As promised, I stopped building points and started spending them. This is the first of many posts on how I’m using up the million plus points I have acquired over just a mere 3 years overseas. If you got in the game late, I feel bad for you because the golden age of churning is over, and the best redemptions were right here in Asia using OKA as the newest politicly motivated hub of southeast asia with daily fights to the major hubs of HKG, NRT, PVG, HND, and ICN.
One way tickets are usually more expensive than booking round trip. Since I am so fully saturated with the wonders and joy that Okinawa has provided me in 1096 days of my “Sea Service” Deployment, I never intend to come back. This makes the using the second leg of a round trip pointless, and I’m not going to pay for a more expensive one way ticket. I looked into flights for my mom who will have to pay for a ticket out of pocket. She wanted to visit HKG on her way back to Chicago.
The flights leaving island due to PCS season, summer vacation and general political mischief during this time are driving up prices. For example the flight on good old peach at this time is a whopping $300 direct. However EVA has a flight via TPE, but they want almost $500!
On the second leg from HKG to ORD we are looking at a whopping $1,900 for a one way ticket on United, or a not so good 85,000 miles for coach.
Yeah you could do the MAC flights which is a giant waste of time in all respects (please someone, try to justify why waiting around a week, overstaying your welcome at your friends house, and begging for a seats ever worth it). You could however just spend $41.56 and use your the miles from your Chase Mileage Plus Explorer card (70k sign up bonus from a month ago) along with your 50K UR bonus from your Chase Ink Plus Card to essentially get a $2,400 ticket off the rock. This is a 2.2 cent per point redemption so its twice what you would of gotten for cash back!
The first segment is on EVA which is a *A (star alliance) member, yes you can use United points on EVA, therefore you can use Ultimate reward points for EVA. Next time you think you so smart in using points to rent a car or get a magazine subscription, you are a sucker and you should be evaluating your points better. 22,000 points for a $500 ticket is again 2 cents per point! Twice as much as you would get than cashback!
The second segment is a good old United flight from HKG to ORD so the redemption is pretty straight forward here. Its not so great as you normally could get it for 40k if there was a economy saver award open. Again you can transfer your Chase Ultimate rewards here to book, and I paid 2 times these points this because I’m still getting 2 cents per point! Whats also nice with United is the lack of fuel surcharges so the $41.56 is taxes only. In summary $9.60+$31.96 and 22.5+85k MP miles get you off the rock on the days you want without sleeping on a couch for weeks waiting for the MAC flight to be empty.
If time wasn’t a concern, if we delayed our flight till late August we could of done the same trip for $41.56 and only 64,000 miles!