United MileagePlus Up To 100% Bonus On Purchased Miles

United MileagePlus is offering an innovative though not especially lucrative bonus on purchased miles through September 4. Basically MileagePlus is offering between a 35% and 100% bonus on purchased miles, depending on how many people buy miles.


The number of bonus miles is based on the number of people that take part in the promotion, as follows:

  • 1-300 people = 35% bonus
  • 301-600 people = 40% bonus
  • 601-900 people = 45% bonus
  • 901-1,200 people = 50% bonus
  • 1,201-1,500 people = 55% bonus
  • 1,501-3,000 people = 60% bonus
  • 3,001-4,500 people = 80% bonus
  • 4,501+ people = 100% bonus

On the plus side the website does show the current transaction count, so it’s not a total shot in the dark.


Even if the highest target is reached, I don’t consider this to be an especially good deal. The lowest cost to purchase miles is ordinarily 3.7625 cents per mile.

So with a 35% bonus you’d be looking at paying ~2.787 cents per mile, while with a 100% bonus you’d be looking at paying ~1.88 cents per mile.

At 1.88 cents per mile I’d say that would have been a good deal pre-devaluation, while nowadays I can’t imagine many circumstances under which it makes sense to buy miles at that rate, let alone gamble to buy miles at that rate.

I’d much rather take advantage of the current promotions offered by Alaska Mileage Plan, Avianca LifeMiles, and US Airways Dividend Miles.

How do you feel about this promotion? Would you buy MileagePlus miles if you were guaranteed the rate of ~1.88 cents per mile?

The full terms for the promotion are as follows:

  • To take advantage of this offer, you must use the order links on this page.
  • Promotional offer vaild until 11:59 p.m. CT (Chicago local time) on September 4, 2014.
  • Bonus miles will post to the MileagePlus account within 7 days.
  • For a limited time, get a minimum of 35% bonus award miles a maximum of 100% bonus award miles when you purchase miles via the above links.
  • Displayed price includes all taxes
  • Minimum purchase of 5,000 miles required for this promotion.
  • For Give Miles transactions, both purchased miles and bonus miles will be posted to the recipient’s mileagePlus account.
  • 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.
  • Credit card will be billed immediately upon purchase.
  • Mileage rates and other applicable fees are subject to change.
  • Allow 48 hours for miles to process and post to your MileagePlus account.
  • Miles are nonrefundable.
  • Purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status.



  1. Well, considering that round trip on LH-F from US to Europe is a staggering $17k now, at the 100% bonus this could be worthwhile for a very specific routing. Otherwise, meh.

  2. Seems like an ok deal for topping up as it looks like you might get the 100% match even at low purchase levels unlike some of the other bonuses.

  3. Agree, good rate at old costs but not so great now if you want a partner J or F award. Best use – topping up an account for an award that you want to book soon

  4. @ Rami — There’s no right or wrong answer there. All depends how much you value the comfort of business class over coach and what your financial situation is. You’re basically paying ~$60 per hour to upgrade to business class in that case. I’d say it’s worth it, personally.

  5. Lucky, if I buy 150k miles, and if the bonus hits the max level 0f 100%, does it mean i get 150k miles more? (i.e. 150K + 150K = 300k miles?)
    Or will I be subjected to the cap of 150k still?

  6. I also gave up on UA after the devaluation. It’s a much better deal buying Alaska miles during their promotions. Even if I have UA miles, it’s almost impossible to get first and business class on premium star alliance airlines like Singapore and Lufthansa since they block these seats from UA.

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