Buy United Miles With A 100% Bonus

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United MileagePlus is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles through 11:59PM CT on Thursday, July 26, 2018. At least I believe that’s the promotion everyone is eligible for, though I can’t be sure, since you have to log-in before they’ll show you your bonus (that’s the bonus I see for all the accounts I manage).

Clearly there’s a mistake with their “clock,” because it shows 10 days remaining in the promotion, which doesn’t match the promotion terms.

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 5,000-14,000 miles, get a 30% bonus
  • Buy 15,000-29,000 miles, get a 70% bonus
  • Buy 30,000-75,000 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.

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.

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

(Tip of the hat to @josh_sux)

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Comments

  1. Any purchases of tickets or items on board using the MP card normally 2x the miles. If I use my MP card…will I get the 2x miles for the purchaser as its a UA charge?

  2. Unfortunately, I’ve already maxed out for the year.

    Does anyone have an idea why they cap this? I mean, if it makes sense for them to offer me 150, why not 300?

  3. I found out the hard way that if you max out then purchase additional miles, you don’t get refund and don’t get miles. Pay careful attention to max.

  4. Overall I like United’s program

    However I’m finding that they increasingly require you to have many connections, or long layovers.. at least in J

    For instance… instead of just doing
    MSP-ORD-BCN
    Or
    MSP-EWR-BCN
    It is MSP-YVR (9 hour layover)-LIS (4 hour layover)-BCN

    However I can get
    [othercity]-EWR-BCN

    not letting me get to ORD or EWR turns a 12 hour trip into a 21 hour ordeal

    Sad

  5. Sorry just not seeing much value here other than it might be a good deal for last minute J or F award tickets if you can get the saver award.

  6. @Boris~ I too wonder why the annual cap on miles purchases. Most unlike any airline to refuse money offered to them! Do the airlines actually KNOW why they do this?? (Alaska is the honourable exception).
    Does anyone here know?

  7. United mile deal expired. The website ad is wrong. I tried to buy with bonus snd they
    retrnedmy money and apologized

  8. Went to purchase the miles this morning 24/07 (it’s 0900 here in Munich), the website says there is still 2 days and 23 hours or so remaining in the deal. Tried to buy 75,000 for both me and my wife and it comes back saying “your credit card information is incorrect, please correct or try another card” something to that nature. Tried 2 different cards and even changed my billing address to my mom’s address in Oklahoma and it didn’t work. Will try again tomorrow and hopefully it works.

  9. @steve

    I called the 1K desk this morning and the customer service lady on the other end saw the same time remaining as I did when she logged into her account. Doesn’t take into account the issues with my credit card, but she said to call the MileagePlus team when they open and they should honor the promotion over the phone.

  10. So turns out Chase thought it was fraud. Cleared that up and purchased 150k for myself and 150k my wife using the United Club Card so I get an extra 1.5 miles on top of the spend.

  11. tried it several times using the same credit card that I used before to purchase, it is not working still.

  12. @Victor

    Try calling your credit card company. They may think it was fraud like Chase did. The transaction ID seemed a bit off as it didn’t come up as a United purchase. Once I cleared it up, the transaction went through without a problem.

  13. @Scott
    They detected as having a major issue with network so the transaction failed. Not sure which network it is. It is definitely not my internet connection.

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