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DirecTV Sign-Up Bonuses: 30,000 United Miles or 25,000 AAdvantage Miles – Worth It?

by on August 19, 2013 · 20 comments

in American Airlines, United

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Every so often, DirecTV teams up with airlines to offer bonus  miles in the hopes of luring new customers. I always see these and am curious about them because – well, I love earning 25,000-30,000 bonus miles as much as the next person, but I never really took the time to look into them and see whether I’d be getting a deal by switching that would make earning those miles worth it.

However, now through October 2, 2013 DirecTV has two big offers for new customers: either 30,000 United miles or  25,000 American AAdvantage miles when you enter into a 24-month agreement for their Entertainment package or higher, which got me thinking about whether it’s worth taking advantage of one of these offers and how much more you might end up paying if you are interested in scoring these bonus miles.

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DirecTV offers five different cable packages ranging from $29.99 to $91.99 per month that are eligible for this bonus, but since a lot of people like to bundle their services and DirecTV offers home phone and internet service as well, if you want to bundle packages with phone and internet while also incorporating these offers, you will have to call to speak with a sales representative. For the American offer, call 1-877-638-5935 and for the United offer, 1-855-218-3473.

Does It Make Sense For Me?

I live in Miami, but I also priced out options for NYC since I have a lot of friends and TPG readers in the Big Apple. I compared my old Time Warner bill for comparison sake.

Atlantic Broadbands Get It All

Atlantic Broadband’s Premier Triple Play Bundle

For TV, phone and internet service in Miami I have Atlantic Broadband’s Get It All Premier Triple Package for a total of $206 per month.

In New York I  used to have Time Warner as my service provider with the Ultimate Internet Triple Pack that includes high-speed internet, cable and phone. My TV package was basic since I don’t have any premium channels, but I did pay a bit more for their fastest internet. All told, my bill came to about $175 monthly.

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DirecTV pricing for New York City.

When I called DirecTV to tell them about my current services and needs I was told that their entry level Entertainment cable package (no premium channels) would probably suit my needs best. For New York, with two TV’s connected, I’d pay $50.99 per month the first year and $75.99 the second year. In Miami I have 3 TV’s connected and would pay $56.99 per month the first year and $81.99 the second year.

Time Warner offers an Ultimate Internet with a speed of up to 50mbps rather than Verizons 3mbps.

Time Warner offers an Ultimate Internet with a speed of up to 50Mbps rather than Verizon’s 3Mbps.

DirecTV partners with Verizon to provide customers with a bundled service of cable, phone and internet, but the highest internet speed that they offer is 3Mb per second which is not going to cut it for me. I would have to stick with Time Warner and Atlantic Broadband for the internet speed I need and keep my phone bundled with them, so all that I would need to do is unbundle the cable TV service from my current packages.

Running only my internet and phone service in Miami through Atlantic Broadband would bring that monthly bill down to $107. Once you add in the $57 per month for DirecTV for year one and $82 for year two, I’d be saving $708 over my 24 month DirecTV agreement.

Doing the same in New York would bring my TWC bill to $95 a month, then I’d add in the $51 the first year and $76 the second year for DirecTV, bringing my entire cable/phone/internet bill for New York down and saving myself a total of $515 over the course of the two year contract.

However, not every building in New York City will allow you to install a satellite dish, so always check with your building before getting excited about this option.

I value 30,000 United miles at about $600 dollars.

I value 30,000 United miles at about $600 dollars.

So which offer should you take? I value 25,000 American miles at about 1.9 cents apiece ($475) and the 30,000 United miles that I value at 2 cents per mile ($600). Though the United bounty is more lucrative, I’d be tempted to sign-up for the American bonus, simply because they aren’t a transfer partner of Amex or Chase (United is a Chase 1:1 partner) and I like using my SPG points for hotels.

Is It Worth It For You?
Granted, there was a fair amount of homework for me to do, and the numbers are based on my individual plans, but if you are interested in this offer, it might be worth seeing if DirecTV can beat your current cable/internet/phone supplier, and even if it can’t maybe by un-bundling your services like I am considering, you can might still be able to save money thanks to current DirecTV discounts.

Remember- if you have the Ink Bold/ Plus/ Cash/ Classic cards, always pay your internet/cable bill with them for 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. I value Chase points at at least 2 cents a piece, so that is an additional 10% value back in points for paying my bill.

