100% Bonus On United Miles Purchases – And How To Get Big Value From It

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United Mileage Plus are offering a 100% bonus on United Miles purchases until 15th August (Monday!).

united bonus miles

The bonus is tiered and you need to buy at least 30,000 miles to get the full 100% bonus.

  • Buy 5,000 – 19,000 miles get a 25% bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 29,000 miles get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 30,000 – 75,000 miles get the 100% bonus

The maximum number of Miles you can buy each year is 150,000.

The normal price for United Miles is about 2.9p each (3.76 cents), so if you buy more than 30,000 (60,000 in total when you factor in the bonus), you’re looking at about 1.45p per Mile.

1.45p might sound expensive (and it’s certainly not cheap), but United Miles can be extremely useful, even following the devaluations over the last couple of years. There are certainly circumstances where buying Miles would be a lot cheaper than paying cash for a flight, so I thought I’d highlight a couple of my favourite United redemption sweetspots.

When considering cost, it’s important to note that one of the great things about United Mileage Plus is that they don’t charge any ‘surcharges’ when redeeming Miles, whether on their own flights or any of their partners!

Redemption Sweetspots

Anywhere in Europe to anywhere in the continental USA (including Alaska) or Canada is 57,500 Miles in Business Class each way. If you bought all the Miles, that works out at ~ £834.00, which isn’t bad at all for a one-way to the West Coast or Alaska in Business Class.

Europe to the Middle East (or India) is 45,000 Miles in Business or 60,000 in First Class each way. Trying out Lufthansa First Class for ~£870.00 could be tempting for some.

lufthansa first class
Lufthansa First Class

Europe to Southern Africa (including the Seychelles) is 55,000 Miles one-way, so ~£800.00.

The very best United Miles redemptions can be found a bit further afield.

Japan to Oceania is a remarkable 12,500 in Economy or 30,000 in Business, or ~ £180.00/£435.00. United’s routing rules can be quite flexible too, so that can involve a lot of flying – with 24 hour stopovers on the way. Interestingly, Japan to Australia/New Zealand is 22,500 or 40,000 Miles but you can route to Oceania via Australia/NZ, so…

If you fancy going to South Africa or the Seychelles, get a cheap flight/use Avios to start your redemption in Morocco, and the United Miles required from Northern Africa to Central/Southern Africa each way is just 17,500 Economy or 35,000 in Business ~ £255/£510.

Singapore Airlines Business Class
Use United Miles to fly Singapore Airlines Business Class

Flights between the three Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America regions are 10,000 Miles in Economy and 20,000 in Business each way, so ~ £145/£290. 

Take a look yourself at the Mileage Plus award chart and if you see anything interesting here’s the link to buy Miles.

On a more technical/advanced note, United allow a stopover (for as long as you like, and often in a third region that you might transit between your origin and destination…) when you book a Return journey. They also allow you to make use of open-jaws, so you can see a huge amount of the world for relatively very few Miles if you take the time to research carefully.

If you want to seriously swat up on how to get massive value from United Mileage Plus Miles, check out some of the great posts on the subject by Drew over at the excellent Travel Is Free (genuinely one of my favourite blogs, and a top lad too!).

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