Easiest Path to United Elite Status: Charity Auction!

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There has been a bunch of talk about elite status and mileage running recently in the miles and points world regarding whether it is worth it, cents per mile, time away from home, etc…  I actually just finished a presentation about elite status fast tracks, matches, and challenges at the Chicago Seminars.  The reality is that earning United elite status usually requires putting your tail in a seat and flying.  The only other route is paying at least 10 cents per elite qualifying mile by purchasing miles from United.  That would come to around $10,000 for top tier elite status.  #Nothankyou.

However, here is a way to get United status that does not require flying, may (or may not) be less expensive that purchasing the miles outright, and best of all it will benefit a good cause.  Here is what is being auctioned off:

1x Premier 1K (normally 100,000 miles)
2x Premier Platinum (normally 75,000 miles)
2x Premier Gold status (normally 50,000 miles)
2x Premier Silver status (normally 25,000 miles)

The auction is brought to you by Kula and Star MegaDo 4.  Kula Causes is one of the main sponsors for SMD4 and the auction will benefit the charity of your choice. All proceeds will be available for the SMDers to donate through kula’s wonderful portal.

The elite status is good through January 2014 and anyone can place a bid.  Most of us have already secured our path to elite status for next year (at least that is true for most who are striving for elite status0, but this is still an interesting auction.  i may make a bid myself.  It probably won’t be enough to win, but it can’t hurt to throw your hat in the ring.  Kula’s website says their donations are tax deductible.  I’m no accountant or tax adviser, but see where this is going?  Learn more about the auction and how to participate by heading to Milepoint.com.


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    • @Jay, you got me. I would instead try to figure out what it is worth to you and then just keep your fingers crossed!

  1. I’m not a tax adviser either, but the general rules is you can only deduct what you give in excess of the valuation of what you get. Valuing premier status at zero might be a stretch.

  2. If you purchase something in a charity auction you can only claim a deduction for the amount above fair market value that you pay for the item.

  3. I don’t mind disclosing what it’s worth to me. I have a trip planned in Decemeber, where I’m going to end up paying $400 in extra baggage fees (to and fro)

    Add to that the fact that I’d willingly pay upto $100 to upgrade my seat to economy plus (atleast…) for each leg of the trip = $300.

    = $700. That is my budget, roughly. Do you think I’m even in the general vicinity of Gold status bids? Or is $700 too little?

    I have the Explorer cc so I already get most of the silver benefits.

  4. @MileValue, zero would be a stretch, but I’m sure there is wiggle room in the valuation of elite status.
    @Gary, yes, but I’m sure it would be hard to put an exact value on elite status. 😉
    @Jay, I have no clue. Folks in the FF community are often both generous and value elite status highly. That said, many have already wrapped up status for next year for themselves. I don’t think $700 for Gold is a low bid. I don’t have any idea what will win, but I don’t think that is a bad place to start if it is worth that to you.

  5. @mommypoints, how do you buy up in united status? everything I’m finding says that purchased united miles do not count toward MileagePlus Elite status, I need an additional 1500 miles but the rest of my trips are booked with southwest and us this year. I would rather not spend a day flying around just to get the miles, is there any other way to purchase them?

    Thank you!

  6. @alona, on any United trips you are presented the option to purchase miles. If you pay extra they are elite qualifying.
    @FFU, that would be kind of appropriate!
    @Jim, I should have said, among those who are striving for elite status, most have already secured a path for 2013. Since it is already mid-October, most people are probably well on their way for elite status for next year, but you are right that does not apply to everyone as not everyone wants or needs elite status.

    • @Blaine, you get more benefits on United with United Silver, but on other *A carriers you will get *Silver benefits.

  7. @alona @mommypoints
    On a trip there is the option to double or triple your miles, which in the one I’m looking at, is $350 to double and get 14,000 extra miles (~6,800 mile trip). To get PQM/EQMs, you have to select Premier Accelerator, which is far more expensive, in the case of that trip, about $1,300.

  8. I have tried to send a message, but cannot find the “start a conversation” button. I sent an e-mail to the e-mail address asking for direction, but have not heard back? Anyone know where the “start a conversation” link is on that site?

  9. I’m not getting “Start a conversation” in that pop up. Mine only shows, profile page, follow, ignore. There is no “start a converation” between “profile page” and “follow.” I have also registered with and am signed into Milepoint, so that is not the problem. Bizarre.

  10. @alona
    “…the rest of my trips are booked with southwest and us this year.”

    US Airways is part of Star Alliance. Can’t you credit your trips to United MileagePlus account?

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