United Airlines is now offering miles at up to 40% discount off of the regular rates. There has been quite a few buy miles offers lately from both American Airlines and US Airways, and apparently United is now trying get in to the game as well.
What is good about the United’s offer, is the fact that you can buy up to 100K miles, which is a nice chunk. The price of a mile through this offer is 2.26 cents each. US Airways has tend to offer miles that you can use for Star Alliance carriers at a lower price, but booking awards online using United.com is easier than to deal with phone agents with US Airways. United does appear to limit the number of miles you can buy or gift per calendar year to 100K. It could be perhaps possible to get someone else to gift you 100K miles, if you happen to need more. The terms are somewhat unclear about this.
Is it a good deal to buy Unites miles at 2.26 cents each? It really depends how you would be using them. If you use them for international premium class tickets, this offer could be well worth it. United doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on award tickets for any of its partners like American does for British Airways and Iberia.
Sometimes United miles can be very worthwhile on short notice on economy class tickets as well. I just issued an intra-Europe ticket for 12.5K United Miles + about $50 in fees for travel in 36 hours. The exact same itinerary would have cost more than $900, and cheapest working, albeit not as convenient ones, in excess of $400.
I am quite surprised that United is handling these miles sales by themselves. Most of the other airlines and hotels are using Points.com for this purpose. Note that this offer is not limited just to North America, but is valid worldwide.
You need to react fast as this offer expired on April 25th at 11:59PM CDT. You can access this sale by clicking www.ualmiles.com/april40.
Here are the details of the offer from United:
- Offer expires April 25 at 11:59pm CDT
- Buy Personal Miles or Give Miles for $21 per 1,000 miles plus a 7.5% excise tax
- Purchase up to 100,000 MileagePlus Personal miles or Give Miles per account per calendar year
- Credit card will be billed immediately for purchase
- Mileage rates and other applicable fees are subject to change
- Miles are available in increments of 1,000
- Minimum purchase 2,000 miles
- Allow 48 hours for miles to post to MileagePlus account
- Personal Miles and GiveMiles are non-refundable
- Purchased miles do not count toward elite qualification