Expiration Date – August 15, 2016
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Buy or gift United MileagePlus miles with an added bonus of up to 100% more miles, plus a chance to win 250,000 miles through August 15, 2016. Where will you go with that many miles?
Buy miles by August 15, 2016 and you’ll enjoy a chance to double those miles and you'll be automatically entered into United’s 500,000 miles sweepstakes to win these prizes:
1 Grand prize: 250,000 MileagePlus miles
1 2nd prize: 100,000 MileagePlus miles
3 3rd prizes: 50,000 MileagePlus miles
This sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, who are at least 21 years of age or older at the time of entry. Starts June 27, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. CST and ends August 15, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
AND you’ll also enjoy these bonuses to buy or gift miles:
Buy 5,000 - 19,000 miles, enjoy a 25% bonus
Buy 20,000 - 29,000 miles, enjoy a 50% bonus
Buy 30,000 - 75,000 miles, enjoy a 100% bonus
Miles are available in increments of 1,000 up to a maximum of 75,000 miles. Bonus miles count towards the 150,000 mile annual limit per account. Allow 48 hours for miles to process and post to your MileagePlus account. And purchased miles do not count toward MileagePlus Premier® status.
Without a sale, MileagePlus miles cost 3.76 cents per mile to buy (which includes a 7.5% tax for US residents).
As you know from prior trvlvip Perks and Tips, we believe the value of a United MileagePlus mile is 1.5 cents per mile, which is the value we would be willing to pay for MileagePlus miles if we could buy them for cash. It is also the minimum value we feel you should expect before redeeming your miles.
If you received an offer for a 100% bonus to purchase 30,000+ miles, you will pay 1.88 cents per mile. This is well above what we feel MileagePlus miles are worth at 1.5 cents per mile.
Does it ever make good financial sense to buy or gift MileagePlus miles? Maybe – but typically only in these scenarios:
You plan to purchase miles in order to secure a specific award flight during a discounted award promotion
“Saver Award” space is available (vs. a “Standard Award,” which generally requires more than twice the number of MileagePlus miles)
You plan to secure a Business or First Class award ticket
Here is a quick calculation you can use to determine deal value:
Find an award ticket.
Determine the full price of that ticket if you were to pay cash, including all taxes and fees.
Add to that amount any taxes and fees you will be required to pay on the award ticket.
Divide that amount by the number of miles required.
If the value per mile exceeds the amount you have to pay to buy the miles then you’ve found a good deal and if not, we don’t suggest you buy the miles.
It rarely makes sense to buy or gift miles speculatively as it is an expensive way to acquire miles even with a bonus or discount. Once, you’ve picked a location and your dates and have taken the steps to ensure award availability, make the small effort to crunch the numbers to make sure the mile purchase makes good economic sense - you will be very happy you did!
And at least in this a case you could win up to 250,000 miles!
Click here for United’s award charts, to review award availability and to book award travel.
A great alternative to transferring miles or purchasing miles to gift to another person is to book them an award ticket using your miles. That is a much more economical choice.
Want to look a bit deeper into the option to purchase, gift or share miles with or without a bonus offer and the opportunity to acquire miles using the United MileagePlus Award Accelerator when purchasing a flight? See our great tip: United - Pros & Cons of Buying and Gifting Miles.
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