United MileagePlus has just launched a one day sale on purchased miles, which is also as good as their offers get.
Through 11:59PM CT today (Monday, September 9, 2019), United is offering a tiered bonus on purchased miles, of up to 100%, as follows:
- Buy 5,000-19,000 miles, get a 25% bonus
- Buy 20,000-49,000 miles, get a 50% bonus
- Buy 50,000-87,500 miles, get a 100% bonus
If you max out this bonus you can purchase a total of 175,000 miles for $3,292.19, which is a cost of 1.88 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%. So a 100% bonus is as good as it gets.
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. Personally, I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each (maybe a little less with the recent changes), though there are ways to get more value out of them than that.
Keep in mind that a while back United introduced dynamic award pricing for travel as of November 15, and this is bad news for members. It means that many awards on United flights will be more expensive. So the value proposition of buying United miles has gotten worse, in my opinion.
With these changes, United has also eliminated award charts for partner airlines, though they have said that they’re not increasing award costs on partners for now. The main reason I’d consider buying United miles to begin with is for partner awards, and those prices haven’t gone up yet.
So with an immediate use in mind, it could make sense to buy United miles for redemptions on partners.
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® or Citi® Double Cash Card.
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
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?