United has launched a flash mileage sale which lasts through to the end of the day on 16 September and as the sale is offering the highest bonus we generally see United publish, and as United has increased the number of miles you can buy to 225,000 (from 175,000), this may be one of the better times to top up an account if the math works for you.
United is back with another mileage sale in which it's offering MileagePlus members a "mystery bonus". The last such sale ran through the middle of July and offered targeted bonuses of up to 100% and, a little surprisingly, this latest sale appears to be offering MileagePlus members the same kind of deal. For the second month running, I've been targeted for a 100% bonus and I can't remember the last time that happened. There's a strong chance that it has never happened before.
Right now, United Airlines isn't running a mileage sale but that doesn't mean that you can't buy miles at a big discount to what the airline is currently charging. In fact, it's currently possible to generate up to 72,000 United Miles at a cost of just 1.86 cents each and, possibly more importantly, you can generate as few as 4,000 miles at the same cost/mile.
United appears to have chosen a moment in time where it thinks that its customers aren't watching to push through a subtle (yet very real) devaluation to its MileagePlus loyalty program - a program that had already been significantly devalued since the beginning of this year.
Right now United is trying to bring in some cash by hawking discounted miles on the open market and it's trying to make the sale interesting by offering MileagePlus members a mystery deal. Newsflash - this a terrible, terrible sale.
United is the second of the three big US carriers to announce measures aimed at placating its frequent flyers (Delta announced its measures yesterday) and the airline is going further than simply extending status for all that currently hold it – there are changes to this year’s elite status requirements, it will be easier to earn status through credit card spending and numerous flyer benefits will no longer expire this year.
Considering that it's Black Friday it's a little surprising to see that only three of the major airlines are running mileage sales today but, on the positive side, two of the three airlines are offering the best rates we've seen them offer this year and the third is only a little way behind.
United has completely overhauled the way Premier status is earned and has increased the spending thresholds for each status level too but, despite its best efforts to shift MileagePlus towards being a revenue reward program, the airline hasn't actually managed to prevent the distance travelers fly from having a significant effect on the status they can earn.
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Earlier this week I wrote about a great way to generate "cheap" miles with which you can then book American Airlines premium awards at a very good rate (assuming you can find the awards you need), and now it looks like it's possible to do something similar with United MileagePlus.