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United has announced their first mileage sale of 2021. Until January 31st, you can buy United Miles with up to a 100% bonus. Every United account will have a different offer, mine was actually 75%, but others have gotten 100% bonuses which match the all time high bonus, or 1.88 cents a piece. That’s the best we’ve ever seen, and creates a limited-time opportunity to shore up your account for that aspirational redemption. Lemme also be clear…if you don’t have a need for the miles, I wouldn’t speculatively buy them. But, if you’re short, or you’re currently planning a trip and could use the flexibility of having a bulkier account, we haven’t seen miles priced any better. Let’s take a look at this flash sale that gets you 100% bonus on every mile you buy.
Why would you want to buy United miles?
The first reason may be that you just need to shore up an account to get the number of miles you need for a booking you have in mind. This could be a great way to offset part of your travel cost.
Buying miles can also represent a huge savings over the retail price of many flights. This isn’t always the case however, and you should crunch the numbers and double check availability prior to buying. But if the avail is there, and the retail cost is high, it could be a great deal.
It may also be the case that you’re populating your account with Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you don’t have enough, or wish to use them elsewhere at a higher valuation than 1.88 cents.
Should you buy United miles?
This is a very good question and one you should heavily debate. Mileage programs devalue ALL THE TIME, and you should consider this when making a purchase. I recommend only purchasing miles when you know you have a specific flight you want to take, and buying miles makes that flight more affordable. I wouldn’t advise just buying miles to have them, you never know what may happen to award rates which almost always go up, and rarely do airlines ever reduce redemption rates.
Is this a good price for United Miles?
100% is the all time high so if you’ve been targeted for that bonus, you’re getting the best deal we’ve ever seen. If you’re getting 75% – well, it’s still a good deal, but not the best. If you’ve received the 100% bonus you’re effectively buying those miles for 1.88 cents a piece.
How many United Miles can I buy?
You can buy a max of 175k miles. This includes the bonus.
The offer is tiered with the 75-100% bonus given on purchases over 40k miles
- Buy 5k-14k get a 30-40%% bonus
- Buy 15k to 39k miles get a 50-60% bonus
- Buy 40k+ get a 75-100% bonus
If you purchase the maximum miles ( per account) you’ll end up paying 1.88 cents a mile.
Note…if you’re looking to fly multiple people, each account could purchase miles to reach your goal. The 175k is capped per account number and bonus miles count toward that max
- Terms and conditions:
- Promotional offer valid until 11:59 p.m. CT on January 31, 2021.
- Bonus miles count toward the 175,000-mile annual limit per account.
- You may purchase up to 175,000 miles per account per calendar year.
- Bonus miles will generally be credited to the recipient’s MileagePlus account when the transaction is complete; provided that certain transactions may take up to 48 hours.
- Bonuses will be calculated on a per transaction basis only.
- The bonus amount applicable to a transaction is shown in the chart.
- Transactions may not be aggregated to calculate the bonus.
- The credit card used in the transaction will be billed immediately upon purchase.
- Mileage rates and other fees and offer terms are subject to change.
- Miles purchased are nonrefundable.
- Purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status.
- All MileagePlus Program rules and terms and conditions apply.
- GST/HST is charged to Canadian residents.
- Powered by Points to purchase United MileagePlus miles. Transaction will appear as ‘Points United Miles’.
- Pricing is only available for purchases made through buymiles.mileageplus.com.
- Terms and conditions:
One fantastic use is flying from the States to South America.
United prices these flights at 60k each way, or roughly $1200 if you were to buy the points needed. I got really lucky and was able to fly on a 777-200 that had been retrofit with United’s new premiere product, Polaris. It’s head and shoulders above anything else United offers ( Barring their old first class which Elites occasionally have access to in business class ). You can read that review here.
Some of the other best redemptions are on their partners flying to Europe and Asia.
Partner Business Class to Europe for 77k, like Swiss, is a great redemption
EVA at 88k to Asia. A First Class product at business class rates.
Or you can redeem 110k United Miles and avoid all taxes and fees that Lufthansa usually levies and fly First Class from North America to Europe. A truly special experience
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