Discount On Purchased United MileagePlus Miles

Through 11:59PM CT on Monday, July 21, 2014, United is publicly offering up to a 30% discount on the purchase of MileagePlus miles. It’s worth noting that they also seem to be sending out targeted offers to some members which are better, offering in some cases up to a 100% bonus. But the 20-30% discount seems to be the publicly available offer.


The bonus is tiered, with the following discounts:

  • Buy 5,000 to 19,000 miles and receive a 20% discount
  • Buy 20,000 miles or more and receive a 30% discount

With a 20% discount you’re looking at a purchase price of ~3.01 cents per mile, while with a 30% discount you’re looking at a purchase price of ~2.63 cents per mile.

On paper that’s definitely not a good deal, especially since United devalued their award chart in February, which greatly impacted premium cabin redemption costs on partner carriers.

That being said, everyone has to do the math on these promotions for themselves. If you’re 10,000 miles short of an aspirational award it could make sense to purchase miles, and if that’s the case you might as well take advantage of a promotion like this.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that United processes mileage purchases directly, so purchasing miles through this promotion would qualify as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card.

Here are the full offer details:

  • To take advantage of this offer, you must use the order links on this page.
  • Minimum purchase of 5,000 miles required for this promotional pricing.
  • Buy 5,000 to 19,000 miles and receive a 20% discount, or buy 20,000 miles or more for a 30% discount.
  • Miles are available in increments of 1,000 up to a maximum of 100,000 miles, and in increments of 5,000 up to a maximum of 150,000 miles.
  • Purchase up to 150,000 miles per account per calendar year.
  • Displayed price includes all discounts and taxes.
  • Credit card will be billed immediately upon purchase.
  • Mileage rates and other fees and offer terms are subject to change.
  • Allow 48 hours for miles to process and post to your MileagePlus account.
  • Miles are nonrefundable.
  • Promotional offer valid until 11:59 p.m. CT (Chicago local time) on July 21, 2014.
  • Purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status.

Were you targeted for a better than 20-30% bonus offer?


  1. I got target offer for 25% bonus for 1000-24000, and 50% bonus miles for purchases beyond 25,000… am abit on the fence if I should get it since I would like to purchase a few business class seats for my family next April… not sure if I should wait…

  2. I received purchase at least 25k miles and earn 100% bonus. Expires July 21. Is this a good deal?

  3. @ John @ Sam — That’s still over 1.8 cents per mile, so unless you have a specific use in mind it’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase United miles.

  4. @ Josh — For what it’s worth I doubt you’ll see a much better rate for the purchase of miles, but that’s still well over two cents per mile. Unless you’re topping off an existing account, I just don’t think you’ll come out ahead that way.

  5. I received the same offer as Sam and John. Not sure if it helps to track who and why but I am 1k and hitting 2M miles next week. Maybe you can find who and why some get targeted. I have never bought a mile in my life.

  6. I got an offer for 50% discount if I buy at least 25k. So, 100k miles would cost $1881.25 – isn’t that about the same as the US Airways price these days?

  7. @ wln — Sure is, though for the most part United has substantially higher redemption rates, particularly for travel on partner airlines.

  8. Got the same offer as john, but I never purchase miles. Ever. Don’t know why they would send that to me knowing that I don’t purchase them, especially at the garbage rate and devaluations.

  9. @ Ray @ Sig — They probably gave you such a big discount because they want to convince you to purchase miles. They’re probably offering those that frequently purchase miles a less lucrative rate, since they think they’ll “bite” anyway.

  10. I received an email for the 100% bonus offer. I’m a Silver Elite and Chase MileagePlus Visa cardholder, which may be a clue as to why I received the offer. Note that the minimum purchase for the 100% promo is 25k miles ($941) and the max is 75k ($2821), so it’s definitely not just a “top me off so I can hit my next award” kind of thing. If I were to buy the 75k with my Visa, I’d receive a total of about 155k at 1.8 cpm. No, not great on a cpm basis, but considering that’s just about two F US-Europe or two C US-Asia, that’s not a bad purchase. As always, it’s up to what your specific goals are.

  11. I would speculatively buy United miles at 0.8 cents per mile. Anything above that is a waste of $$.

  12. why would anyone want to purchase UA miles these days, with the massive devaluation that took place the redemption cost on other carriers makes it a joke to waste your money.

  13. I received the 100% bonus offer if I purchase the minimum of 25k. I don’t have any United credit card, I have no status with United, have only flown 3 paid segments with them over the past 3 years and have never been anywhere above the lowest level. I can’t recall ever buying miles from them so I can’t work out why I was targeted for this offer. Only possible link could be I recently transferred some UR points for a redemption that I never made.

  14. I rate United miles currently at about 1.1 cents a mile. Very poor deal. IMO If you have elite status (the higher the better) you are much better off mileage running before March and get a holiday out of it as well.

  15. A 100% discount may have given me a food for thought but nothing like that for me… Actually, no email yet from United.

  16. Received an e-mail from MileagePlus that the offer expires July 24, 2014. I think they extended the expiration since it expired on July 21, 2014. Is this a targeted e-mail?

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