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United Airlines is Selling MileagePlus Miles With a 100% Bonus and Increased Limit Through September 17

United Airlines is Selling MileagePlus Miles With a 100% Bonus and Increased Limit Through September 17

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United Airlines MileagePlus has just opened its latest promotion to purchase miles with a 100% bonus, plus an increased limit. This latest tiered offer is available to all members, although you’ll have to be quick as the promotion closes on September 17, 2023.

Buying miles speculatively can be an attractive proposition to unlock luxury award travel, especially if you are already close to a redemption threshold. And the case for buying miles is definitely stronger when a bonus or discount promotion likes this one is running.

In this article…

    What’s the deal?

    From September 4 through September 17, 2023, you can buy United MileagePlus miles with a bonus of up to 100%. The bonus rate is tiered as follows:

    • Buy between 2,000 and 4,000 miles – No bonus
    • Buy between 5,000 and 17,000 miles – 50% bonus
    • Buy between 15,000 and 39,000 miles – 75% bonus
    • Buy between 40,000 and 112,500 miles – 100% bonus
    a blue and white photo of a man in a boat in the water
    United MileagePlus

    You can purchase miles in blocks of 1,000 starting at 2,000 miles, and for the duration of this promotion, United MileagePlus has temporarily increased the annual limits on how many miles you are allowed to purchase by 50,000.

    Purchased miles normally post to your account straight away, but it can take up to 72 hours for miles to show, so bear this in mind if you want to make a redemption very soon after your purchase.

    Maximum purchase amount

    United MileagePlus normally only lets members purchase a maximum of 175,000 miles per year, although, during this promotion, the program has temporarily increased that limit to 225,000 miles.

    💡 Remember: Bonus miles count towards the annual limit, so the maximum number of miles you can actually purchase is 112,500 miles, making a grand total of 225,000 miles once the bonus miles have been posted to your account.

    Photo Credit: United Airlines
    Photo Credit: United Airlines

    Cost per mile

    Under this promotion, the lowest cost per mile is 1.88 cents when you purchase 40,000 miles or more.

    • 5,000 to 14,000 miles – 2.51 cents per mile
    • 15,000 to 39,000 miles – 2.15 cents per mile
    • 40,000 to 112,500 miles – 1.88 cents per mile

    What are the pros and cons?

    • Redeem miles across Star Alliance airlines.
    • Earn bonus miles when you purchase 5,000 or more miles.
    • United MileagePlus miles don’t expire.

    • United MileagePlus suffered a big devaluation earlier this year.
    • To get maximum value out of this promotion, you need to buy at least 40,000 miles.

    United Airlines massively devalues the MileagePlus program

    Historically, airlines have occasionally devalued their frequent flyer programs by making changes to their award charts, increasing redemption rates, or imposing additional fees and restrictions. Such changes can result in members needing more miles or points to redeem for the same flights or experiences.

    United Airlines recently devalued its MileagePlus program, increasing the number of miles required for many international flights. The devaluation went into effect on March 8, 2023.

    The biggest changes were to awards to Europe, which saw an average increase of 33%. The devaluation also affected awards on partner airlines, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and ANA.

    How much is a United MileagePlus mile worth?


    Each United MileagePlus mile is worth approximately 1.2 cents each

    On average, each United MileagePlus mile is valued at 1.2 cents. However, assessing whether you are getting value for money with a specific redemption is important.

    It’s pretty simple to do this by comparing the cost in miles for a flight against the cash price for the same flight. Simply divide the cost of buying the flight with cash by the cost of buying the flight in miles. The result will be the ‘cents per mile’ – a rate above the average is good value for money, whereas a rate below the average could represent bad value for money.

    Is it worth speculatively buying miles?

    I generally advise only to buy points in order to boost your points balance to achieve a specific redemption, but this latest deal is an excellent opportunity to acquire points for a very reasonable price, which could, in turn, unlock some pretty compelling award opportunities.

    The case for speculatively buying points is definitely stronger when there’s an attractive bonus promotion such as this one, although you’ll want to be certain you are getting value for money when you book an award flight.

    Although United MileagePlus miles don’t expire, remember that miles can be devalued with no notice. This is exactly what happened earlier this year, and there have been some other recent devaluations in the MileagePlus program’s history.

    For the launch of its new Polaris Business Class product, United Airlines teamed up with Saks 5th Avenue for its new bedding. Photo Credit: United Airlines
    Photo Credit: United Airlines

    How many miles do I need for an award flight?

    Unfortunately, United Airlines no longer publishes an award chart, and redemptions are priced dynamically depending on a number of factors, including:

    • Demand – Including seasonality and local events
    • Flight route – Different routes might attract higher redemption rates
    • Cabin availability – If there are fewer seats available, redemption rates will likely be higher.

    To ensure you are getting value for money, compare the cost in miles for an award flight against the cash cost for the same flight. See ‘How much is a United Airlines MileagePlus mile worth?’ for a simple formula to work out whether you are getting good value for money.

    What other ways are there to earn United MileagePlus miles?

    One of the quickest and easiest ways to earn United MileagePlus miles is through. cobranded credit card.

    Options include:

    • The United Explorer card
    • The United Quest card
    • The United Club Infinite card

    You can also transfer points from other Chase credit cards to your United MileagePlus account on a 1:1 basis.

    Do United MileagePlus miles expire?

    Unlike many airline and hotel loyalty programs, miles earned with United MileagePlus do not expire. There’s no inactivity period that might result in you losing your miles, and you won’t ever have to jump through hoops to stop your miles from expiring.

    Of course, while your miles might never expire, it’s worth remembering that loyalty programs can always be devalued at a moment’s notice. United Airlines massively devalued MileagePlus earlier this year and didn’t provide any notice at all.

    How does this offer compare to previous promotions?

    United’s MileagePlus program runs promotions on purchased points fairly regularly. Here’s what United MileagePlus has been offering recently…

    August 2023

    Targeted promotion with a bonus of up to 100%

    July 2023

    Bonus of up to 85%

    June 2023

    Bonus of up to 45%

    May 2023

    Bonus of up to 85%


    • United Airlines is offering a bonus of up to 100% when you buy miles through the MileagePlus program from September 4 through September 17, 2023.
    • This is a tiered offer, with the bonus rate kicking in at 5,000 or more miles.
    • To get maximum value from this promotion, you need to buy at least 40,000 miles to start earning the 100% bonus rate.
    • It can take up to 72 hours for purchased miles to be posted to your account.
    • United MileagePlus normally only lets members purchase a maximum of 175,000 miles per year, including miles earned via a bonus promotion – although this has been temporarily increased to 225,000 miles for the duration of this offer.

    In summary, United Airlines is offering a great deal on purchased miles right now. If you’re looking to boost your MileagePlus balance, this is a great time to buy miles. Just be sure to log into your account to see what bonus or discount rate you’re eligible for.

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