My United Mileplay Run

Yes, the title is definitely a play on the mileage run, but using United’s regular Mileplay promotion. United’s Mileplay is a promotion they run about every quarter that seems to involve a random number generator saying that if you fly x number of flights, each with a value of y, you will receive z miles. I have received this promotion for about the last two years. Usually, these promotions don’t correspond to my status or frequency of flying United, as opposed to some other carrier. For the record, I am a United Million Miler, which makes me Lifetime Gold, but I manager United Platinum for 2019.

The one for the summer (for me) was fly two flights with a pre-tax value of $225, I would receive 2,500 miles. Obviously, I didn’t do anything special for that, but happened to have two flights and got the 2,500 miles. Big whoop. However, the one I received in August was quite different.

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Hmm, very tempted by 34,000 miles, but 5 times at a fare of $225 or better is kind of a lot in my world. Keeping in mind that I must use GSA City Pairs therefore don’t get to choose my carrier. However, I went ahead and used United for my carrier for a planned weekend in Tampa for October. Then, I got an unexpected work flight on United that exceeded the $225 PQD requirement in Sept. OK, so that meant I would be 3/5th of the way there. I could do a mileage run, but would need to spend $225+taxes on each leg. Meaning about a $500 spend to get 34,000 miles. That’s 1.47 CPM. If you value UA miles at 1.6 cents each, that’s not really a deal.

Then I got another unexpected business flight in mid-Oct. OK, to get 34,0000 miles for one more flight of $225 PQD, now the math worked out. Totally worth it to spend a day to take a flight for $225. I started looking for a RT flight that was simple and got me the required spend. Even at a total price of $320, this seemed like a good deal. Basically getting UA miles at about 1 cpm.

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Flying out of Washington, going up to EWR seemed an obvious choice. Here was a RT for $268 PQD, close enough.

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United marketing was really pushing me to make this last trip. Hard to resist their logic of completing one more trip.

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I booked and ended up spending last Sunday on a plane. Thankfully, UA Clubs keep me fed and entertained. I also indulged myself by booking at United’s EWR restaurant Classified. Not a bad day spending it in the air or at the lounge. Then Tuesday getting the message:

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Cool! And the miles were in my account the next day. This is the first time that Mileplay has tempted me to do a mileage run just to meet their requirements. Often the reward is not worth it, but I happened into a scenario of a high reward with little effort on my side. Glad it worked out this time. I know a lot of people find that the requirements do not match the reward for Mileplay, but do any of you have success stories with Mileplay?




  1. Good work ! I would have done the same. My offer was for only 2500 miles, but unfortunately I didn’t have any travel planned and the numbers for an avgeek day of mileage run flying didn’t add up.

  2. I signed up for mileplay for the first time this quarter. 1 flight for 7,200 miles. Had to fly anyway, so obviously worth it!

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