United Airlines typically sells its miles for about 3 cents each, but by taking advantage of two promotions from Choice Hotels, it’s possible to bring that down by over half, to 1.18 cents each. Even with recent devaluations to the United MileagePlus loyalty program, that remains a good value for several types of award redemptions, particularly in international business class. (HT to Loyalty Lobby)
Today, November 17, is the last day of an offer to save 30% when you buy points from the Choice Privileges program. You can buy up to 50,000 points each year, which will cost about $385 after the discount.
Once you have the Choice Privileges points, take advantage of another offer to transfer those points to the United MileagePlus loyalty program. Through November 30 you can earn another 30% bonus when you transfer points from Choice to United Airlines. (Registration ins required.) More specifically, you must transfer blocks of 5,000 points and will get 3,250 miles for each block.
All said and done you can buy 50,000 Choice Privileges points for $385 and exchange those for 32,500 United MileagePlus miles, and a final cost of 1.18 cents per mile. Of course, you could also keep your Choice Privileges points and use those for hotel award nights, which are typically around 8,000 points per night.
I’m not sure that I really need more United Airlines miles at this time, since I have a large stash I continue to work through. But I have thought about using this offer with a few accounts owned by family members. This is a good way to keep an account active and prevent any existing miles from expiring, while also topping up the balance to have just enough miles for the next award.