United has added its name to the list of travel suppliers whose loyalty programs feature digital downloads as awards.
Following in the footsteps of Aeroplan and Priority Club Rewards, United has launched its MileagePlus Media Store where MileagePlus program members may redeem their miles for music, movie, and TV downloads.
Like iTunes and other download services, the Media Store allows users to search by artist or genre and preview tunes and videos.
While the music catalog appears pretty robust, the movie and TV offerings are much less so. According to United: “Certain movies are available now, and TV shows and additional movies become available later this year.”
As always with non-flight awards, the crucial question concerns value: What are your miles worth when redeemed for digital awards?
Based on a quick look through the available music tracks, the price for most individual tunes is 115 miles, with a scattering of 150-mile tunes.
Assuming the average value of a frequent flyer mile is around 1.2 cents, that amounts to paying $1.38 per tune.
That’s a fairly hefty premium over the $0.99 price for the majority of iTunes tracks. On the other hand, it seems that iTunes’ prices are increasingly pegged at $1.29, which makes United’s pricing much more palatable.
Reader Reality Check
Will you be redeeming your United miles for digital downloads?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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