Frequent-Buyer Miles
By Barney Gimbel

(FORTUNE Magazine) – How do you enjoy frequent-flier perks without putting in the miles? United Airlines offers an answer with the Elite Prepaid Travel Card, a debit account in which you buy your air travel for the year at $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 levels: $5,000 gets you Premier status, which includes priority check-in and access to United's Economy Plus seats with extra legroom; $10,000, the Premier Executive level; and $20,000 buys a 1K membership, which includes six free upgrades to business or first class. (Buying a coach ticket for New York to Sydney, for example, and upgrading to business class could save you some $7,000.) Of course, the program is worth it only if you're in a city where United is a player and you work for a company that doesn't require using a corporate travel agency, as the cards can be redeemed only through United directly. But make sure to spend it all, because after one year you get only half back.

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.