Skip to Content

553 Miles For $11

Share with a friend

Do I book a flight where I will earn 553 miles for $11 or do I save myself 1 1/2 hours?

I’ve been going over the pro’s and con’s for the past 11 days and can’t decide, perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts?

Here’s the situation:  I need to book a one way ticket from San Diego to San Francisco on November 13 so I can begin the Star MegaDo 4.

Option 1:

I can book a flight on American Airlines from San Diego connecting in Los Angeles and then onto San Francisco.

Cost: $98

Seat: Coach*.  * As an Executive Platinum (EXP) status I get free first class upgrades if seats are available.

Miles to be earned: 1000*.  *Flyers with elite status on American earn a minimum of 500 miles for each segment.  Flyers without elite status would earn 446 miles (109 for San Diego to Los Angeles and 337 for Los Angeles to San Francisco).

Cost per mile (cpm): $0.09

Flying Time: 3 hours

Option 2:

I can book a flight on United Airlines from San Diego nonstop to San Francisco.

Cost: $87

Seat: Coach

Miles to be earned: 447.

Cost per mile (cpm): $0.19

Flying Time: 1 1/2 hours

I have no status with United so no chance of free upgrades nor minimum miles.

So what do you think? Go for the lower cost per mile, earn more miles, and possible free upgrades?  Or pay less for the ticket, earn less miles, but save or earn 1 1/2 hours of time?  What would you do?

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with Your Best Credit Cards for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and YBCC may receive a commission from card issuers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to get started in the world of miles and points. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.OFFER ENDS AT 1PM ET ON JUNE 13, 2024.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining, $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on all your purchases up to $20,000 your first year.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants (including delivery and takeout), 1.5% cash back on all other purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can use your points to travel for free.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

W Brian Duncan (aka IPBrian)

Sunday 15th of July 2012

I would book the American flight, of course I am not going on the StarMegaDo just because I am waiting (hoping) for the OneWorldMegaDo2! #bias

Debbie Schroeder

Sunday 15th of July 2012

Thanks for your input. I'm definitely leaning toward American myself. I'd love to be able to go on the OneWorldMegaDo2 next year too since OneWorld is my alliance. Hopefully we both get in; and if not, then you do. :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.