers, but I hadn’t remembered seeing one on the homepage for a while, so I clicked out of curiosity.

The offer on the home page (that I haven’t been able to replicate) was basically for 10,000 MileagePlus miles if you switched to Energy Plus for at least two months, and lived in one of the following states: Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.  It provided an additional 2,500 mile bonus if you had the MileagePlus credit card.

Energy Plus advertizes no cancellation penalties, monthly service charges, or switching fees.  It also lists a 8.9¢ per kWh* price for the Texas offer.  Better yet, this Flyertalk thread shows how to potentially easily turn this offer into 25,000 miles for doing the same thing if you live in certain states.  So, some minor hassle of switching energy providers, and two months at a somewhat higher kWh then I normally have in exchange for 25,000 United miles.  Worth it?

Maybe.  Be aware that on the offer I viewed for Texas, the kWh price listed is only for the first month.  The second month’s price “may change in subsequent months at the sole discretion of Energy Plus Holdings LLC”.  Some reports on the FT thread above indicate that the user actually saved money and earned miles by switching to Energy Plus, and some reports indicate much higher rates than their previous provider as well as the hassle of dealing with deposits.  Others go as far as using words like “scum and scam” to describe Energy Plus.

I personally value 25,000 United miles in the range of $375 – $500, so some overcharging and some hassle factor can be accounted for and the deal is still “worth it”.  I have not personally decided to pull the trigger on this as I just don’t want to deal with switching energy providers when there are easier ways to rack up miles, but on the other hand 25,000 miles is a pretty substantial number.  It isn’t impossible that I would do this if I got bored one day and couldn’t come up with an easier way to get a chunk of miles, but that day is not today.

Have you earned miles via switching energy providers?  If so, how was your experience?

Comments

  1. I researched this quite a while ago and there were far too many horror stories about the above mentioned company to even get me to consider it.

  2. I second what Nick says above, I’ve read far too many bait and switch stories where they drastically increased the price. Not worth the hassle and having to deal with customer service IMO.

  3. I spent $200 Extra in Utility Costs for 26,140 Miles (this was the 25K + some extra for spend being a United CC Holder). I did it in the Winter when my energy costs were lower and was able get out in 3 months total (it easily could take a 4th month). You have to do 2 full months (which I did) then upon getting my 2nd month bill I paid it immediately! The miles posted a few days after that then I called to switch back (so paid a 3rd month since the switch doesn’t happen until the end of the next billing cycle). You could see that if you didn’t promptly pay your bill, wait for miles, then quickly call – you could easily wind up with a 4th month – maybe even a 5th if you have really bad timing. It was a pretty seamless process and didn’t have any problems (they offered to keep me for a “better” rate, but still not a good one). However, it’s 100% not worth it for the 10K and YMMV for the 25K. Was it worth it for me? Yes, but it easily may not have been if it took me an extra month to switch. If you have very low utility bills then it’s more worth it, if you have higher utility bills than it’s probably not. If I did this in the summer with the A/C running, it probably would have cost me more than I earned. Feel free to let me know if you need any other info.

  4. I used them in past for NY rates something like 13c KHw then 3 months later they creep up to 23c KHw after I called them they refunded the difference and put it back to agreed rate. I cancelled them. No worth the hassle dealing with energy Plus

  5. Energy Plus is one of the most expensive energy providers out there. My local electric company is 4 cents per KWH cheaper which adds up to hundreds of dollars.

    They also continuously send out huge mile/point offers to those who are previous customers; only disclosing in the tiniest of print buried in their t&c that bonuses only apply to new customers.

    They have established themselves as a brand that will lure those passionate about miles/points, and charge a big premium for them; and will engage in slightly deceitful practices.

    Experience is the best teacher.

    Oh – and Mommy Points – you ROCK. This is such a great, helpful, and informative site.

  6. I did it for 20,000 AA Miles.

    The key thing is to be on top of it & know you will pay more for the energy. It takes 3 cycles-

    2 months on their program wait for the points to post & then change back which takes a billing cycle.

    I was on them for exactly 3 billing cycles & I paid $100 more in electricity for those 3 months then if I was with Coned straight.

    20,000 AA points for $100 totally worth it.

    Of course if one has a very large house, or uses a ton of electricity then the cost would have been greater.

    Other than that it is exactly what they say: no cancellation fee & know ihidden charges – just their rate which was higher than Coned even the first month.

