How to Enter United's Million Mile Sweepstakes Without Buying Miles
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
On Tuesday, United launched a new buy miles promotion with a catch. Instead of just getting bonus miles, you'd also get entries into a sweepstakes offering 1,000,000 bonus United miles plus $10,000 cash. That's a nice little prize, and it probably caught a bunch of eyes when United sent out the promotion email.
Here's the catch: there are cheaper ways of getting United miles than 2.21 cents per mile, and you don't have to buy miles to enter the sweepstakes.
If you're interested in entering the sweepstakes without buying miles, here's how to do so:
- Write out a "page or postcard" with your:
- first and last name
- mailing address
- phone number
- email address
- date of birth
- reference to the "MileagePlus Miles Sweepstakes"
- Address an envelope to:
MileagePlus Miles Sweepstakes
Dept 4003, PO Box 23806
Rochester, NY, 14692-3806
- Stamp the envelope with a traditional stamp. The terms note that "no metered mail will be accepted."
- Make sure that the envelope is postmarked by Feb. 1. Entries must be received by Feb. 7, so you'll won't want to mail it too close to the deadline in case of a delay in the mail.
The terms note that "no copies, facsimiles or mechanical reproductions will be accepted." I'd recommend writing both the page/postcard and the envelope by hand.
There's a "limit of two (2) entries per person regardless of method of entry." And since "each page/postcard will receive two (2) entries into the grand prize draw," it seems each member only needs to send one postcard.
While each page/postcard gets you two entries, there's a "limit one (1) entry per outer mailing envelope." This verbiage makes it seem unclear whether you'll actually get two entries into the sweepstakes from one page/postcard. It's likely that the sweepstakes lawyers meant that only one page/postcard can be included in each envelope. To be safe, I'd recommend sending each member's entry in a separate envelope.
The grand prize winner will be selected "on or about March 7, 2019" and notified by email or telephone "approximately one (1) day after the drawing."
The winner will be responsible for tax on the $30,000 estimated retail value of the grand prize of $10,000 cash and 1,000,000 United miles. That values United miles at 2.0 cents per mile -- and yes, that's less than the 2.21 cents per mile rate for buying miles through the current promotion. You may be able to challenge this 2.0 cents per mile valuation. But, you'll want to speak with a tax professional about the process to do that if you're the winner.