Limited Time: New United Buy Miles Promotion Offers Up to a 67% Bonus

May 31, 2017

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

Earning airline miles using the traditional method (actually flying) is just one option for growing your account balance. While it’s increasingly harder to earn miles from flying, airlines make it relatively easy to accrue miles without flying — whether through top credit card offers or by utilizing shopping portals and dining rewards programs. If these methods leave you short of your travel goals, you can also purchase miles directly from an airline.

United just launched a new buy miles bonus, but you’re going to have to hurry if you’re interested. Now through June 2, you can purchase United MileagePlus miles with up to a 67% bonus. The regular price for buying United miles is 3.76 cents per mile ($35 per 1,000 miles plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax). But, with the 67% bonus, this promotion will drop the price down to 2.26 cents per mile.

Now through June 2, get up to 60,000 bonus miles.
Now through June 2, get up to 60,000 bonus miles.

As United will sometimes do targeted promotions, we checked around the office to see what offers everyone got. We all have the same offer:

  • Buy 5,000-14,000 miles (20% bonus) at 3.14 cents per mile
  • Buy 15,000-29,000 miles (40% bonus) at 2.69 cents per mile
  • Buy 30,000-90,000 miles (67% bonus) at 2.26 cents per mile

Is It Worth It?

In the latest valuations, TPG pegs United miles at 1.5 cents each. While you can get better valuations than this for certain redemptions, it’s hard to justify buying miles at 2.26 cents per point. You’re limited to buying just 150,000 miles per year, and bonus miles count toward this maximum.

United has reliably run more-generous promotions, including 100% bonus promos. If you max out the purchase on this sub-par promotion, you won’t be able to take advantage of better opportunities for the rest of the year.

So, I’d recommend passing this time around unless you needed a small amount of miles to top off your account for a redemption or if you’re desperate for United miles and have a high-value award in the works. If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards, transferring UR points to United is a better option — especially if you need the miles right away.

Snag 50,000 miles at the 67% bonus.
Snag 50,000 miles at the 67% bonus.

If you’re planning to utilize this promotion, here’s how to do so:

  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 Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express’s 2x Membership Rewards on the first $50,000 per year; then 1x thereafter or Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash back would be the most rewarding choice.

Are you going to buy miles during this promotion?

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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