Downsides to Satellite?

I’m still thinking about whether to do this for myself since I do like the convenience factor of having all my communications expenses on a single bill, but it’s looking pretty attractive – especially if it makes me 25,000 AA miles or 30,000 United miles richer. I’m also debating the switch based on the quality of DirecTV’s service. While they claim to have 99.9% reliability in sound and picture quality regardless of weather, and that I only need to have an exposure to the southern sky for it to work, I have never used a satellite service before and wonder how much weather will interfere with the signal. Growing up we had it for a while and I remember shoddy service during storms- this could be problematic in Miami as we enter hurricane season. I can deal without TV, but if my internet goes down, I am one very, very, very unhappy camper!

DISHSTIC

I am also unsure about where the dish will actually be installed in each of my places. The representatives I spoke to assured me that professionals would come to my home (free of charge) and determine where the best placement is – whether on the roof, a balcony, window or pole – and that installation is included in my sign-up, so I’m hoping it would be as easy as they make it seem.

Overall I’m leaning towards making the switch as I think it would be a smart move especially since I’ll be getting some valuable miles, but I would love to hear your opinions on DirecTV and if they are a reliable company/service as well as satellite TV (and its issues) in general. Please feel free to comment below with your experiences!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jeremy

    “Growing up we had it for a while and I remember shoddy service during storms- this could be problematic in Miami as we enter hurricane season. I can deal without TV, but if my internet goes down, I am one very, very, very unhappy camper!”

    I’m not sure I understand this. Wouldn’t your Internet still be coming from the telco? If DirecTV went down you’d still have access to the web.

    And as for the TV Signal, yes it will cut out in bad storms. But usually just for a few minutes. And you can always watch something on the DVR.

  • Beau Sorensen

    You’re fine going with DirecTV. I’ve used them and Dish for years and never had an issue, except when the dish itself is covered in snow. That won’t be a problem in Miami, so you’ll be in good shape, even in a hurricane, unless that blows the dish off your place.
    With internet, I rarely see people using it via satellite because of latency issues, so I would assume that you’d be getting it via a third party (even if it’s “through” DirecTV, they usually have a partnership with a local telco.)

  • LTL

    I’ve never had an issue with DirecTV and would have kept them when I moved in NYC… except that a high rise went up across the street from my building and I don’t have a southern exposure anymore!

  • CVG_Traveler

    99.9% reliability means that you can expect the service to be down 8.76 hours per year. But I’m sure that is calculated over the whole USA and areas more prone to storms have less reliability. Get a pair of rabbit ears for hurricane season. I did this offer for AA miles back in January, please be aware that there are all kinds of stackable discounts, i.e. if you have a friend who has Directv (like me :-) ), both you and your friend get a discount on the monthly service. There are also conquest discounts if they win you over from another provider. And there are also sometimes bundle deals with your local telco. When you call, challenge the rep to get you the best discounts. If you don’t like what you hear, hang up, call back – you might get a better offer. Watch your bill carefully – DTV loads all kinds of promotional “free” stuff at the beginning which you have to strictly cancel within specific timeframes to avoid being charged. (Edit: I should mention that I first signed up via the web site to get the screen shot with the miles offer, then called after a few hours).

  • ss

    Their customer service is absolutely awful. They used to be an F with BBB for deceptive practices–I think they got delisted or something. I switched to Time Warner 2+ years ago and haven’t regretted it–it’s an absolute dream compared to dealing with DTV.

  • Jumus

    Honestly, with Netflix, Hulu and the other services out there, cable is just pointless right now. They are dropping customers likes flies and will be the way of the dinosaur in about 5 years or so.

  • zila

    TPG.. Do you have to wait the two years to get the bonus points? if so, then forget about it… if not, then what happen if you cancel your Direct TV subsciption? Just curious…

  • CVG_Traveler

    FWIW, I signed up for DTV at the beginning of January and my 25K AA miles posted within 2 months (late Feb/early March).

