Buy United Miles With Up To A 100% Bonus

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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® UnlimitedStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressBarclaycard 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?

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Comments

  1. If you purchase United miles using a Chase United card would that earn you double on the purchase price since it if from United (in this case nearly 6k mikes)?

  2. @Lucky, it would be nice if you would have illustrated where the sweet spots in United’s award chart are in the article. I’ve got a couple of trip coming up that UA or Star Alliance would be better options than OW or ST.

  3. What United aircraft is that in the photos? I’ve never seen one with brown upholstery (or those seats for that matter).

  4. This is not really a bargain for me. I am able to book business class round trips from Europe to Asia and the Americas regularly for about $2,000. That’s on top notch airlines (Qatar, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, SWISS, Austrian, etc). Plus I get the miles for charges on my credit card and, of course, frequent flyer miles.

  5. @Jerry – I was just about to say something similar. The cost of 140K miles to book a UA partner flight in business class by buying points in this fashion is close to the cost of purchasing a ticket. The only way to make that work is to book a three leg trip where the second leg is free. Last spring I did that…..NYC – AMS – VIE – NYC. UA on the first leg, Austrian on the second and third, all direct biz class for 127.5K with points I had. The biggest problem with UA award seats is that it is very difficult to score direct flights, you usually wind up on a split flight with a layover somewhere not close to your destination. This was more points than I usually redeem for a biz flight t the EU, but it was a great use of UA points.

  6. If I purchase the 75000 I get 150000 but need 170,000 for two bus class Europe to Melbourne. My brother has miles in his account. Can I transfer the 20,000 or am I capped at 150k. Please help anyone.. thanks

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