New United Mile Play offer: check if you’re targeted (travel by 9/30/21)

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The latest United Mile Play promotion has been released, whereby you can earn bonus miles for completing a minimum number of trips. These offers are targeted and likely vary significantly. A couple of years ago, Nick had one incredibly generous offer (he needed to book 3 trips of $250 or more to earn 23,000 bonus miles).

This time around, my offer is just as generous as Nick’s was on a bonus miles per dollar basis, but only requires one flight rather than three, although the number of bonus miles awarded is lower as a result. See the key tip under “Quick Thoughts” for how to make sure you maximize this promo and see the link under “The Deal” to easily check your offer online.

United Mile Play

The Deal

Key Details

  • Must register prior to booking
  • Must complete travel by September 30, 2021
  • See below for full tips and details

Quick Thoughts

This time around, my offer is to book one trip and travel by September 30, 2021 and I’ll get 9,400 bonus miles. During previous promotions, Nick had offers to earn 22,000 miles, 5,600 miles, or 2,500 miles — offers really range. A few things to know about the Mile Play promotion:

  1. You must register prior to booking. You can easily register in the United app. Just make sure you are logged in and you should see your Mile Play offer (if you have one) on the “home” screen of the app.
  2. Prior bookings do not count. As noted in #1 above, you must register prior to booking.
  3. A “trip” does not have to be round trip. That means that I could simply book a one-way $300 flight to earn the bonus miles.
  4. Check the terms for minimum fare. My offer requires a minimum fare of $300. The spend requirement likely differs depending on your targeted offer, but note that for my offer the fare must be a minimum of $300 prior to taxes. Last year, Nick wrote about how he managed to snag a fare that was almost exactly the right price by forcing United to show him a specific fare class. If you’re looking at trips where your fare is just a little too low to trigger the offer, you’ll want to read that post to see how you can make it work.
  5. Using a bump voucher counts as booking a paid fare. This will be obvious to those who regularly get bumped, but for those who have less experience with vouchers, it’s worth noting that when you use a bump voucher to book, you get credit as if it were a fare you paid with your money. A couple of years ago, Nick booked a couple of his flights with bump vouchers and even got bumped again and received a bump voucher on one of the trips he took to trigger the Mile Play offer. Neither using nor receiving a bump voucher will disqualify your trip.
  6. Must travel on United and United Express to qualify. Flights on Star Alliance partners do not count.
  7. Activity posts pretty quickly. The last time around, Nick’s qualifying flights credited 2-3 days after he flew. Once he completed all activities, his Mile Play bonus miles posted within a week of his last flight (despite the terms indicating that the miles would post after the promotion end date).

The usefulness of this offer will totally depend on the terms of your offer and your upcoming travel plans. In my case, I’m not going to be traveling anywhere in the next couple of months where I’d want to spend $300 on a ticket, so I’ll be giving this a miss. That’s a bit of a shame though because earning 9,400 bonus miles on a $300 (pre-taxes and fees) ticket means I’d be earning 31.33 MileagePlus miles per dollar. That’s a great return, especially seeing as it’s on top of the miles I’d already be earning.

What kind of offer did you receive?

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