Lending Club Looking for New Retail Investors with the Help of United Airlines


One of my hobbies is playing the mileage and frequent flier points game. I travel a lot, therefore I earn a lot of miles. I also like to maximize my benefits here, so I am always looking for easy ways to earn bonus miles. With that in mind, an email I received today from United Airlines piqued my interest.

It was a promotion for Lending Club. Basically, you can earn up to 100,000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles for opening and funding a new account at Lending Club. The minimum investment is $2,500 and that will earn you 1,250 miles, so basically you are earning 0.5 miles per dollar invested up to a maximum $200,000 investment.

Now, this is only open to new investors so people like myself will be unable to take advantage of this offer unfortunately. Here is some of the fine print from the email:

Upon the transfer and investment of the first $2,500 of New Funds, a new investor will qualify to receive 1,250 miles. For every dollar of New Funds transferred and invested in excess of $2,500, a new investor will qualify to receive .5 miles, up to a maximum aggregate bonus of 100,000 miles per calendar year. One bonus per United MileagePlus® account for new investor registration (investors will be eligible for future offers, if any, once they become existing investors). Offer expires on or before October 12, 2019. Offer not valid for non-taxable IRA accounts. Notes on Lending Club platform may have limited inventory or availability and Investor ability to invest in Notes is subject to Note inventory and availability on Lending Club platform.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this campaign. If you have not received the email you should be able to go to this link to sign up for a new Lending Club account and get the bonus miles. The first thing you must do is enter your MileagePlus number in order to get credit for the miles. Then you walk through the typical investor signup process that happens to be co-branded with United MileagePlus.

Lending Club Continues to Reach Out to Retail Investors

I have seen borrower offers before where you can earn frequent flier miles for taking out a loan (Prosper ran one a couple of years ago) but this is the first time I have seen an effort like this targeting investors.

What this email tells me more than anything is that Lending Club is focused on adding new retail investors. And they are putting some real dollars into this effort. I don’t know what the cost per mile is to Lending Club but it likely isn’t cheap. Lending Club has shared that they have more than 135,000 retail investor accounts, they will likely add to that number with this promotion.

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Oct. 19, 2016 5:29 pm

Peter, it is very rude and inconsiderate of you to not to reply my question from recent blog. To think I gave you my hard earned money to take your online course few years ago

“ali says
October 15, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Peter, I have an off topic question for you. If/ when will LC offer small business or real estate loans to retail investors. secondly, any opinion concerning recent LC changes concerning intrest rate changes for riskier loans and what seem to be potentially more aggressive collection efforts from defaulted loans
Thank you”

Kelly Bianucci
Kelly Bianucci
Oct. 19, 2016 7:01 pm

United miles are valued at about 1.5 cents per mile. At that valuation, that new retail investor putting $2,500 into an LC account will get ~$18.75 in United mileage value. One would have to invest $50K to get enough miles to earn United’s cheapest award r/t ticket.

Interesting tactic, but I question whether it’s enticing enough to attract new retail investors. The small-volume investors aren’t getting enough benefit and many of the larger ones won’t be drawn in by a restricted domestic, economy class ticket…

(Valuation source: https://thepointsguy.com/2016/10/october-2016-monthly-valuations/)

James Levy
James Levy
Oct. 20, 2016 11:06 am

This campaign seems poorly focused from a marketing point of view, and in the context of the sub $5 share price of Lending Club, it smells of desperation. The funds for this campaign would be better spent in finding ways to incentivize investment advisors to recommend Lending Club investing to their clients.

Jan. 3, 2017 11:41 pm

what if i borrow 40,000$ then return that in 1 day – do I still get my 40000 bonus miles?