Chase Sapphire Preferred

20 Best Ways to Earn Lots of United MileagePlus Miles [2017]

United Airlines

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United Airlines has some of the best award ticket redemptions and, more importantly, some of the most diverse ways to earn miles of any airlines or points program. The number of ways to earn United MileagePlus miles is a bit overwhelming, but the following is a simplified list.

Using a Chase Ultimate Rewards or United MileagePlus Credit Card

There are 2 ways to earn MileagePlus miles from credit cards, and what you choose depends on where you spend the most money and which sign up bonuses you want:

  1. By earning points in Chase Ultimate Rewards and transferring them to United, which is a transfer partner (this is the best option)
  2. Through a direct branded United Airlines credit card

You can sign up for a free United MileagePlus membership immediately. There’s no need to have a MileagePlus credit card to get started on earning miles because it isn’t a bank-established points program like Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.

Simply head to United.com and sign up! Hold onto your membership number though; you’ll use it frequently to enroll for bonus miles with United’s various partners. Keep an eye on your emails from MileagePlus and on United’s promotions page to view special offers popping up throughout the year.

You are automatically enrolled in Chase Ultimate Rewards once you sign up for one of the six Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards. Note that in order to transfer miles to United as a transfer partner, you must have one of the three travel rewards cards, which will be noted below.

1. Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Collecting Chase points (instead of United points directly) is an excellent strategy because Chase points are very flexible. The flexibility of these points makes them so valuable because they can easily be transferred to several airline and hotel partners, including United which transfers at a ratio of 1:1.

This is far better than collecting United miles (via a United credit card) because you’re restricted on how you can use those miles. Crucially, Chase points are also much easier to earn than United miles directly.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDMORE INFO
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 bonus points
2x pts/$1 on travel and dining
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
Full Review
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
50,000 bonus points
3x pts/$1 on travel and dining
Annual Fee: $450
Full Review
Chase Freedom®
Earn 5% cash back in bonus categories
No annual fee
Full Review
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
No annual fee
Full Review

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDMORE INFO
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardEarn 3 points per $1 in select categories
Annual Fee: $95
Full Review
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardEarn 5% cash back in select business categories
No Annual Fee
Full Review

Chase is the only bank which offers MileagePlus miles-earning credit cards. The cards are branded as Explorer or Club cards and come in both personal and business card form.

The Explorer cards are the only two cards typically offering a sign-up bonus and other immediate sign-up perks. Luckily, all four cards offer ways to earn MileagePlus miles.

Loyalty ProgramCard Name
United Airlines MileagePlus Frequent Flyer ProgramUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Card
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card

Don’t apply too quickly for these cards though; the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card occasionally goes up to a 50,000 miles sign-up offer and the United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card occasionally has a targeted 70,000 miles sign-up offer.

The extra 20,000 miles on each of these is worth the wait!

Luckily, these cards do give you a bonus for adding authorized users to the card; simply add an authorized user to your United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, either personal or business, and you’ll receive an additional 5,000 miles.

The authorized user must make a purchase with the card in the first 3 months of membership in order for you to receive the additional 5,000 miles. There’s also a bonus for referring a friend to apply for any of these cards (see Pro Tips on how below).

This means you have the potential to earn 130,000 points total if you get both the personal and business Explorer cards and add an authorized user to each. That’s great point earnings for only two cards.

Apply for any of the above cards through the links above. If you want to learn more about getting approved for credit cards, check out our post on Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained.

2. United Credit Card Category Bonuses

go-shopping-1435873
Make sure you get your category bonuses for any purchases you make! Categories include travel, dining, department stores, office supply stores, and more.

The United MileagePlus credit cards pack a good punch in terms of category bonus miles for everyday purchases.

CategoryApplicable Credit CardsBonus miles
RestaurantsUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card2x
GasUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card2x
Office Supply StoresUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card2x
All Other PurchasesUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Card1x
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card1.5x
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card1x
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card1.5x

Even the Club cards stand to offer 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all purchases made with the cards. That’s higher than the Explorer cards!

However, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card offers the most miles-earning categories for everyday spending. You’ll get 2x miles for every $1 spent at restaurants, on gas, and on items purchased at office supply stores in addition to 1x miles on all other purchases.

