Update: United MileagePlus Buy Miles Bonus Now at 60 Percent

I posted about United’s “People Power†MileagePlus promotion on Tuesday, where members can earn up to a 60 percent bonus on purchased miles depending on how many participate in the program.

More than 1,500 members have bought miles through the dedicated link, so the maximum bonus of 60 percent will apply to everyone. The offer lasts through 11:59 p.m. CT tonight.

a blue airplane with numbers and a blue plane

United People Power promo

This brings the rate to buy miles outright down from 3.76 cents-per-mile (CPM) to 2.35 CPM, and while it’s still more expensive than some other options, such as using Award Accelerator, it’s still a viable option if you’re a few thousand miles away from a planned award redemption.

I say planned because personally, I wouldn’t buy miles in any manner, really, unless I had a specific upcoming trip I was hoping to take using miles; and that I knew I wouldn’t have the needed miles by the time I wanted to book and take the trip.

Participating in promotions like this is a very quick way (miles typically post within 48 hours) to earn needed miles and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it for some people given their situation.

Part of the miles and points game, if you will, is trying to earn the greatest amount of miles at the cheapest possible rate. But in the end, not everyone is as focused on this goal and instead simply find value where they will.

This tweet came across my timeline earlier today:

a screenshot of a social media postAnd I’d have to say the same advice goes for the way you earn miles and points. Wouldn’t you?

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.


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  1. Why do you still think this is a smart/viable move? As you note, it is cheaper to buy them via other means. And the accelerator option allows for smaller size purchases.

    Doing what you want with your points (or your money or whatever else) is certainly everyone’s prerogative. But it seems strange to me to recommend that someone pay extra if they want to.

    • @Wandering Aramean: For some, it’s just a matter of convenience in quickly obtaining relatively cheap miles without going through extra steps (making a booking and using Award Accelerator if they don’t have an upcoming reservation already). As I said, it’s an option for some people. And does Accelerator offer smaller size purchases? I honestly don’t know as I’ve only seen them at several thousand mile increments as an elite vs. being able to top-up 1,000 miles, for example, by purchasing them outright.

  2. I’ve been the (extremely) small minority but I think it’s a great way to obtain miles. I say this because a lot of people DON’T play the miles/points game the same way a lot of “pros” do. Sure, you can think of a hundred different ways to get a better value but some people won’t.

    • @Bruce: You may be in the small minority among “pros,” but you’re definitely not in the grand scheme of things as you mentioned. 😉 This program does offer value for lots of fliers.

  3. Does purchasing the miles with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink change your opinion? Then transfer the U.Reward points earned into United?

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