72 hours only: United offering up to a 60% bonus on the purchase on MileagePlus miles

United is offering a 72 hour sale on MileagePlus miles, and the bonus you earn depends on the total number of people that take advantage of the offer.


The promotion is valid through 11:59PM CT on Thursday, September 5. The thresholds for earning bonus miles are as follows:


So basically if at least 1,500 people purchase a minimum of 5,000 miles you’ll get a 60% bonus. Miles ordinarily cost ~3.77 cents per mile to purchase including all taxes, so factoring in a 60% bonus we’d be down to ~2.35 cents per mile.

I do suspect they’ll reach the 1,500 person threshold, so if they do, is it worth it to purchase MileagePlus miles at that rate? Well, I wouldn’t do so speculatively, but if you have short term travel plans that can be a pretty good value. For example, United charges 70,000 miles one-way in first class between the US and Asia, and you can even route something like Los Angeles to Frankfurt to Tokyo to Bangkok.

Purchased miles post within 48 hours, and the bonus miles will post within a week of the promotion ending.


  1. @ Lantean — And in many cases US Airways is a better value, though keep in mind United allows one-way awards and doesn’t block Lufthansa first class.

  2. I needed 9k miles for a business class ticket to Guam so I was planning on transferring 5k from chase and buying 4k. But I think now ill just buy 5k and see how close I can get.

  3. I get confused with these promotions sometimes–will United code as a United purchase, making 2x miles if you buy with your Mileageplus card?

  4. Do you know if the miles you buy will be sold at the highest discount they get to? For example, right now it’s showing a 35% discount, if they get to >1500 people, will my purchase be re-priced to reflect the 65% discount or am I locked in at the price I buy miles at?

  5. @ Chris — Yes, the highest bonus is 60%, so if you buy them now you’ll get the bonus based on how many people purchase miles before the end of the promotion.

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