United Airlines’ frequent flyer program MileagePlus is offering a bonus of up to 100% on miles purchases until 19 March 2021 at 11:59 PM US Central Time (that’s 3:59pm on 20 March in Sydney time AEDT).

This is an above-average bonus for United miles, which can be used for cheaper Star Alliance redemptions to Asia and beyond. Of course, with international travel still affected by COVID-19, we’d only recommend buying miles if you are able to book something right away for urgent travel.

This guide covers the latest United MileagePlus buy miles promotions. We also have a dedicated guide on how to buy United MileagePlus miles here.

The current United Airlines ‘buy miles’ promotion

The promotion I’ve been offered is tiered as follows:

  • 30% bonus: buy 3,000-14,000 miles
  • 60% bonus: buy 15,000-34,000 miles
  • 100% bonus: buy 35,000+ miles

Your tiers may be different, so log in to your account to see which bonus you’ve been offered. I’ve seen someone else with a flat 85% bonus during this promotional period, which isn’t too bad.

With a 100% bonus, buying the maximum 87,000 MileagePlus miles would yield a total of 174,000 miles for US$3,273.78 (includes taxes), equating to a cost of ~US 1.88 cents per mile.

(The maximum number of miles you can buy per year is 175,000, including those offered as part of a bonus promotion.)

While the current situation with travel worldwide makes points purchases risky and speculative, this is an above-average value offer. This may make it worth purchasing miles for future use.

Example uses of United MileagePlus miles

United MileagePlus no longer offer a fixed mileage chart, which means that pricing for awards even with partners can be variable. It’s either more expensive than they before (more likely), or cheaper if off-peak (less likely).

Flights to/from Australia on the MileagePlus award chart will typically start from as follows:

DestinationCabinCost from
New ZealandBusiness Class25,000 miles
Rest of OceaniaBusiness Class40,000 miles
South Asia/Hong Kong/JapanBusiness Class50,000 miles
First Class65,000 miles
North AsiaBusiness Class55,000 miles
First Class75,000 miles
Mainland US, Alaska and CanadaBusiness Class90,000 miles
EuropeBusiness Class90,000 miles

Offer history

DateBonus (%)Notes
March 2021100targeted, highest offer, flash sale
June 202085price reduced due to changes to US taxes on points purchases
April 2020100highest, three-day flash sale
March-April 202085
February 202085
December 201985
November 2019100highest, four-day flash sale
October-November 201985
September 2019100highest, one-day flash sale
August 201985
July 201975targeted
April 2019100highest, flash sale
March 201967
February 201985
Average77.69%

Summing up

United MileagePlus buy miles promotions can be a great way to accumulate miles for cheap Star Alliance redemptions.

However, it only makes sense to do so when the offer is at least above average, and you have a particular Star Alliance partner redemption in mind.

The other program that you could consider buying points through for travel on Star Alliance is Avianca’s LifeMiles.

And as always, make sure there is award availability for the redemption you are eyeing off.

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Buy United MileagePlus miles with up to 100% bonus was last modified: March 17th, 2021 by Brandon Loo