Public 60% Bonus on Purchased United Miles – worth it?

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.

United Miles

United Miles

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.

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  1. How many miles are needed to have in your account before topping up an award reservation? Would this promo still be good to seed an account?

  2. I don’t think the award accelerator is giving the rates you claim. I think the best you can do is about the same as the Mileage promotion (which is now over) was. Also with the mileage promotion you could purchase exactly the miles needed or wanted.

    • You can do so with the award accelerator as well (and the rates may have changed I am not sure) but a few days ago I’m sure miles were able to be purchased at this price as my friend just did so.

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