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Two fantastic opportunities to earn bonus miles at two major airlines, are ending this week. Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are currently running promotions that allow members to earn bonus miles when purchasing miles. For a few more days, members of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan and United Airlines’ MileagePlus programs will receive bonus miles when purchasing miles.

The College Points doesn’t always recommend buying miles. However, in the case of Alaska Airlines’ and United Airlines’ current bonus miles promotion, buying miles to top off your account balance is a great idea. Here are the details for each program’s promotions.

Earn Bonus United MileagePlus Miles through May 29th

Now through May 29th, United MileagePlus members can earn up to 65% bonus miles when purchasing MileagePlus miles. To receive bonus miles when purchasing miles, a minimum of 20,000 miles must be purchased.

Here’s a breakdown of how many miles MileagePlus members can earn through May 29th:

  • 2,000 to 19,000 miles: No Bonus
  • 20,000 to 106,000 miles: 65% Bonus Miles

If you were to purchase 106,000 miles, you would earn an additional 68,900 miles. 106,000 is the most miles that can be purchased in a single transaction and would cost you a whopping $3,710.00. However, 174,900 miles at a price of $3,710,00 means that each mile purchased costs just 0.02 each.

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing United MileagePlus miles. United MileagePlus miles can purchase up to 175,000 miles in a calendar year. Bonus mileage earned through this promotion counts towards this limit. All purchases are nonrefundable. Finally, to take advantage of this promotion, miles must be purchased by 11:59 PM (central time) on May 29th, 2020.

bonus united miles may 2020
Earn up to 65% bonus miles when you buy United Airlines MileagePlus miles through May 29th. (Image via United.com)

Earn Bonus Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles through May 31st

Alaska Airlines is running a similar promotion. Now through May 31st, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn up to 60% bonus miles when purchasing Mileage Plan miles. Each member’s bonus varies. However, all members will receive a bonus on all purchases of 10,000 or more miles.

Here’s a breakdown of how many Mileage Plan miles members can earn should they be targeted to receive 60% bonus miles through May 31st:

  • 10,000 to 19,000 miles: 20% Bonus Miles
  • 20,000 to 39,000 miles: 40% Bonus Miles
  • 40,000 to 100,000 miles: 60% Bonus Miles

If you were to purchase 100,000 miles, you would receive 60,000 bonus miles. 100,000 miles costs $2,750.00. However, with Alaska Airlines’ current promotion, members would earn 160,000 miles for $2,750.00 meaning each miles costs just under 0.02 each (~0.017 per mile).

To take advantage of this promotion, miles must be purchased by 11:59 PM (Pacific time) May 31st, 2020. Alaska Airlines allows non-elite Mileage Plan members to purchase a maximum of 150,000 miles in a calendar year. MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members do not have a limited on how many miles they can purchase in a calendar year. Bonus miles earned as part of this promotion count towards the 150,000 mile limit for non-elite Mileage Plan members.

Earn up to 60% bonus miles when you buy Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles through May 31st. (Image via AlaskaAir.com)

The Bottom Line

With travelers having been grounded these past few months, airlines are eager to re-welcome passengers. One way airlines are encouraging travelers to take the skies is through fantastic deals and promotions. One common promotion airlines are using is awarding bonus miles or points to members who purchase miles or points. Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are running promotions that end May 31st and May 29th, respectively. These promotions allow members to earn thousands of bonus miles without leaving their homes. Additionally, should you purchase miles, neither Alaska Airlines nor United Airlines miles expire.


Featured image by Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

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