(SUPERB DEAL) Ultra Cheap United MileagePlus Miles!

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Regular readers will know that there are few things we like more than stacking multiple deals together to create massive combined savings. One deal that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while is the current opportunity to effectively purchase United MileagePlus Miles for between 0.84p-1p per Mile.

United Miles can be extremely valuable (I’ll share a few of my favourite redemptions soon), so this could work out very, very nicely!

1) Buy discounted Choice Privileges Points for 0.56-0.65p each

Perhaps not the most obvious start, but bear with me…

Until 12th November 2017, Choice is selling its Privileges Points with a targeted bonus that varies between 30%-50%.

As I’ve written before, Choice Points are very useful in their own right and being able to pick them up (including the bonus) for between 0.56p (0.73 cents) and 0.65p (0.846 cents) per Point is a great deal in itself. What comes next is the really interesting part though…

Massive stackable transfer bonuses to United MileagePlus

Choice Points normally transfer to United MileagePlus at a rate 5,000 Choice Points = 1,000 United Miles, but until 30th November 2017 there’s a 150% bonus, which means 5,000 Choice Points gets you 2,500 United Miles.

That’s a very solid deal, but it actually gets even better!

United is also offering an additional 30% bonus when transferring hotel Points to MileagePlus, which you need to opt in for here. This means that 5,000 Choice Points will actually convert to 3,250 United Miles (2,500 x 130% = 3,250).

The maths

Depending on what level of bonus Choice Privileges has targeted your account with, your eventual cost per United Mile should be (roughly) as follows:

  • 30% bonus =  1p (1.3 cents) per mile
  • 40% bonus = 0.92p (1.2 cents) per mile
  • 50% bonus = 0.84p (1.1 cents) per mile

What that means is that everybody should be able to effectively buy United MileagePlus Miles for ~1p or less, which is an excellent deal.

Things to note

The United 30% bonus maxes out at 25,000 bonus Miles, so don’t transfer more than 165,000 Choice Points if you want to get the very best transfer ratio (you’ll still get 2,500 Miles per 5,000 Points above that level).

For most readers that won’t be be an issue as you can only buy 50,000 Choice Points (not including any bonuses) per year anyway. This means that the maximum number of United Miles you could end up with is between 42,250 – 48,750, depending on what what your particular Choice Privileges bonus is.

The terms state that the “(30%) Bonus Miles will be credited into the member’s account on or before January 30, 2017“. In reality I would expect the bonus Miles to turn up shortly after the regular Miles, but it’s something to be aware of.

Bottom line

Picking up substantial amounts of United Miles can be tricky in the UK. Ordinarily, the best way is to transfer Starpoints (or Amex MR Points via SPG) from SPG to Marriott Rewards and then to United. You can definitely get good value going that way, but it means burning valuable SPG Starpoints that you could otherwise transfer to other high value programmes like Alaska Mileage Plan or JAL Mileage Bank.

Being able to buy United Miles for under 1p is a tremendous deal – if you’re prepared to spend a little bit of time studying how to make the most of them.

I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite United redemptions soon, in the meantime let us know what yours are!

Hat-tip: FrequentMiler


    • Andrew M says

      I’m not an expert on Mileage Plus but a bit of digging reveals gems like 50,000 miles for NE Asia (TYO) to AKL in Business class on Thai with surcharges of £37.50. Availability is good.

      First class has very limited availability but could also be a possibility.

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