United runs a huge operation out of Newark, and I’m always price checking their flights against those at LaGuardia and JFK, because honestly, it’s not THAT hard to get to, especially when you take the train. I’ve used United for flights to Burlington, VT and Manchester, NH most recently, and while the planes aren’t huge (I think my wingspan and that of a Commutair Q200 are roughly the same 😉 ), it’s a fast way to get home when the train won’t do.
Forgive the long introduction, as I wanted to set the stage for United’s newest MileagePlus promotion, where they are offering up to 75% extra points when you purchase points. I was only targeted for 50% extra points, but let’s take a look at what that means in terms of purchase cost. Thanks Deals We Like for brining this to our attention!
You can take advantage of this offer through January 23rd, 2017, and can access the promotion here.
In order to get the maximum number of bonus points, I would need to purchase 25,000 United miles, netting me 37,500 miles for $875. That’s like spending 2.3 cents per point, much higher that I value United miles. Unless I needed to top off my account, I would not speculatively buy points at this level.
What if you’re lucky enough to be targeted for the 75% bonus points? That math is as follows: 25,000 * 1.75 = 43,750 points for $875. That works out to 2 cents per point, closer to my “buy” threshold, but still too expensive.
My recommendation would be to avoid this opportunity, unless you need to top up your balance in order to make a redemption.