40% Discount on Purchased United Miles

Through February 17 United is offering up to a 40% discount on purchased miles.

Buy 15,000 to 39,000 miles and receive a 25% discount, or buy 40,000 miles or more for a 40% discount.

United now allows the purchase of up to 150,000 miles per year.

But would you want to at this price?

You’ll still pay 2.26 cents per mile all-in with the 40% discount (requiring you to buy at least 40,000 miles). And while that would have been a little high — I’d not really have wanted to buy miles above 2 cents, though this is as low a price as United directly sells miles for — in a post-devaluation MileagePlus world I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where I’d be buying 40,000 United miles, enough to get the price down to that point.

Unless of course I was based in Central Asia or looking to book first class award tickets from Beijing to Sydney.

I consider the US Airways and the Alaska purchase miles bonuses to be superior to this one.

Purchased United miles don’t post instantly, they take about a day but the terms say they can take 48 hours. The transactions are handled directly by United, rather than a third party like Points.com, so at least they should earn any bonuses for airline transactions that your payment card may offer.

(HT: NotiFlyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, I agree this isn’t usually a financially astute offer. But for those of us who got a deal on a recent TATL booking, the extra $452- for 20K miles is a cheap one-way upgrade to J class. For $900 plus the original XXX I paid, I have a r/t J class tix for the same price I would have paid for an average coach seat. Not a killer deal, but not a bad one, either.

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