  • 2thepoints

    Will it be a single service/account for both the locations or will it be considered a separate service and separate bill? Will you be getting twice the mile ( one for each location address)

  • Dee

    I agree. We dropped cable and the bundled phones, just keeping internet. Got a big*ss antenna in the attic and Roku box. Went from over $200/month, down to $55 for internet + $8 for HuluPlus (Staples sells gift cards = 5 pts/$ on Ink Bold). Hubby got an internet phone and we use our cell phones. Even 30,000 United miles, as tempting as they are, couldn’t get me to sign up.

  • Blake Baxter

    Very reliable…will go out if there is a big blizzard or very bad thunderstorm for about five minutes…it usually goes out on me once every couple years. The interface when using the guide searching for channels is the best I have ever seen. Sometimes they even offer the NFL sunday ticket with the 25K bonus miles for those who enjoy football. My wife signed up last year for this promotion and I dropped directv that I had in my name, just so she could take advantage and get the bonus miles and I ended up with the nfl ticket for free. Beware that you need to cancel it after the season ends otherwise they will start charging for it the next season. FYI, after the rates go up for the second year, call to cancel and they will most likely drop your bill by $20.

  • CheapTrickstoTravel

    Beware, if you live in a condo or an apartment building you may not be eligible for the bonus. It doesn’t say this in any of the company’s tiny print but if you call the correct number, you will be forwarded to a different department because you are in a dwelling with multiple units. Being forwarded to a different number to sign up invalidates the deal. I took my case all the way to the president of DirecTV and was told I didn’t follow the appropriate procedure. (I even had names of employees who guaranteed me I would get the miles, etc.) Bottom line–You won’t get the miles and you’ll be stuck in a contract with DirecTV.

  • tm1128

    I’ve used DirectTV and Dish network in the past and I couldn’t wait to leave them behind. They can tell you about 99.9% reliability but I lost signal repeatedly and as luck would have it, usually in the middle of an importatnt program. When it rains the reliability was more like 10%. Don’t get me started on their lousy, I’m being generous here, customer service. I advise anyone to DON”T DO IT!

  • Jason

    Make sure you call the correct number for the airline deals. DTV uses some Salespeople that answer phones from their homes and earn commission. Your acct will not qualify for the bonus miles if you don’t speak with the right agent first. When this became apparent to me I spoke with numerous agents and then unsuccessfully wrote a letter to the CEO, receiving a letter back which can only be described as petty. Be warned no matter what the issue you will be on the phone for a minimum of 45 mins each instance. They are the classic example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. Note their NFL contact is only for this season and the next, so if you’re into football this would be the year to pull the trigger and not next. To their credit, I live in NYC and my service was never interrupted thru sandy, and neither was my Verizon DSL. My monthly bill for phone, Internet, and TV is just under $100 total.

  • info

    TPG – Beware, I had DirecTV for 2 years in Central Ohio and the signal can get affected badly even in a mild rain or snow. In addition, I once had an outage for more than 5 days when there was a bad snow storm and ice formed on the dish. I’d stay away.

  • Call_Me_Crazy

    Only suckers pay $200 /month for Cable, Phone and Internet. Most phones are free via Magic Jack, and other VOIP services now.

  • Martin

    The move is worth it even with a 24 month contract. I went from $70 with Cox Cable to $52 with DirectTV. The deal includes 3 HD units in the house to watch HD channels. There will be more HD cable channels than what I have now with Cox. They billed me only $1 to come out and install the equipment. Yes, they will check your credit! I did not want a DVR unit because I’m not into all that recording and watching at the same time. All I need is HD channels to rooms. I don’t watch that much television anyway…

  • Martin

    NO way will I wait that long. Fortunately, within 3-6 weeks you should see the miles posted to your AA or United account as CVG_Traveler pointed out.

  • Martin

    The mileage promotion is really part of the contract or otherwise the deal would be deceptive. If you don’t get your miles, you have good cause to terminate the contract for reasons of noncompliance.

  • CheapTrickstoTravel

    When DirecTV transferred me from the AA sign-up number to different department because I live in a condo rather than a single family home, that meant I didn’t sign up through the correct process. I don’t get told no easily–like I said, I went all the way to the president of the company and got a personal letter saying no miles. I ended up getting a deal 2 months later to sign up for Verizon with a $700 Visa gift card that more than paid off the contract and was less money per month. All I’m saying is for people in condos and apartments to realize they probably won’t qualify for the sign-up bonus.

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