Stack Promos to Purchase United Miles for Just 1.18 Cents Per Mile

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Buying miles and points justifiably isn’t for everyone, but it can make sense if the price is right and you are confident that you will be able to put them to good use. There isn’t an across the board magical price point when you should buy, but in general, l the closer the price gets to 1 cent per traditional airline mile, the more many start to pay attention since it isn’t that challenging to get at least 1.5 – 2 cents in value per redeemed airline mile.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Right now you can stack a couple of limited-time promotions to beef up your United MileagePlus account balance at a much lower than normal rate of just 1.18 cents per mile.

The first half of the two stackable opportunities is a 30% discount on purchased Choice Hotel points from November 13 – 17th, which drops that price to $0.0077 per point. This alone isn’t actually a great deal of a deal as the price for Choice Hotels points in the annual Daily Getaways is typically much better than that, however, the timing with another United promo makes it somewhat interesting if you don’t have any Choice points at the ready.

Let’s say you bought the maximum of 50,000 Choice points for $385 during the 30% discount this week and then wanted to transfer them to United. Normally it is a 2:1 transfer ratio from Choice to United which would mean you get 25,000 United miles for your 50,000 Choice points which would come to 1.54 cents per United mile, which is good, but not as good as it gets with the next portion of the promo.

Via an offer running until November 30, 2017, United will give you 3,250 miles for every 5,000 Choice Privileges points you convert to MileagePlus. Going back to those 50,000 purchased Choice points for $385, that would now get you 32,500 United miles if you register for the United hotel points transfer promo. Please be sure your account can register for this promo before spending money on miles as there are new reports it is acting glitchy and saying some accounts are not eligible.

That drops your per mile price to 1.18 cents per mile, which is about as low as I can remember seeing for United miles, and certainly much cheaper than United would want directly for purchased miles. As a point of comparison, United is currently offering up to 100% bonus on purchased miles and even with that promo, the price only goes down to 1.88 cents per mile.

At 1.18 cents per point, a 60,000 mile saver business class award to Europe would cost you $708, which is certainly cheaper than purchasing that ticket outright, though of course still not the right deal for everyone. Closer to home, it costs my family 10,000 United miles each way to fly to Wichita to visit Josh’s parents, which at $118 via a 1.18 cent per mile cost, it is much better than the average $450 – $500 round trip price that the flight sells for with cash.

Will your family be able to stack these promos to score discounted United miles?

Thanks to One Mile at a Time for spotting these stackable promos!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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  1. Hi Mommypoints,
    Great post. Two questions. Do I have to be a member of Choice for some time before I can buy points? Also the Choice site says it takes 2-6 weeks for miles to be credited to a frequent flyer account. Has that been your experience (sure seems like a long time!)

    • I think it could very well take a couple of weeks, though closer to two than six. I would move on this sooner rather than later to stack the promos.

  2. Those saying it is targeted, I think something is going on with the promo. I can’t say whether it is a temporary glitch or they have made it targeted or what, but it was working fine for me the other day and now it gives me the same not eligible message.

    For anyone else, please be sure to register for the promo before spending any money on points. As a bright side, the current 2:1 transfer ratio to United is still much better than normal even without the extra promo so you are still getting a decent deal, but not nearly as good as it should be. Hopefully, it is a temporary glitch.
    I’ll add a warning to the top of the post in the interim so thanks for the heads up!!

    • Yeah, super annoying… I tried a couple of days back and the promo worked for me.
      I bought the points, they just posted and now it is only offering me 25k…
      Should I wait before I make the transfer or should I go ahead and then contact United to get the additional miles?
      Thanks!

      • Well, the United bonus about the 50k for 25k wouldn’t be via Choice or immediate, so frankly I would go for it at this point and then follow-up with United. I think the terms say it can take 4-6 weeks for the bonus miles to post, but hopefully it is sooner.

        • Thanks! You are right: I just read the T&C and it states the following:

          Choice Privileges – During the Promotional Period, Choice Privileges will allow their members to convert Choice Privileges points to MileagePlus award miles at a ratio of 5,000 Choice Privileges points to 2,500 MileagePlus award miles (instead of 5,000 points-to-1,000 miles). The increased conversion ratio shall be provided by Choice Privileges, and MileagePlus shall have no liability for such conversion offer. The award miles earned as a result of such a transfer will be eligible for a 30% bonus, if all other offer terms are met. For example, 5,000 Choice Privileges points would convert to 3,250 award miles if both the increased conversion ratio (resulting in 2,500 miles) and 30% bonus (resulting in 750 miles) are applicable.

          Essentially the extra 30% is United’s responsibility, not Choice’s, so I will follow up with them if I don’t get it since I had successfully signed up for the deal 2 days back.

          I had no idea that the regular transfer rate is 5 to 1, that is such a dismal rate!!!

        • it says the bonus will post by january 30, so it could be a while. but even without the bonus it seems to be a decent deal: 1.56 cents (hope i haven’t missed something because i already bought)

  3. Has anyone able to transfer the points to UA?
    The rewards-exchange-partners page is not showing up. The page is blank.
    I’ve been trying since last night.

    • Nevermind. The page was not showing up because I’ve been using Chrome. I switched to Explorer and the page pops up fine. I was able to transfer the 50k points to UA for 25k miles. I tried to register for this promo on Tuesday 11/14 and it stated that I’d registred for the promo on 10/20 so I went ahead and purchased the 50k Choice points. Like others commented here, I checked the promo page yesterday and it stated that my account is not eligible. I’m hoping that I will get the transfer bonus points.

  4. Hey everyone! The promo page is up and running again!

    And apparently it did recognize the fact that I had originally signed up 3 days ago.

    This time I shot a video of me registering, just in case!

  5. Thanks for flagging this. I had about 27,000 Choice Points hanging out in my account that I wasn’t sure I’d ever use (we used the CC sign up bonus for a couple nights at a lovely hotel in Ireland last summer). Now I’ve managed to extract more value from them by moving them to United through this bonus. And I’m much more likely to use United miles than Choice Points.

  6. An additional thought on this is that you could move Amex Membership Reward points to Choice at 1:1 and get 3250 per 5000. Not a great deal but if you’re REALLY wanting to use them this way it’s a good opportunity to do so.

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