This new website allows you to redeem 10,000 United miles for 100 song downloads or 10 album downloads. At a rough rule of $1 a song, this deal translates into a value of one cent a mile — hardly the best use of miles, but also about average for mileage-to-merchandise redemption opportunities. And it could certainly be a good use for acounts with either stray mileage or an abundance of miles (after all, how many first class flights to Hong Kong or Sydney can one person take?).
The partnership also provides 2 miles per dollar spent on music downloads when paying with the United Visa instead of the usual one mile per dollar on standard purchases (but only on purchases of $20 or more).
The mileage cost per song is about where I would have expected it to be, though I would have liked to see more options for fewer songs and fewer miles. Perhaps that will come as the site gets off the ground.
The one caveat I’m hearing so far is that the music won’t work on an ipod (or MacOS more generally).