Were you targeted for United Mile Play Bonus Miles?

Seemingly completely out of nowhere, I saw an e-mail this afternoon stating “Your exclusive Mile Play offer is waiting”

United Mile Play Invitation

United Mile Play Invitation

Here I am thinking its going to be some game, or convoluted multi-tier promotion like American AAdvantage put out last month.

What I was instead met with was surprisingly simple! 

United Mile Play

Book and take a single trip in United Economy where the purchased fare is at least $275, and I can get 8,100 bonus miles. Travel must be completed by 12 January 2018.

If I were to take that at face value, that’d be earning 1,925 miles on the base fare (5x + 2x as a Premier Silver, courtesy of Marriott Platinum status), and 8,100 bonus miles – nearly 30x miles if you can find the right fare!

Mile Play Terms and Conditions

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you must always read the terms and conditions. These are not actually too bad, again, surprisingly. 

Qualifying trip requirements include:

  • Trip (as defined below) booking must be made after registration.
  • All flight activity for applicable Trip must be complete on or prior to January 12, 2018.
  • Each Trip must have a fare (as defined below) equal to or greater than $275.
  • The final fare for the Trip will be used to determine satisfaction of offer requirements, including itinerary changes that result in an increase or decrease to the fare and paid upgrades that result in an increase to the fare.

Now the key here though is what is the definition of a “fare”? United states:

  • For this promotion, only dollars spent on the “fare” on eligible flights operated by United® and United Express® will qualify toward meeting spending milestones. Certain specialty tickets, including but not limited to unpublished, consolidator/bulk, group, tour and opaque fares, will not be counted towards spending milestones. Dollars spent on tickets purchased for flights operated by Star Alliance™ member airline or a United MileagePlus® partner airline with tickets issued by United (ticket number starting with “016”) will not qualify for this offer. The “fare” is the base fare of the ticket plus carrier-imposed surcharges, excluding any government-imposed taxes and surcharges. For tickets purchased in a currency other than U.S. dollars, we will convert the purchase to U.S. dollars using an industry standard exchange rate.Please note that the price displayed when purchasing a ticket on united.com includes up to a 7.5% U.S. Federal Transportation Tax on the base amount of the fare on itineraries wholly within the United States. This tax also applies to certain itineraries between the United States and Canada or Mexico.

That blue part is the important part here. In other words, this isn’t $275 out of pocket. This is $275 after excluding government-imposed taxes and surcharges like the US September 11th Security Fee ($11.20). How does this translate to how much you actually have to pay? Take a look at this $322.40 fare from Washington, DC to Orlando, FL:

United Mile Play

This fare for example looks like it misses that $275 minimum. Looking at Fare 1 and Fare 2, they total $273.49. All the rest of that $322.40? Its still money out of your pocket, but it doesn’t necessarily count for the promotion. 

Bottom Line

Overall, I love seeing nice, simple promotions like this. Find a $275 fare (after excluding any government imposed taxes), on United or United Express operated aircraft, and get yourself 8,100 miles. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to do this one myself, but, it does have me looking to see what United can do for me between now and 12 January!

Did you get an invitation to play the United Mile Play promotion?

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