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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.
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.