United Airlines is currently running a MileagePlus promotion, offering a discount on mile purchases of up to 45%. The promotion is only available between June 19 and June 28, so if you are interested in taking advantage of this limited-time offer to boost your mileage balance, you’ll need to be quick.
What’s the deal?
During this promotion, United MileagePlus members can purchase miles in blocks of 1,000 with a minimum purchase requirement of 2,000 miles. The maximum purchase limit is set at 175,000 miles in this promotion, which also aligns with the annual purchase limit.
The discount is tiered, so the more miles you purchase, the greater the discount. For example, if you purchase 5,000 points, you’ll receive a discount of 15%, whereas if you purchase 65,000 miles, you’ll receive a 45% discount.
The following discounts apply based on the number of miles purchased:
- No discount on purchases between 2,000 and 4,000 miles.
- 15% discount on purchases between 5,000 and 19,000 miles.
- 30% discount on purchases between 20,000 and 64,000 miles.
- 45% discount on purchases of 65,000 miles or more.
If you use your United MileagePlus credit card, you’ll also earn miles for every $1 spent on top of the purchased miles.
Is Buying United MileagePlus Miles Worth It?
Since United Airlines no longer has an award chart, the number of miles required for an award flight varies based on factors such as demand and seasonality. This dynamic pricing system can make it challenging to determine the exact value of each mile.
That being said, I value United MileagePlus miles at 1.2 cents each on average. If you are flexible with your travel dates, dynamic award pricing can present opportunities for great deals, and by comparing the cost of a flight in miles vs the normal value of a mile, you can assess whether the award represents a good value or is overpriced.
As always, I don’t recommend purchasing miles speculatively unless you are close to achieving a specific redemption and need some extra miles to reach your goal. However, if you regularly fly with United or plan to make redemptions through United’s Star Alliance partners, this promotion is definitely worth considering.
While this promotion may not be as generous as some previous offers, such as the bonus of up to 85% on purchased miles, it still presents a reasonable opportunity for members to accumulate miles at a discounted rate.
Good Redemption Options
When it comes to redeeming United MileagePlus miles, there are a number of excellent options to consider. These are just some of the most popular redemption choices that can provide great value for your miles:
- International Polaris Business: One of the best uses of MileagePlus miles is to book premium cabin seats on international flights. Using miles for these high-value redemptions can save you a significant amount of money compared to paying for these seats outright.
- Domestic Short-Haul Flights: Don’t overlook the value of using miles for domestic short-haul flights. These flights within the United States or neighboring regions can be redeemed for a relatively low number of miles, making them an excellent choice for quick getaways or visiting nearby destinations without breaking the bank.
- Caribbean Getaways: United Airlines offers flights to popular Caribbean destinations, and using MileagePlus miles for these flights can be a smart move, especially during peak travel periods when cash prices are high.
- Star Alliance Partner Redemptions: United MileagePlus is part of the Star Alliance, which means you can use your miles to book flights with partner airlines. This opens up a vast network of routes and destinations around the world, giving you more options and flexibility for your travel plans. Whether you’re flying with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, or any other Star Alliance member, using your MileagePlus miles can provide excellent value.
Important things to consider
Keep some of these points in mind:
- The promotion is valid from June 19 to June 28
- You’re restricted to buying a maximum of 175,000 miles per year
- Miles purchased should be posted to your United MileagePlus account within 72 hours, although based on previous experiences, most people find that it typically takes around a day for the miles to be credited.
- If you use your United MileagePlus credit card, you’ll also earn miles for every $1 spent on top of the purchased miles.
Unfortunately, United Airlines recently implemented a significant devaluation of its MileagePlus program recently, resulting in increased costs for certain redemptions.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.