United Introduces Hotel and Car Rental Awards for Elite Members

United elite members can now redeem Mileage Plus points for hotel nights at Marriott and Radisson and car rentals with Avis, National, Alamo, and Hertz.

This is good progress, to be sure, although the certificates are paper and take four to six weeks to obtain and it looks like blackout dates and capacity controls will apply.

In general the hotel nights represent a fair value for non-airline redemption, in some cases you’ll get a full penny per point. Rental car redemption strikes me as somewhat absurd, with pricing running from 10,000 to 12,500 miles per day.

Nothing like the good old days when flight awards came with hotel nights and rental cars, or even when — once that practice ended — award redemption came with complimentary hotel and car rental discount certificates.

But it sure beats a whole in the head. More options are good.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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