  7. Actually I’ve been thinking about this offer as well. I also read a lot of horror stories about this company and I think as long as I can stay on top of the game and switch back in 3 months cycle it shouldn’t be too bad. Just some optimistic thoughts.

  8. I have to say that I did this last summer, in response to a Southwest Promo, and couldn’t be happier. First, I switched electricity and got 12,500 and my bill went down about $40. Then a month later, I switched my natural gas and got another 12,500 and my bill went down another $20. It probably depends A LOT on where you are. [Maryland]

  9. Just received 25k aadvantage miles after switching from reliant to energy plus after two months of paid service. My bill was much cheaper the first month and about the same the second, I’m moving in three days so I’ll cancel my service with no change fees or anything. If someone is nearing the end of their time at a residence I think 25k miles is more than worth it IMHO..

  10. We live in Calif and our electic bill is around $50-60/month. (we have no AC and gas heat/appliances).

    I do have one rental house in San Antonio (TX) I own it and it is all electric. (AC/heat/cooking, etc). The electric bill is around $200/month in peak season (winter/summer) and less in the shoulder seasons. (I pay the utilities since Section 8 gives me a utility allowance and the utilities come out even–my renters are decent!!!). Of course, I pay the utilities (water/electric) paying w/rewards CC!!

    I will have to research things before making changing the electric bill.

  11. I switched my gas service to them for 25,000 Southwest Points last year. I signed up at the beginning of spring so that my 2-3 months would be after I needed the furnace running and before air conditioning season. The rate did go up every month but it only cost me about $100 extra.

  12. This is my 3rd time with this company. First time under my name for 5k miles.disc after 3 mos.switched to gexa energy for 10k miles.switched back to energy plus under my wife’s name.for 12.5k miles.kept it for 3 mos.changed to another co.now have changed back to energy plus again for the 3rd time last mo. keeping my fingers crossed for this set of miles. the reviews are not very good.have dealt with them for a very short term basis.they do chg more than others, but i have been able to switch just as soon as the miles posted.

  13. I was just researching Texas electricity rates yesterday and even looked up Energy Plus. First warning flag – their rates were not even showing up on the TX government PowerToChoose website. Then when I went through the quoting process on Energy Plus website, it mentioned somewhere in fineprint that it was “variable” rate. I have seen many instances when the variable rates increase month over month by 2 to 3 times during summer months. So over one year, I can easily see them making more than $1000 from me (compared to another low cost provider, I ended up choosing Pennywise power with promo code WQ4133). So definitely not worth the 10-25k miles for me.

  14. Energy Plus is somewhat more expensive then other providers in Texas but I wonder if you get hit with a hard credit inquiry when switching? This happened to me 6 months ago when i switched to a new provider.

  15. Had them for a short period in 2011. They are a bait and switch operation. They went from 4 cents/kwhr to over 14 cents in two months. STAY AWAY!!!

  16. I sued to work for a electric company and yes their rates will go up probably by 20% but all these people saying that they paid $90 you also have to compare the usage for the two months. If you are comparing june to july then yes you will notice a larger amount billed for the supply portion because it is hotter in July and therefore you are probably using more electricity.

  17. Hi,
    I was wondering what you decided about the miles for switching electricity supply.

    I’ve been researching switching: either to EnergyPlus for the FF miles, or to Green Mountain for the “free” programmable thermostat. There are certainly some consumer horror stories online about each of them; I haven’t decided yet.

    Thanks for the info!

    • Bonnie, I haven’t changed anything at this point – and wouldn’t in the summer for sure. Let me know if you decide to go for it!

  18. I switched to EP Dec 2012, and did both electricity and gas with EP, which now looking back was a mistake. The first month was on fixed rate, but it became floating in Jan. The rates were higher than PSEG but not by that much. But Feb was really bad. My gas bill was $100 more compared to if I stayed with PSEG. I called and some guy just say it’s floating and nothing to do. I called back to cancel a day later and some girl picked up and said that she can put me in some commercial program which would give me better rates, but that would be for the next month. I asked her about the Feb $100 diff and she then says it can be applied backdated, and said she would send a check for the $100 difference. I did get the $100 check couple of weeks later. I had already gotten 25000 UA points for signing up initially, but I believe I got another 2500 points when she put me on the commercial program. However, even when I am on the commercial program, the rates were still higher than that of PSEG. I have cancelled and gone back to PSEG, but I think it was worth getting the points.

  19. Not sure on this. I have used them multiple times on different properties and never had a problem. Points post as promised. Rate is fairly consistent and they canceled when I asked them to. I will continue to use them as they perform as promised.

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