United MileagePlus Selling Miles With A Bonus

Filed Under: Great Deals, MileagePlus
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United Airlines MileagePlus has just launched their latest promotion on purchased miles.

Buy United Miles With A Bonus

Through 11:59PM CT on July 2, 2020, United is offering a bonus on purchased miles. If you buy miles by June 21, 2020, the bonus is 15% better than that, at least based on the accounts I see.

Different accounts may be eligible for different bonuses, but the accounts I manage show:

  • Up to an 85% bonus through June 21
  • Up to a 70% bonus through July 2

Even beyond that the offer is tiered, and for the 85% bonus I see the following thresholds:

  • Buy 5,000-14,000 miles, get a 30% 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 they do, 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, several weeks ago we saw a 100% bonus on purchased miles. Also keep in mind that MileagePlus devalued partner award redemptions several weeks ago.

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:

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).

See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.

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?

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  1. 1.4 cents per mile? When I valuate currency, equity, or other assets, I look into the future value.

    Given my horizon for redemptions and trailing 12 months of devaluations, I put them closer to 0.8 cents per mile. They may be even less.

  2. Hey Ben,

    You may also want to point to the readers that at the moment, there is an even better opportunity to buy United Miles through current Marriott Bonvoy buy miles promotion at an effective rate of 1.736 cent per United MileagePlus mile. There is obviously a limit of 160,000 miles on Bonvoy point purchase and transfers will have to be in increments of 60,000 to get best value, but I think for someone looking for less than 60k MileagePlus miles, this is a better proposition.

  3. In light of recent negative tweaks to the program, I would not be a buyer at even 100% bonus; it would take over that to pique my interest.

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