Restaurants are considered any eat-in merchant from fast food to fine dining, excluding food bought within a venue such as a stadium or theme park.

Gas includes any merchants specializing in selling gasoline even if they sell other items. Gas merchants do not include boat marinas, trucks stops, oil and propane distributors and home heating companies.

Office supply stores include small stationary stores and large office supplies stores (e.g., Staples) but exclude stores selling general goods like department stores.

Hot Tip: Some large office supply stores carry gift cards you can use on purchases in other stores. You’ll earn 2x miles for every $1 in spent on these gift cards at the office supply stores. Gift cards usually carry a purchase fee. Weigh the fee expense up against the miles you earn in return to be certain you’ll come out ahead!

The Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have a bit more coverage in bonus categories. By owning a variety of these cards, you can ensure you’re always earning top-notch points for your purchases.

Remember that you need one of the starred cards (“*”) in order to transfer points to United MileagePlus.

CategoryApplicable Credit CardsBonus miles
Office Supply StoresChase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card5x
Cell Phones/LandlinesInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
 Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card5x
Internet/CableInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
 Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card5x
Shipping PurchasesInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
Select AdvertisingInk Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
Gas StationsChase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card2x
 Chase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
RestaurantsChase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card2x
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card*3x
Chase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
HotelsChase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card2x
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card*3x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
All TravelChase Sapphire Preferred® Card*2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card*3x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*3x
Local Commuter TransportationChase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
Grocery StoresChase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
Wholesale ClubsChase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
Department StoresChase Freedom®5x (during quarterly bonus)
All PurchasesChase Freedom Unlimited℠1.5x
All Other PurchasesAll cards except the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠1x

3. Get Your Big Spend Bonus

Check out Upgrade Your Earnings: How to Earn the Most Miles to find out some general tips for earning points/miles.

Both of the MileagePlus Explorer cards offer big spend bonus miles.

Card NameBig Spend Bonus
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card10,000 miles after spending $25,000 in calendar year
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card10,000 miles after spending $25,000 in calendar year

Big spend bonuses are granted when you meet a large spending requirement that does not have to be reached within the first few months of signing up. In the case of the MileagePlus Explorer cards, card holders must reach a minimum of $25,000 within a calendar year to earn an extra 10,000 MileagePlus miles.

Maybe you’re not a big spender, but you may be making some large purchases in the coming months. Plan out your spending accordingly and you might find it easy to meet the minimum spend.

Note that none of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards offer a big spend bonus.

4. Refer-A-Friend for Bonus Miles

Every couple of months or so, Chase runs a limited-time promotion when card holders may refer a friend to apply for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card. The option to send invitations to your friends via e-mail and over Facebook messenger makes the referral process extremely easy.

If the person you invite signs up is approved and makes a purchase with the card within 3 months, then you will earn 5,000 bonus miles.

What’s extra helpful is Chase does not put a cap on how many invitations you can send or how many times you can receive the bonus miles! So these limited time Refer-A-Friend promotions end up being one of the best ways to earn tons of United MileagePlus miles.

Check to see if there is a promotion currently going on for your card. Enter your card details at chasereferafriend.com and fill out the e-mail or Facebook form!

chase united mileageplus explorer refer a friend
The referral bonus may differ from the one shown above, but you can often earn bonus miles for referring your friends to your favorite credit cards!

5. Use the United MileagePlus Shopping Portal

Shopping portals are handy when companies offer them. You can earn extra points through the United MileagePlus Shopping portal; all you have to do is log in and start shopping.

There are over 850 MileagePlus retailers participating in the portal. Below are a few of them and the kinds of earnings you can expect to find.

united mileage shopping
Some of the United MileagePlus Shopping portal partners are listed above with their bonus earnings rates (Note that these may not represent current offers).

Occasionally, a retailer will have a special bonus. For example, the Wall Street Journal once offered 800 miles for any order placed online at the WSJ store. That’s a good offer, especially when subscriptions were as low as $12.

