It is certainly addictive, this miles and points game we play. It is easy to jump on every offer that comes out or to be tempted by offers, at least. But, sometimes, these offers are really not the best ones at all and, in fact, should be avoided.
United Paying Miles for Loans
United Airlines has really been a bit stingy in the last couple of months with offers for earning miles or spending miles. Normally, by this time of the winter, we would have seen some mileage promo for award travel but there has not been anything (yet). Hopefully something like that will come soon!
But, what they are offering is to pay you in miles to borrow money from one of their partners. The “deal” is to give you 1 mile per $1 you borrow from Lending Club. From what I understand, their interest rates run from 8% or so up to 20+%. Even if you were able to get the lowest rate, you are “buying” these miles at 8 cents each! That is really not a good deal at all, for the cost of the miles.
However, I imagine they are targeting customers who need to consolidate or pay off some other, higher interest loans and not the avid miles collectors like us. I guess if you were going to use the Lending Club anyway, might as well get some miles out of it! But as a promotion that would entice others to take advantage of it, it certainly does not work for that (nor do I think United intended it to).
If you really want the miles, you are better off buying them outright at 3.5 cents each. Or, better yet, just buy your tickets and do not redeem miles at all! 🙂