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United has just announced their latest bonus on purchased MileagePlus miles, which is valid for purchases through September 12, 2017. This is a tiered promotion, meaning you get a bigger mileage bonus the more miles you buy, as follows (different accounts may have slightly different offers, though everyone should have the same 100% bonus for purchases of 50,000+ miles):
- Buy 5,000-19,000 miles, get a 25% bonus
- Buy 20,000-29,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
- Buy 30,000-49,000 miles, get a 75% bonus
- Buy 50,000-75,000 miles, get a 100% bonus
A member can purchase at most 150,000 miles per year (including any bonuses), and it can take up to 48 hours for purchased miles to post to your account. If you max out this promotion you can purchase a total of 150,000 MileagePlus miles at a cost of $2,821.88, which is a cost of ~1.88 cents per MileagePlus mile.
Personally I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, though there are ways to get more value out of them than that. I wouldn’t recommend proactively picking up MileagePlus miles for ~1.88 cents each, but with a specific use in mind it could make sense to buy miles. Do keep in mind that MileagePlus is mildly devaluing their award chart as of November 1, 2017, so the cost of some awards is increasing.
Redeem United miles for travel in EVA Air business class
If you’re looking to earn United miles, MileagePlus is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so you can convert Ultimate Rewards points into United miles at a 1:1 ratio. This is a great use of points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
United mileage purchases are processed by points.com, so buying miles wouldn’t qualify as airfare spend. If you do buy miles, you’ll first want to use a credit card where you’re meeting minimum spend, and then use a card that maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®, Citi® Double Cash Card, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, etc.
Do you plan on buying United miles with a 100% bonus?