The portal is very easy to use. Follow these steps before you begin shopping at a participating online store (or before you go to check out):

  1. Go to mileageplus.com
  2. Sign into your United MileagePlus account
  3. Search for a product or store
  4. Click on the store’s bonus miles offer (e.g. Earn 3 miles/$)
  5. Select “Shop Now” and the next loaded screen should look something like this:
united mileage shopping 2
Once in the United MileagePlus Shopping portal, you will be redirected to the selected stores site to finish your shopping.
  1. After a few seconds, you’ll be able to shop on the store’s website
  2. Check  to ensure you are still logged into the portal before you purchase through the store to be absolutely certain you will receive the extra miles

Keep looking around the shopping portal for limited time promotions offering even more bonus miles at your favorite stores. They will be featured rather obviously all over the portal and under the Offers section. Take special note of the ones listed as expiring soon.

6. Shop With the United MileagePlus X App

mileageplus x
Use the MileagePlus X app on your smartphone to take advantage of extra United points earning opportunities.

There is a bonus shopping mall tool with United called MileagePlus X. Smartphone users can stack miles by using the MileagePlus X App on purchases. The app offers exclusive bonus miles at up to 4x miles per $1 spent at stores and restaurants.

Amazingly, the miles you earn through the app are in addition to bonus miles you earn in other ways, e.g. when you make a purchase using your United MileagePlus credit card. The Mileage Plus X App is downloadable through the iTunes and Google Play stores.

7. Sign Up for the United MileagePlus Dining Program

Dining programs offer bonus miles when you dine at participating restaurants. For the MileagePlus Dining Program, signing up is free. To start earning MileagePlus miles on dining out:

  1. Go to https://dining.mileageplus.com/
  2. Register/log in with your MileagePlus account number
  3. Select “Add a card” in your account and enter the details of any card you want to use at restaurants (it doesn’t have to be a MileagePlus card!)
  4. Use the location search at the top to look for restaurants near you
  5. Start using the credit card you registered at participating restaurants to earn miles

You’ll earn up to 5 miles per $1 you spend at the restaurants through the MileagePlus dining program. You’ll also earn miles for special bonus offers usually at sign up.

The MileagePlus Dining Program also offers bonuses from time to time. It’s worth checking out what they are currently offering.

There was a time when they offered a chance to earn up to 7,000 bonus miles for signing up, dining for $30 or more at your first restaurant, and completing a short review within 30 days.

mileage plus dining
Sign up for MileagePlus Dining and get access to earn extra miles at places like the restaurant featured above!

Sometimes, even more miles can be achieved for reaching certain spending amounts. Recently, the program offered the following within 60 days of registering:

  • Spend an additional $100 and get 1,000 more bonus miles
  • Or spend an additional $250 and get 2,500 more bonus miles
  • Or spend an additional $500 and get 5,000 more bonus miles

If you have a big group outing coming up, pay for the bill on your registered credit card at a participating MileagePlus restaurant. This strategy will help you reach the additional spending bonus in no time!

Hot Tip: Remember you can use any credit card with this program! But, by using a United MileagePlus earning card, you’ll get your everyday spend miles in addition to the up to 5x miles through the dining program.

8. Rewards for Event Tickets

scorebig

If you like going to sporting events, music events, or theater events, the MileagePlus has two great ways to earn miles when you buy tickets for events.

Here are the two programs and what they offer:

ProgramBonus Offer
Audience Rewards50 – 2,000 miles per ticket
ScoreBig1,000 miles for first purchase, then up to 10,000 miles for 2 or more tickets

ScoreBig offers a more extensive list of events so the earning possibilities are seemingly endless. Register with either program using your MileagePlus number, search for tickets, and purchase to earn bonus miles right away.

9. Other Retail Purchases

The following are other ways to earn MileagePlus miles through retail partners and online shopping centers:

CompanyProduct or serviceBonus miles
BoseHome theater, headphones, mobile options2 miles/$1
Chic Outlet ShoppingEuropean boutiques1 mile/€1 or £1
Digital Media Store (MileagePlus)Music, eBooks, & audiobooks2 (or more) miles/$1
FTDFlowers, plants, gifts & food20 miles/$1 plus 100 miles
Mercedes BenzA certified, pre-owned vehicleUp to 25,000 miles
MyPoints.comShop online with partners including eBay, Groupon, Walmart, and more500 at sign up, 1,000 for shopping online (redeem for awad miles)
Vinesse WineWine2,500 miles on first shipment, then 5 miles/$1

Did you know that MileagePlus has its own online digital media store? Apparently, you can purchase all of your media needs through there—and get miles in return.

