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United has launched a two day mileage sale, whereby they’re offering up to an 80% bonus on purchased MileagePlus miles.
The promotion is valid through 11:59PM CT tomorrow, Friday, October 23, 2015.
Through this promotion, United is offering tiered bonuses on the purchase of miles, as follows:
- Buy 5,000 to 19,000 miles, get 25% bonus
- Buy 20,000 to 29,000 miles, get 50% bonus
- Buy 30,000 to 80,000 miles, get 80% bonus
If you max out the bonus and purchase 80,000 MileagePlus miles, you’d receive a total of 144,000 MileagePlus miles at a cost of $2,800. That’s a cost of ~1.95 cents per mile.
Is this a good deal?
United isn’t especially aggressive about selling miles (not nearly as much as Alaska, American, or Avianca), so this is one of the better non-targeted promotions I’ve seen on the purchase of United miles.
I’d say before United’s terrible award chart devaluation of early 2014, picking up United miles at this rate could have been a great value. However, given their current award chart, it’s certainly not a rate at which I’d recommend speculatively picking up points.
For example, a one-way ticket in Lufthansa first class between the US and Europe will now cost you 110,000 miles.
A one-way ticket in Asiana first class between the US and Asia will cost you 120,000 miles.
Those are some pretty steep rates, especially when you consider that buying those miles would cost you nearly two cents each.
80% mileage bonus promotion terms
The full terms of the promotion are as follows:
- Promotional offer valid until 11:59 p.m. CT (Chicago local time) on October 23, 2015
- Miles are available in increments of 1,000 up to a maximum of 80,000 miles
- Bonus Miles will be credited to the recipient’s account when the transaction is complete
- Bonus miles count towards the 150,000 mile annual limit per account
- Purchase up to 150,000 miles per account per calendar year
- 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
- Purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status
- All MileagePlus Program Rules and terms and conditions apply
- GST/HST is charged to Canadian residents
- Powered by Points to purchase United MileagePlus miles. Transaction will appear as ‘Points United Miles’
This is one of the better rates we’ve seen on the purchase of United miles, though in the grand scheme of things still isn’t an amazing deal. Taking advantage of this could make sense if you need to top off your account, given that you “just” have to purchase 30,000 miles in order to get the 80% bonus.
Do keep in mind that you can always transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United MileagePlus, which I’d recommend as a better value, assuming you have those points.
Of course everyone values miles differently, and can crunch the numbers for themselves.
Do you plan on buying United miles with an 80% bonus?