I’m a big fan of MilePoint, where you can find me posting under the name “Scottrick.” Although I browsed FlyerTalk for a few years before that, it never really caught on with me. MilePoint is smaller, and perhaps more about conversations and relationships than sharing raw information on deals and airlines. Still, it works for me. Although MilePoint is a free service, the crew recently announced a new premium membership program.
The total cost of the package is $59 per year, and new sign-ups have been temporarily halted while a few bugs are being ironed out. Once it opens again, here are some of the great offers you can receive in exchange. Remember that valuation is all about what you’re willing to pay, not about what a product is normally sold for, which can be several multiples higher.
Ad-free experience on MilePoint for 1 year
I’m already an original member and a Gold member, both categories that receive an ad-free experience. If you plan to become a regular poster, you can probably earn this benefit for free. While nice, I don’t personally value this much.
2,000 United MileagePlus miles
I value these at roughly 2 cents each. Although 2,000 miles isn’t much and won’t get you anywhere unless you already have a pile of your own, that still ads up to a $40 value.
Hyatt Platinum status or 2,000 Gold Passport points
I value Gold Passport points at about 1.8 cents each, or $36 total. Platinum status is pretty easy to get through various Chase credit cards (and not just the Hyatt Visa). However, I think it’s also a great deal. It provides a 2 PM check-out, free Internet, and sometimes a better room. Overall an excellent entry-level elite tier, and if I were going to stay only five nights with Hyatt in a year, I would value it at $50.
GoGo 24-hour pass
This is a one-time 24-hour pass for GoGo in-flight Internet that you can use on your next flight with any airline that is GoGo-equipped. This includes many airlines operating domestic routes in the U.S., though be sure to check your particular airline and assigned aircraft model. I value this at about $10 even though it normally retails for more.
AwardWallet Plus upgrade and AwardWallet OneCard
I’ve reviewed these products previously and am a huge fan of AwardWallet. If you’d like to test out the standard free AwardWallet service before seeing if Plus would work for you, click on the sign-up link in the right navigation bar on my blog. I value this package at about $10 since the Plus membership is important but I can do without the OneCard.
ExpertFlyer 20% discount and KVS Tool 10% discount
Every frequent flyer should have a membership with one or both of these services. Lately I’ve been using ExpertFlyer more often to check fare rules, award space, and more, but KVS Tool is more useful if you are going to look for Star Alliance award space (though improvements to United’s search engine have reduced the need for this). You can only use the ExpertFlyer discount on an annual premium membership, which is what I would recommend to start, making this worth about $20.
There are several other benefits that come with a MilePoint Premium membership, some of which can add up to several hundred dollars depending on how you value them. However, I think these are the six most important benefits and the most applicable to frequent flyers at all stages of obsession. Looking at these alone with my conservative valuations, you are getting $130 worth of free stuff in exchange for a $59 fee.
I plan to enroll just to get the online subscription to InsideFlyer magazine, but the United and Hyatt points will make it effectively free. Others should take a look at using the discounts for other products such as Nicholas Kralev’s Decoding Air Travel. While not full of too much revelatory information if you’re already an experienced hacker, it is useful to have a single, bound resource of such information. And, hey, I learned a few things, too. What do you think is the best benefit of the new MilePoint Premium membership?