United Airlines is targeting some customers with bonus miles after they reach certain spending thresholds. These are tiered offers that provide more miles the more you spend. In my case, I can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000. (Actual spending will be a little higher since only the base fare is eligible, not taxes and fees.)
Visit the offer page to see if your account has been targeted. My wife’s account was not eligible, though she also doesn’t have elite status. I don’t know what criteria are being used to target customers.
Here’s how my offer breaks down:
- 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000
- 15,000 additional bonus miles after spending $1,500 (cumulative)
- 25,000 additional bonus miles after spending $3,000 (cumulative)
While the MileagePlus program has seen devaluations in recent years, I still think there are plenty of opportunities to get good value from redeeming miles on United and their partners. Plus I like the ability to book a stopover on round-trip itineraries and pay no fuel surcharges on any awards. That’s why I still place a value of about 2 cents per United mile. Others set the bar lower, around 1.7 cents.
At 2 cents per mile, 50,000 miles would be worth about $1,000. That’s like getting a third of my money back after spending $3,000 on regular paid tickets. I’ll also earn more redeemable miles and credit toward elite status with those paid fares.
The terms and conditions state that I must register before booking, and that all travel must be completed by November 30, 2016. My only disappointment is that existing fares aren’t eligible, as I just spent about $1,000 on tickets to visit in-laws in Amarillo. However, the spending threshold is low enough and the eligibility period is long enough that I still think I will be able to earn all 50,000 miles.
Terms & Conditions
For this promotion, only dollars spent on the “fare” on eligible flights operated by United and United Express will qualify toward meeting spending milestones. Certain specialty tickets, including but not limited to unpublished, consolidator/bulk, group, tour and opaque fares, will not be counted towards spending milestones. Dollars spent on tickets purchased for flights operated by a Star Alliance member airline or a MileagePlus partner airline with tickets issued by United (ticket number starting with “016”) will not qualify for this offer. The “fare” is the base fare of the ticket plus carrier-imposed surcharges, excluding any government-imposed taxes and surcharges. For tickets purchased in a currency other than U.S. dollars, we will convert the purchase to U.S. dollars using an industry-standard exchange rate. Please note that the price displayed when purchasing a ticket on united.com includes up to a 7.5% U.S. Federal Transportation Tax on the base amount of the fare on itineraries wholly within the United States. This tax also applies to certain itineraries between the United States and Canada or Mexico. The U.S. Federal Transportation tax will not count toward meeting any spending milestone.