Easier point alchemy via Choice (buy United miles for 1.1 to 1.3 cents each)

This morning I posted a convoluted way to buy United miles for 1.15 cents each.  In the comments of that post, reader T suggested a much easier approach to buy United miles for 1.1 to 1.3 cents each (depending on which offer you are targeted for).  Here are the details:

Through November 12, Choice Privileges is offering a mystery bonus on purchased points.  You may get a 30%, 40%, or 50% bonus.  Click here to view your offer.

The usual price for 10,000 points is $110 (1.1 cents per point).  We can then derive the cost per point with each bonus:

  • 30% bonus: $55 / 6,500 points = 0.85 cents per point
  • 40% bonus: $55 / 7,000 points = 0.79 cents per point
  • 50% bonus: $55 / 7,500 points = 0.73 cents per point

Let’s now tack on the current United Airlines hotel to miles transfer bonus promo (details here).  With that promo (don’t forget to register!), you can transfer 5,000 Choice points into 3,250 United miles.  2,500 of these miles are a temporary new rate (usually you only get 1,000 miles) and the rest are from the United 30% transfer bonus.  The 30% transfer bonus is limited to 25,000 miles, so unless you are doing other transfers during this promo, you can transfer up to 165,000 Choice points at this favorable ratio.

The Choice promo combined with the United promo lead to the following opportunities to buy United miles indirectly via Choice:

  • 30% bonus: $550 for 65,000 Choice points -> convert to 42,250 United miles = 1.3 cents per mile
  • 40% bonus: $550 for 70,000 Choice points -> convert to 45,500 United miles = 1.2 cents per mile
  • 50% bonus: $550 for 75,000 Choice points -> convert to 48,750 United miles = 1.1 cents per mile

Step by Step

Here’s how to buy United miles for 1.1 to 1.3 cents per mile:

1. Register for the United transfer bonus

Click here to register.

2. Buy Choice Points at a discount by November 12th

Click here to view your bonus offer and to buy points.  Note: You may be able to earn 2.5% cash back by buying at Points.com through TopCashBack.

3. Convert Choice Points by November 23rd

Here’s the Choice Privileges landing page for converting points to miles.  Choice’s FAQ states that transfers can take “up to 5 business days for your transactions to process.”  Since the United 30% transfer bonus ends on November 30th, I recommend transferring Choice points by November 23rd in order to be certain that your transfer will qualify for the extra bonus.

For ideas of how to use those miles, see my earlier post: Point alchemy: Turn pennies into United miles (Buy miles for 1.15 cents each).

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. […] This morning I posted a convoluted way to buy United miles for 1.15 cents each. In the comments of that post, reader T suggested a much easier approach to buy United miles for 1.1 to 1.3 cents each (depending on which offer you are targeted for). Here are the details: Through November 12, Choice Privileges is offering a mystery bonus on purchased points. You may get a 30%, 40%, or 50% bonus. LEARN MORE! […]

Comments

  1. “You can transfer up to 165,000 Choice points at this favorable ratio.”

    That’s right, but if you continue you will still get 2500 miles for 5000 points. Just the 30% bonus is completed 😉

  2. Yes, the math is correct.
    I’ve pitched same idea/numbers to Doctor of Credit couple of weeks ago in hopes for them to post it before UA deval, but they did not.
    For me 1.3cpp is on borderline for United miles, but for someone who is looking to top-up account and redeem fast for business/first class – this is one of the best purchase opportunities this year.

    With Chase tightened rules United miles are becoming harder to come by. Looks like United has lower number award redemptions in 3rd quarter, so they sweetening up the deal in various ways: from 30% transfer bonuses to increased car rental bunuses, and opening more seats as well at the same time. Good for consumers. AA started doing the similar, and hopefully they improve customer experience as well. I predict next big bonuses will come from Alaska Airlines – the pressure is there… Time will tell.

  3. Purchased Choice Privileges points posted in 24 hours … scratch the previous question!

    @Greg, I attempted transferring the 65K purchased points but I’m only getting 32,500 UA miles instead of the 42,250. Are the bonus points posting later?

    Thank you

  4. Do this ua miles count in any way as a PQM ?
    Can this miles help you with your status achievement?
    With all my Christmas and new year flying I might be about 2000 short to get to gold.

  5. This 30% promo from United seems very worrisome. I had a question about transferring Club Carlson. I called Club Carlson and they said call United. United said call Club Carlson.

    January 30 is a few months away, I could visualize getting into a situation where the bonus points never materialize and no one has any incentive to resolve it.

  6. Ugh. Why is it telling me “email address is already in use” – I’ve added United to my Choice profile. Hate these ridiculous issues that creep up.

  7. Update: It’s doing this no matter which airline I attempt to register in the transfer landing page. Sigh. I’ll have to call when I have time.

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