Buying United Miles

If you're short on United Miles, you can buy them and top off your account. Calculate the cost of buying miles and get the details on how to buy them.
Updated 2020-12-24 By Robert Flowers III

Buying United Miles is can be a great backup option if you're unable to aquire the additional miles you need by transferring points from partners. The typical reason for buying miles will usually be to top off your account, but there can be reasons to buy a large amount of United Miles as well if you have a superb redemption lined up.

Cost To Buy United Miles

At the standard rate, United Miles costs 3.5 cents per mile. This is a flat rate cost and it doesn't matter how many miles you buy.

Buying United Miles
United Miles Cost
Cost Per Miles
2,000 - 120,000 Miles 3.5 Cents
3.762 Cents w/ Taxes

You can buy as little as 2,000 miles for $70 and as many as 87,000 miles for $3,045 in a single transaction. You can buy up to a total of 175,000 United Miles per calendar year which would cost a grand total of $6,125 at the standard rate.

Details On Buying United Miles
Base Cost Per Mile 3.5 Cents
Taxes? No for U.S. residents. GST/HST is charged to Canadian residents.
Min Purchase Per Transaction 2,000 Miles
Max Purchase Per Transaction 87,000 Miles
Max Miles Per Calendar Year 175,000 Miles
Purchase Increments 1,000-point increments

Do note that buying United Miles do not count towards elite status requirements.

United Buy Miles Calculator

If you're looking to buy United Miles at the standard rate, the calculator below can give you an idea of how much buying miles may cost you. Do note that the cost of United Miles can change at any time, so you'll want to log into your United MileagePlus account and check their Buy Miles page to see the actual cost.

Buy United Miles Calculator

Enter how many United Miles you want to buy to see the estimate cost at the standard rate.
Total Cost
3.5 Cents Each

When To Buy United Miles

The best reason for buying United Miles is to top off your account in the case that you're a few miles short of a redemption. Before buying miles though, you'll want to check to make sure that it you don't have points with partner programs that you could transfer to United which would be the free option.

Another reason to buy United Miles is if you've found a fantastic redemption in which you can redeem the miles for more than what you paid for them. For example, if you found that a business class flight redemption was giving your 5 cents in value, buying enough miles at 3.5 cents each to redeem them for the higher price would be worth it.

United offering a 100% bonus miles promotion which is equal to buying miles for 1.75 cents each.

The best time to buy United Miles will typically be during their 'Buy Miles' sales. These sales allow you to buy United Miles at a fraction of the cost which can provide more opporunties for you to actually benefit from buying them.

How To Buy United Miles

  1. Head over to United's Buy Miles page.
  2. Log into your United MileagePlus account.
  3. Select how many United Miles you want to buy.
  4. Enter your payment information.
  5. Review the purchase details and agree to the terms and conditions.
  6. Click Purchase Now.

United Miles will usually post to your account immediately, but it can take up to 48 hours.

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