Special Offer: Reinstate Your Expired United Miles for 30% Less

Aug 28, 2019

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One of the most frustrating restrictions of points and miles is that many programs institute a use-or-lose expiration policy to their rewards. Although United has just announced that its miles won’t expire anymore — ever — there are still tons of people who have already lost their hard-earned miles to expiration. Though United has confirmed to us that those whose miles expired in July or August will receive all their miles back, free of charge, the rest of us aren’t so lucky. Historically, United has offered the ability to “reinstate” them for a set cost, starting at $50 for 5,000 miles. However, as our friends at Million Mile Secrets have noted, you can now reinstate your miles with a 30% discount — and you’ll never lose them again.

The new rates break down like this:

Miles to Reinstate Cost
5,000 $50 $35
5,001 – 20,000 $100 $70
20,001 – 35,000 $150 $105
35,001 – 50,000 $200 $140
50,001 – 75,000 $250 $175
75,001 – 100,000 $300 $210
100,001 – 150,000 $400 $280
150,001 – 200,000 $500 $350
200,001 – 500,000 $600 $420
500,001 – 750,000 $700 $490

Alternatively, if you’re looking to reinstate more than 20,000 miles, you can opt for the “reinstate challenge,” which allows you to pay a reduced fee ($70, with the discount) in addition to qualifying activity to regain your miles:

If you don’t have any United flights coming up, opening up one of Chase’s co-branded United cards could be a great option to both buy back your miles and acquire new miles with current sign-up bonuses:

  • United Explorer Business Card: For a limited time, earn up to 100,000 miles: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, an additional 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total in purchases in the first six months your account is open.
  • United Explorer Card: For a limited time, earn up to 65,000 bonus miles; 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months your account is open.

Note the United TravelBank Card and MileagePlus Go Visa Prepaid Card don’t qualify for the reinstate challenge.

Is It Worth Reinstating Your United Miles?

While I generally grit my teeth at the thought of paying for something I’ve already earned, there are times when it can make sense to buy back your miles. Take, for example, United’s San Francisco (SFO) to Tel Aviv (TLV) route on the 777-300 ER with Polaris. I fly this route often, and with Saver award space, I can snag a Polaris seat for just 75,000 United miles. With the 30% discount, buying back those 75,000 miles would run me just $175 (plus tax). In comparison, the base cost for that ticket runs a cool $3,700+.

In this case, that $175 is looking mighty attractive. In addition to this being the last time ever that you’ll need to buy them back, the 30% discount makes this a pretty compelling choice.

Feature photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

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More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
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