Update: This article contains mentions of Chase Freedom Unlimited® whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
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Obviously this isn’t the time to buy miles speculatively. However, there are also lots of people planning last minute trips to get home, or planning travel way in advance, so if that applies to you, buying miles at a discount could be worth considering. That’s why I’ll keep covering deals to buy points as they arise.
United Airlines MileagePlus has just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles, which is a flash sale that’s only valid for a couple of days.
Buy United Miles With Up To A 100% Bonus
Through 11:59PM CT on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, United is offering a bonus on purchased miles. While you have to log into your account to see the offer, best I can tell just about everyone is receiving an offer for up to a 100% bonus.
The 100% bonus offer is tiered, as follows:
- Buy 5,000-14,000 miles, get a 30% bonus
- Buy 15,000-39,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
- Buy 40,000-87,500 miles, get a 100% bonus
If you max out the 100% bonus you can purchase a total of 175,000 miles for $3,062.50, which is a cost of 1.75 cents per MileagePlus mile.
United offers bonuses on purchased miles with some frequency, and when they do, the bonuses typically range between 50% and 100%. A 100% bonus is as good as it gets, and historically we’ve only seen promotions like this a couple of times per year.
United lets you buy up to 175,000 MileagePlus miles per year including any bonuses. 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 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. Not only that, but United has started charging more for last minute Star Alliance awards as well.
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 spend, 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?
(Tip of the hat to John)