Get up to a 50% Bonus When You Buy United Miles

May 18, 2017

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Now through Monday, May 22, you’ll receive up to 50,000 bonus miles when you purchase miles through United. This is a tiered promotion: You’ll get a 25% bonus (up to 8,500 extra miles) when you buy 5,000 to 34,000 miles, and you’ll get a 50% bonus (up to 50,000 extra miles) when you purchase 35,000 to 100,000 miles.

United miles usually cost 3.76 cents apiece ($35 per 1,000 miles plus a 7.5% federal excise tax), but this current offer lowers the price to as little as 2.5 cents per mile (with the 50% bonus). That’s still higher than TPG’s valuation of this currency (1.5 cents), but if you were planning on buying United miles anyway, you’ll definitely want to nab them at this lower rate.

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If you purchase between 5,000 and 34,000 miles and get the 25% bonus, you’re looking at a per-mile cost of about 3 cents. That’s hardly stellar, but again, it could make sense if you already had plans to top off your MileagePlus account for an upcoming redemption.

Here’s how to take advantage of the promotion:

  1. Visit United’s Buy Miles page.
  2. Click on Buy Personal Miles.
  3. Enter your United MileagePlus account number and last name.
  4. Select the number of miles you want to buy and fill in the required information to finalize your purchase.

Keep in mind that the usual restrictions for purchasing United miles apply to this promotion, including the following:

  • You must purchase at least 2,000 miles. Miles may be purchased in increments of 1,000 miles.
  • Members can only purchase 150,000 miles per account per calendar year, and bonus miles count towards the 150,000-mile annual limit.
  • Miles may take up to 48 hours to post to your account.
  • Purchased or gifted miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier status.

Note that the purchase is processed by Points.com, so you won’t get any travel category bonuses from this purchase. Make sure to use the best non-bonus category credit card for your situation. Based on TPG’s valuations, the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points would be the most rewarding choice.

Bottom Line

We never recommend buying miles speculatively — especially since the rates are almost always high — and even with this promo you aren’t necessarily getting a steal on United miles. That said, if you’re just a few thousand miles away from a lucrative award flight, such as a premium seat in the carrier’s Polaris cabin, topping up your account and getting up to a 50% bonus in the process could be worth it.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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