United Mileage Plus has a targeted promotion to buy United miles at a 25% or 35% discount for purchases made by August 18, 2014. I thought this was a general promotion open to everyone, however, I can’t find a link to the discount, except through the email for my account which is linked to my United Mileage Plus number.
Check your own email for this offer if interested.
5,000 to 19,000 miles = 25% discount.
20,000 to 150,000 miles = 35% discount.
- 5,000 miles = $141.09 ($28.20/1,000 miles).
- 10,000 miles = $282.90 ($28.20/1,000 miles).
- 20,000 = $489.13 ($24.46/1,000 miles).
- 150,000 = $3,668.44 ($24.46/1,000 miles).
In these days of manufactured spend and credit card bonuses, who still buys airline miles?
Someone like me who needs only a few thousand miles to get a frequent flyer award ticket quickly while availability is there. A frequent flyer award from California to Greece can be mine with a $141 purchase of 5,000 miles and save me $1,100 on the cost of a revenue ticket for an October trip.
I do not have a Chase or American Express Membership Rewards card for United miles transfers and Starwood SPG points are a poor mileage exchange partner for United Mileage Plus.
Terms and conditions:
Save up to 35% when you buy miles. (Displayed price includes all discounts)
- Minimum purchase of 5,000 miles required for this promotional pricing.
- Buy 5,000 to 19,000 miles and receive a 25% discount, or buy 20,000 miles or more for a 35% discount.
- Miles are available in increments of 1,000 up to a maximum of 100,000 miles, and in increments of 5,000 up to a maximum of 150,000 miles.
- Purchase up to 150,000 miles per account per calendar year.
- Credit card will be billed immediately upon purchase.
- Mileage rates and other applicable fees are subject to change.
- Allow 48 hours for miles to process and post to your MileagePlus account.
- Miles are nonrefundable.
- Promotional offer valid until 11:59 p.m. CT (Chicago local time) on August 18, 2014.
- Purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status.
Transfer United Mileage Plus Miles between members
Transfer miles from another Mileage Plus member is another way to quickly get United Mileage Plus miles. The cost is $15 per 1,000 miles + $20 transaction fee.
- Transfer 5,000 miles = 5 x $15 + $20 fee = $95.00.
- Mileage transfers cost $15 per 1,000 miles and the processing fee per transaction is $20
- Miles can be transferred in 1,000 mile increments
- Give up to 25,000 miles to each recipient’s account per calendar year – No recipient may receive more than 25,000 miles from any other MileagePlus account or combination of account in any calendar year
- Maximum transfer of up to 100,000 miles per calendar year out of one account
- Allow 48 hours for the miles to post to each recipient’s account
- Credit card will be billed immediately for transfer
- Mileage rates and other applicable fees are subject to change
- Minimum transfer 2,000 miles per account
- All MileagePlus Program Rules and terms and conditions apply
While this is a little cheaper than buying miles outright, I dislike the idea of paying for miles that someone else already earned.
While I really need miles in United Mileage Plus to reach an award redemption level for a ticket I want in October, I have a revenue flight to Europe in a few weeks and I will pick up the United miles I need by flying.
What I really need are 4,000 discount American Airlines miles for an international frequent flyer award. At least American Airlines is a 1-to-1 SPG partner so I can transfer 4,000 Starpoints for 4,000 AA miles if I can’t find a better deal.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.