Money Minute: United Airlines Changes Rewards Program


United Airlines is changing the way it doles out frequent flier miles, and it may hurt many travelers.

How many reward miles you rack up at United (UAL) will no longer depend on the number of miles you fly, but on how much you spend for those flights. United Club members will get five miles for every dollar spent, and premier-level fliers will get 7 to 11 miles for each dollar spent. The change takes effect next March. Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines (DAL) made a similar change to its frequent flier plan. Some consumer finance experts say these changes reduce the value of frequent flier rewards for people who shop for travel bargains.

There were more jobs available in April than at any time in seven years. The Labor Department says job openings totaled 4.5 million, up from 4.2 million the month before. However, businesses aren't necessarily rushing to fill those openings. The number of people hired in April was little changed from March.

Of course, more jobs is good news for people who are out of work, but this isn't: House Democrats say more than 3 million Americans have stopped receiving unemployment benefits because the Republican led House refused to take up a bill to extend those payments. Last year, Congress cut the number of weeks that someone could receive jobless benefits to 73, and then at the end of 2013, the maximum dropped to 26 weeks. About 72,000 additional people lose their benefits each week. By the government count, there are 3.4 million people who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. That is what's considered long-term unemployment.

Wall Street on Tuesday, the three major averages closed within 3 points of where they began the day. Still, the The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) eked out a fourth straight record high.

Finally, (AMZN) is reportedly preparing to launch a new operation focusing on local services. Reuters says it could help you locate plumbers, babysitters and other service providers in your neighborhood -- and present a major challenge to Angie's List (ANGI), Yelp (YELP) and others.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Don't believe this for one picosecond.

June 11 2014 at 3:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

People will have to stay in the work force longer because they have been out of a good job for so long.

June 11 2014 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The longer this recovery takes the more damage is done.

June 11 2014 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

We attained annual average of 146,046,000 employed back in 2007 with about 15,775,000 less people in the non civilian population over age 16 compared to the figures released for May 2014. No way is the job market any where near this ratio today.

June 11 2014 at 1:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Nothing much has changed.

June 11 2014 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Recovery summer?

June 11 2014 at 12:37 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

This is what happens when the competition has been put out of business. An anti trust should be filed against these airlines. The Sherman Act was created for this purpose.

June 11 2014 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tmlbtb's comment

How were airline rewards calculated when sherman was passed?

June 11 2014 at 12:36 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

Another phony baloney article that carefully avoids mentioning that the majority of these "new jobs" are for retail stock clerks, store cashiers, hotel maids, fast food employees, and other low-paid jobs. Worse yet, all of these jobs are for less than 40 hours a week, so companies don't have to pay any employee benefits.

Walmart is the nation's largest employer. Sometimes, I do wonder how many Walmart employees are living in their cars in the Walmart parking lot.

June 11 2014 at 12:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Valerie's comment

Things are not much better just more of the same dismal outlook.

June 11 2014 at 1:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

So, Delta & United have short sheeted, once again, the casual flyer. You search for the best round-trip fare between Denver & San Francisco. It may just be $400.00. The actual air miles round trip is 1932 miles. The bean counters remain alive & well.

June 11 2014 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

A continual erosion of quality to intelligent fliers that increased when Continental management was imposed after UAL bought them.

Combination of kicking the UAL front line employees to the curb and outdated systems and business model will further erode market share.

June 11 2014 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply