Today Only: United Is Offering Up To A 100% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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For today only — through 11:59PM CT on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 — United is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles. This is as good as bonuses on purchased United miles get, as I don’t ever recall seeing a bigger offer from them (though they have occasionally offered similar bonuses in the past).

The promotion is tiered, and you earn a bigger bonus the more miles you buy, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000-19,000 miles, get a 25% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-49,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 50,000-75,000 miles, get a 100% bonus

If you max out this promotion you can purchase a total of 150,000 United MileagePlus miles at a cost of $2,821.88, which is ~1.88 cents per mile.

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. Personally I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.3 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.


Redeem your MileagePlus miles for travel in EVA Air business class

You can find the United MileagePlus interactive award chart here, for a sense of how many miles a redemption will cost.

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 Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and would be my preferred way to accrue United miles.

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 Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressCiti® Double Cash CardThe Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, etc.

Do you plan on buying United miles with a 100% bonus?

(Tip of the hat to Troy)

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Comments

  1. Super tempting. I fly to Australia at least once a year and if I time it right, I can get the roundtrip for 160k points. This would get me almost all the way there for less than $3k, which is a hell of a price for a business class trip to Sydney and back. I’d get ~4k points by using Chase Freedom Unlimited and could transfer the rest from my UR balance to get to 160k. Very, very tempting…

  2. Similar thought to me JoshB but I guess lifemiles does the same thing for 1.3c (albeit with a horrible website and phone center). Any idea of when next sale coming there?

  3. Using Alaska miles at 40% discount, you can get to Australia RT J on Qantas for $2,365. Of course, availability has to be there and is scarce but if you can find it, that price can’t be beat starting from scratch (except with SPG points at 35% off used for a Marriott Air+Hotel package, again with Alaska miles). Also, longer flights and a few more miles, but Cathay Pacific is also a great deal to Australia with Alaska miles.

  4. Whoa, I am not buying 100,000 miles (50,000 miles plus bonus) unless I was going to book this month. Too risky for devaluation or enhancements.

    If 100% bonuses for lower amounts, I would bite.

  5. Thanks for the shout out Lucky!

    As of 10PM EST, the offer is still up. I show it available still for 3 hours. Good luck!

    Troy

  6. That’s kinda hilarious for you to show a Polaris seat arrangement for this article, given that so few aircraft have this seat, and given that the Polaris soft product is deteriorating faster than a California freeway.

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