United Airlines MileagePlus has just launched its latest promotion on purchased miles.
Buy United Miles With A Bonus
Through 11:59PM CT on Thursday, July 16, 2020, United is offering a bonus on purchased miles. Different accounts may be eligible for different bonuses, but the accounts I manage show a bonus of up to 85%.
Specifically, here’s how the bonus for up to 85% is tiered:
- Buy 5,000-14,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
- Buy 15,000-34,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
- Buy 35,000+ miles, get an 85% bonus
With the 85% bonus you can purchase a total of 173,900 miles for $3,290, which is a cost of 1.89 cents per MileagePlus mile.
Other accounts may very well see different bonuses, so you’ll want to see what you’re eligible for.
United offers bonuses on purchased miles with some frequency, and when these promotions happen, the bonuses typically range between 50% and 100%. An 85% bonus is to the higher end of what we see, though we do still sometimes see better promotions.
For example, a couple of months ago we saw a 100% bonus on purchased miles. Furthermore, MileagePlus devalued partner award redemptions in late April, reducing the value of miles.
With this promotion, it can take up to 48 hours for purchased miles to post to your account.
Should You Buy United Miles?
Personally, I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, though there are ways to get more value out of them than that.
Keep in mind that a lot of negative changes have been made to MileagePlus recently:
- United introduced dynamic award pricing as of late 2019, and that’s bad news for members, as it means that many awards on United have gotten more expensive
- United started charging more for last minute award tickets as of late 2019, for both United and Star Alliance partner flights
- United increased many redemption rates on Star Alliance partners just a few weeks ago, typically by 10%
Nonetheless with a specific use in mind it could make sense to buy miles, either for redemptions on United, or for redemptions on partners.
Which Credit Card Should You Buy United Miles With?
United mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spend.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spend, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review).
Other Ways To Earn MileagePlus Miles
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.
See this post for the best credit cards for earning United miles.
Do you plan on buying United miles with this offer?