Buy United Miles: Up to 70% Bonus

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Looking for a free ticket? Or want to upgrade from coach to Business or First Class? Now is a good time to buy United miles. For a limited time, you can buy United miles and get up to 70% bonus miles.

Is it a good deal?

I’ve written before about the only time you should you buy miles.

There are times when buying miles are worth it.

And with a 70% bonus offer, this could be one of those times. Because you could get a lot more miles for less

But is it worth it?

Let’s find out.

Buy United Miles: Up to a 70% Bonus

Photo courtesy: United Airlines


Short on United miles? Or looking to get some cheap flights? You can get up to a 70% bonus when you buy United miles through October 16, 2018, by 11:59 pm CT.

You have to buy at least 5,000 miles to get bonus miles. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Buy 5,000 to 14,000 miles: Get a 25% bonus
  • Buy 15,000 to 29,000 miles: Get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 30,000 t0 88,000 miles: Get a 70% bonus

A maximum of 88,000 United miles can be purchased during this offer.

Pro-tip: Purchased miles do not count towards United elite status.

Are Buying United Miles Worth It?

Not sure if you should buy United miles? There are times you should buy airline miles.

And there are times when you shouldn’t.

If you buy 88,000 miles you’ll get a bonus of 61,600 miles giving you a total of 149,600 miles for $3,311.

Normally, United miles cost 3.76 cents a mile. But with this offer, you can buy miles for as low as 2.2 cents per mile.

It’s a pretty good offer if you need or are planning to use United miles.

Pro-tip: United counts bonus mile against the 150,000-mile yearly cap on purchased miles.

There are other ways you can earn United miles:

  • Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United (points transfer on a 1:1 ratio)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve  – 50,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months (then transfer to United)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – 60,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months (then transfer to United)
  • Ink Preferred – 80,000 point signup bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (then transfer to United)
  • Transfer Marriott points (not the best use of your Marriott points)

But if you’re already maxed out on credit cards or not eligible for new signup bonuses, your best bet is to buy miles.

It makes sense to buy miles when there’s a bonus promotion. Because free (aka bonus) miles are always a good thing.

Something to keep in mind…

When you buy miles you don’t earn a travel category bonus because the purchase goes through So when you buy United miles you should use a card that you need to meet minimum spending on or one that gives you a bonus for extra spending like the Hyatt card (you get a free night award after you spend $15,000 a year).

Pro-tip: It can take up to 48 hours for your miles to post. So be sure to buy miles at least 2 days before you plan to use them to book a free flight.

Great Ways to Use United Miles

1.  Holiday Travel

Photo courtesy: Caley Dimmock via Unsplash

Holiday travel is just around the corner.

Heck, if you shop at Costco, you’d think the holidays were already here. They’ve got Christmas lights and all the big toys and goodies for the kids out already. And it’s only October….

You can save money when you buy United miles to use for holiday travel.

Airplane tickets are expensive during the holidays. After all, everyone wants to spend time with their loved ones. Or get in a few more trips before the year ends. 🙂

So buying miles and redeeming for free airplane tickets can be cheaper than paying cash for your flight.

2.  Australia or New Zealand

You can use United miles to fly to Australia or New Zealand.

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Bridge
Use United miles to fly to Australia and visit the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Bridge

I absolutely LOVE Australia. Each of my three visits I used American Airlines miles to fly there but you can also use United miles.

It costs 40,000 United miles for a coach ticket on United or 80,000 miles for a Business Class ticket. A one-way coach ticket from Los Angeles costs $1,398 to $3,952.

But you can buy 27,000 miles and get 13,500 bonus miles for a total of 40,500 miles for $945.

That’s a savings of $453 to $3,005!

Pro-tip: There’s still lots of award space to Australia over the holidays.

Remember our winter is their summer. 🙂

Pro-tip: You can use United miles to fly within Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Oceania. For flights of 800 miles or less you only pay 8,000 miles.

3. United Polaris Class

You can get up to a 70% bonus when you buy United Miles. Buying miles and using them to book flights can save you thousands of dollars on airline tickets.

You can redeem 80,000 miles to fly in Business Class in United’s Polaris Class.


When you fly Polaris Class you get special perks like:

  • Free checked bags
  • Premier Access at the airport for check-in and security lanes
  • Free entry to the Polaris Lounge
  • Luxury bedding on the flight from Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Pajamas and slippers

Summary of the Fine Print

  • Up to 70% bonus valid through October 16, 2018 (11:59 pm CT)
  • You can buy up to 88,000 miles during this offer
  • Bonus miles count towards the 150,000-mile annual limit
  • Miles post within 48 hours
  • Bought miles don’t count towards elite status
  • Purchases are nonrefundable


You can get up to a 70% bonus on United miles when you buy points by 11:59 pm CT on October 16, 2018.

There’s a 5,000 point minimum to get the bonus.

If you’re short miles for an award ticket, need extra miles to book holiday travel, or want to upgrade from coach to Business or First Class, now’s a good time to buy miles. Because you can get more miles for less money.

Buying miles is a great way to save money on airline tickets during the holidays. Because it can be cheaper to buy miles and redeem for your flight instead of paying cash for your airline ticket.

Are you buying United miles?

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Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months).
My favorite perks about this card are earning 2X points on travel and dining, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

Debra Schroeder

Debra is a former 12-year travel industry executive and has traveled the world using airline miles and credit card points since 1994. She'll teach you the secrets of traveling well for less.

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