United is offering a promotion on purchasing miles which other bloggers have talked about. However, since the bonus is now 60%, which makes the points just under 2.4 cents each to purchase, I thought it would be important to bring up a cheaper way to purchase United miles which I do not think the others have mentioned.
Purchasing miles directly from United cost 3.5 cents a piece plus a 7.5% excise tax, so it currently is 100,000 miles for $3762.50. 60% bonus miles means 160,000 miles for the same amount, which makes a miles around 2.35 cents.
However, remember that even without a sale, you can use the award accelerator which I talked about here to purchase miles from United by “topping up” miles from a paid or award ticket. At this price you can purchase a nearly unlimited amount of miles for 2.05-2.1 cents, since you can tailor the miles of the itineraries flown to how many miles you want to purchase and you have free cancellation within 24 hours.
It may be a hassle but if you’re buying tens of thousands of miles you save significantly and at 2.1 cents that makes a one-way F ticket from North America to Asia via Europe only $1470 from buying miles alone, versus $1645 from buying miles directly from United. In either case, this award accelerator is always worth considering if you need to top up some United miles for a redemption rather than purchasing directly from them even during a sale as you can see the value proposition is still slightly worse.