Stack Promos To Buy United Miles For 1.47 Cents Each

Filed Under: Great Deals, United
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While United often sells miles at a discount, rarely does it represent a good deal. At the moment there’s a promotion that can generate you United MileagePlus miles for under 1.5 cents each, in the right increments.

Buy United Miles For 1.47 Cents Each

There are two promotions that can be stacked to get a better deal on purchased United miles:

Step One: Buy Marriott Points For 0.875 Cents Each

Through October 18, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 30% discount on purchased points when you buy at least 2,000 points in one transaction.

With this promotion Marriott is also doubling the cap on how many points you can buy — while the limit is usually 50,000 points, you can buy 100,000 points with this promotion.

Note that if you buy over 50,000 points you need to do so in two separate transactions, as there’s a limit to each transaction of 50,000 points.

Ordinarily Marriott Bonvoy charges 1.25 cents per purchased point, so through this promotion you’re potentially looking at paying just 0.875 cents per point.

If you want to get the best deal on United miles you’ll want to have your Marriott Bonvoy account balance be in increments of 60,000 points (whether that’s 60,000 points total, 120,000 points, 180,000 points, etc.).

For example, you could purchase 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for $525.

Step Two: Transfer Marriott Points To United With 30% Bonus

Through November 30, 2019, United is offering a 30% bonus when you convert select hotel points into MileagePlus miles. Registration is required.

Marriott Bonvoy points convert into MileagePlus miles at a 3:1 ratio, and you get a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points.

With United it gets even better than that, though, thanks to a special partnership between Marriott and United. With this you get a 10% bonus when you convert Marriott points into United miles, meaning that you get 27,500 United miles per 60,000 Marriott points.

That’s before you factor in this promotion. Once you factor in this promotion you’d receive a total of 35,750 United miles per 60,000 Marriott points.

To crunch the numbers, you could buy 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for $525. Then those would convert into 35,750 MileagePlus miles when you factor in the 10% and 30% bonus.

In the end you’re earning 35,750 MileagePlus miles for $525, which is a cost of 1.47 cents per MileagePlus mile.

Bottom Line

Is 1.49 cents per United mile a rate at which everyone should be picking up miles? No, probably not. However, this is lower than the cost at which United ever sells miles directly (at least in the past couple of years).

Furthermore, when United does sell miles at a discount, you almost always have to buy lots of miles to get the lowest cost, while this is a reasonable cost at which you can top off an account when you’re not looking for that many miles.

Just keep in mind that MileagePlus miles are fairly easy to come by, given that United is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. See this post for the best credit cards for earning United miles.

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Comments
  1. This is like buying currency that is pegged to the dollar on the eve when the currency is going to free float, by a “central bank” that has a history of devaluing the currency.

    Better use for flights before Nov.

  2. I use points and miles to make premium travel affordable. At 1.47/mi, last minute business travel from Boston to Europe on *A partners Lufthansa or Swiss costs around $2,200, or $900 for economy, with decent availability. As long as United keeps the partner chart fixed, I think UA miles retain good value.

    Purchasing Avianca LifeMiles may be slightly cheaper, but they have worse availability than United, are harder to work with, and a higher cancellation fee, especially if you are UA Gold+.

    This would be an even better deal if the purchase coded as travel.

  3. perfectly cool for me. Getting Bonvoy points ro redeem on long intraeuropean flights on Turkish J for 25K…

  4. Ready to transfer to United but the screen only shows a rate of 3 to 1 and a 10% bonus, in other words a rate of 60,000 Marriott to 22,000 United. Should the screen show all the bonuses?
    I am not pulling the trigger before it shows all the miles!

  5. Lucky, I have the same issue as Donato (above). When I enter 60,000 points to transfer, the screen indictes that it will convert to 22,000 United miles, even though I registered (several times!) for the promotion. Can I be assured that I will be credited with 35,750 miles?

  6. It seems like there is a mileage cap on this promotion.
    “For a limited time, you can convert your hotel points into United® MileagePlus® miles and enjoy 30% bonus miles — up to 25,000 miles.”

  7. In response to Peter, The Terms and Conditons on the offer clarify that it is “up to 25,000 Bonus Miles,” so, if you convert 60,000 Bonvoy points to Mileage Plus, you should still get the full 30% bonus miles, though T & C adds that the bonus won’t be awarded until the end of Januaary. However, I still can’t quite see how Ben arrives at the ultimate figure of 35,750 Mileage Plus miles for 60,000 Bonvoy points. I’ve tried it by adding the 5,000 bonus miles (for converting 60,000 Bonvoy points), plus the 10% bonus for the Marriott–United alliance, plus the 30% for this special offer, but I don’t arrive at 35,750 miles. Is the 30% bonus calculated and addedwith regard of 20,000 or 22,000 or 25,000 or 27,000? Ben, could you please break down the math for us?

  8. Hi all!

    Has anyone tried this out, and if so are they seeing the UA bonus miles posting yet?

    I’m wondering if the Ts & Cs that say January are really being stuck to.

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