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Now through February 17, United is offering a discount of up to 40% on purchased miles. As usual, it’s a tiered bonus that depends on how many miles you purchase. You must buy at least 15,000 miles and when you buy 15,00-39,000 miles you get a 25% discount, and when you buy 40,000 miles or more, you get a 40% discount. You can buy up to 150,000 miles per account per calendar year.

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United miles normally cost 3.5 cents apiece plus 7.5% tax, but if you get the 40% discount, you’ll be paying closer to 2.26 cents per mile. To put that in context, if you were to buy 50,000 miles for a roundtrip domestic business class award, you’d be paying $1,130, which might be worth it if you were going to book those super-expensive transcontinental routes. However, if you bought a ton of miles and used 25,000 of them for a roundtrip domestic economy award, it would be like paying $565 for that ticket, so I would suggest really crunching the numbers here, not least of all because United’s award mileage devaluation recently went into effect and your miles won’t get you nearly as far these days – especially on United’s partners.

Also beware per the conditions of the sale that miles can take up to 48 hours to process. On the positive side, unlike many other mileage purchases, these ones are processed directly by United, so they should count like airfare purchases and qualify for category spending bonuses if you use a card like the Sapphire Preferred, Premier Rewards Gold or Arrival.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

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More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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