This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
This morning I got an email from United Airlines offering to sell me the 6,000 elite qualifying miles it thinks I need to get from Premier Gold to Premier Platinum for the rest of 2013 based on my 2012 elite qualifying miles total. The email directs me to go to united.com/2013status by the end of February if I want to purchase any 2012 elite qualifying miles (you can go there to see if you are eligible). I actually am oh-so-close to finally getting some pesky 2012 elite qualifying miles retroactively posted, so I did earn Platinum status already based on my travels last year, but the computer doesn’t know that quite yet.
I think it is great to offer the ability for folks to purchase a few miles to get them up to the next status level after the fact. Of course, it is better to plan accordingly and not hope for a second chance at the 13th hour, but it is still a nice thing for United to offer. They make money, and the customer isn’t stuck a few miles short of the next elite level. According to the email I received, this is a targeted offer and the maximum number of miles you can purchase is 15,000.
However, this convenience doesn’t come without a fat price tag. The price varied some depending on the number of miles you needed to purchase, but it was anywhere from about 17 cents to 34 cents per elite qualifying mile! That is a ton, and goes even higher than what United was selling elite qualifying miles for at the end of 2012. If you want to buy some now for your 2013 totals, the price is much lower in the 10-12 cents per mile range for many….but of course 2013 miles won’t help you with your 2012 totals.
I fortunately don’t actually need to purchase any miles to get to Platinum, but if I were just a tad short I would absolutely buy-up. Did you get this email? Are you going to be taking advantage of their offer?
Here are some terms and conditions related to this offer:
Purchase terms and conditions: 1. Only select members are eligible to participate in this offer. 2. All PQM or PQS purchased under this offer are non-refundable. 3. Offer valid for purchase through February 28, 2013. 4. Must be a MileagePlus member to participate in this offer. 5. Offer allows purchase of a maximum of 15,000 PQM or 15 PQS toward 2012 PQM or PQS balance for 2013 Premier status. MileagePlus members may purchase a maximum of 15,000 PQM in increments of 1,000 PQM or a maximum of 15 PQS in single PQS increments. Purchased PQM or PQS will be posted to the 2012 PQM or PQS balance in the account of the member listed on the purchase page. 6. PQM or PQS purchased through this offer only count toward 2013 Premier status and do not count toward award redemption. 7. Offer cannot be applied to 2013 PQM or PQS balance or 2014 status. 8. All PQM or PQS are sold in U.S dollars through this offer. 9. Premier status is not transferable. 10. Other restrictions apply. 11. Offer and fees subject to change without notice. 12. PQM or PQS purchased through this offer will be posted to the account of the member listed on the purchase page within 5-7 business days of purchase.