United fans, take note: You can get some serious bonus miles in the coming weeks by booking a cruise.
Starting Wednesday, United Cruises offers customers with MileagePlus credit cards up to 10 United MileagePlus miles for every dollar spent on a cruise. That’s up from the normal offer of up to 7 miles for every dollar spent.
United Cruises also has raised the maximum number of miles that a customer can earn by booking a cruise with a MileagePlus credit card from 45,000 miles to 60,000 miles.
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So, if you spend $6,000 on a cruise during this promotion, you can earn 60,000 miles.
That’s a decent number of United MileagePlus miles. TPG currently values United MileagePlus miles at 1.21 cents each, meaning that 60,000 miles would be worth $726 at our valuation.
Even if you don’t have a MileagePlus credit card, you still can earn miles at an elevated rate.
As part of the promotion, United Cruises is also upping the miles-earning potential for customers without MileagePlus credit cards. Starting Wednesday, they can earn up to 6 miles for every dollar spent on a cruise. That’s up from up to 4 miles for every dollar spent.
United Cruises also raised the maximum number of miles that a customer without a MileagePlus credit card can earn by booking a cruise from 25,000 miles to 45,000 miles.
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In addition, United Cruises is waiving the deposit requirement for customers who book a cruise by Friday for cruises that require deposits of up to $500.
Note that you must act fast to get the bonus miles. The accelerated mileage offer is only available through March 31. It applies to new bookings for cruises scheduled to take place between March 16, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2024.
Details of the bonus mile offer
The bonus mile offer is aimed at customers who book a balcony cabin or suite (the two types of cabins that account for the majority of cabins on many ships). Specifically, customers with MileagePlus credit cards will get:
- 10 miles per dollar spent on balcony cabins or suites, up from 7 miles per dollar spent.
- 4 miles per dollar spent on all other cabins, the same as before.
Customers without MileagePlus credit cards will get:
- 6 miles per dollar spent on balcony cabins or suites, up from 4 miles per dollar spent.
- 2 miles per dollar spent on all other cabins, the same as before.
Among the caveats: Bonus miles are earned per cabin and are awarded to only one passenger per cruise booking. In addition, to qualify, customers must book through the United Cruises program.
Also, the number of miles that customers earn as part of the promotion is based on the total cruise purchase price, excluding port charges, port expenses and taxes.
The offer is “subject to availability, capacity-controlled, and may be changed or withdrawn at any time without notice,” according to the fine print. Miles will post to MileagePlus accounts six to eight weeks after the cruise is completed, according to United Cruises.
Which credit card should I use to book?
You can maximize your purchase by using a United MileagePlus credit card, such as the United Club Infinite Card, which earns 2 miles per dollar spent on cruises. This card is currently offering 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
If you don’t have a United card, it’s best to use a card that earns bonus points on cruises. A good option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel, including cruises. Right now, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
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