Normally, you receive 2x miles per $1 spent in the store but occasional promotions will get you extra miles.

drakeEarning Points Through Travel

10. Airfare & Airline Purchases

Not surprisingly, you earn miles by flying on United. Maximize the number of miles you’ll earn when you fly with these tips.

Card NameUnited Ticket Purchase Bonus
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card2x
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card2x (1.5 on all purchases + 0.5 on United)
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card2x
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card2x (1.5 on all purchases + 0.5 on United)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card3x
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠1.5x
Chase Freedom®1x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card3x
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card1x

Even without these cards, you’ll earn miles for flying as MileagePlus member. If your flights are operated by United or United Express or if your tickets are issued by United (ticket number starts with 016), then you will earn miles based on the fare.

The miles you earn will always be 5x the fare. If you have reached a MileagePlus Premier membership status, then the award miles you earn based on the fare will be even greater. Here’s the Premier status breakdown:

  • Premier Silver: 5x fare + 2x fare = 7x fare total
  • Premier Gold: 5x fare + 3x fare = 8x fare total
  • Premier Platinum: 5x fare + 4x fare = 9x fare total
  • Premier 1K: 5x fare + 2x fare = 11x fare total

All flights operated by partner airlines or Star Alliance members with tickets issued by an airline other than United will earn award miles based on the flight distance.

The following are all of United’s partnering airlines:

partnersair
The award miles earned on these tickets will also depend on the fare class. Go to United’s website to view United MileagePlus miles earned on each partnering airline.

There are only a few restrictions to earning miles on flights. Miles cannot be earned on MileagePlus award travel, charter flights, or reduced-rate tickets (see united.com for more restrictions).

11. Car Rentals and Other Ground Transportation

Flying is definitely not the only way to earn United MileagePlus miles when you travel. If you’re planning to need transportation, take a look at which ways can earn you miles.

Rental CompanyMilesRental CompanyMiles
Amtrak250 – 750 miles depending on the class and stationsGroundLink200 miles each ride
Carmel50 miles (in NY), 100 miles (outside NY) and up to 2 miles/$1 on each tripHertz500 – 1,250 depending on MileagePlus status
Dollar50 per day up to 4 days, 500 per rental 5 or more daysSuperShuttle50 miles one way
ExecuCar150 miles one wayThrifty50 per day up to 4 days, 500 per rental 5 or more days

Amtrak rail service is a great ground transportation option on this list. Now you can take Amtrak to over 500 destinations across the United States and earn miles for your coach or business class ticket!

The upper 750 miles are awarded through Amtrak are specifically when you book a First class segment on Acela Express trains between New York’s Penn Station and Boston, MA or Washington, DC.

12. Book With United Hotel Partners

united airlines hotel partners
Book with United Airlines hotel partners and earn extra miles for your stay! Pictured is a hotel in Miami, FL.

United MileagePlus has a tremendous number of hotel partners. All of these offer varying amounts of bonus miles calculated by each $1 spent or by nightly stay.

You can find all hotel partners listed on United.com, but here’s a consolidated list. Use the links provided to find out more about what is included in each offer.

HotelMiles/StayHotelMiles/StayHotelMiles/Stay
aloft2 miles/$1Hawthorn500Raffles500
Andaz500Hilton2 miles/$1Ramada2 miles/$1
Ascend250Holiday Inn2 miles/$1Renaissance2 miles/$1
Baymont250Home2 Suites1 mile/$1Residence1 mile/$1
Best Western250Homewood1 mile/$1Rodeway250
Cambria250Hotel Indigo2 miles/$1Rocketmiles*1,000 – 10,000 miles
Candlewood1 mile/$1Howard Johnson2 miles/$1Shangri-La500
Canopy1 mile/$1Hyatt500Sheraton2 miles/$1
Clarion250InterContinental2 miles/$1Sleep Inn250
Comfort Inn/Suites250JW Marriott2 miles/$1SpringHill1 mile/$1
Conrad1 mile/$1Knights Inn2 miles/$1St. Regis2 miles/$1
Country250La Quinta1000Staybridge1 mile/$1
Courtyard1 mile/$1Langham500 – 1500Suburban Extended Stay250
Crowne Plaza2 miles/$1Le Meridien2 miles/$1Super 82 miles/$1
Days Inn2 miles/$1Luxury Collection2 miles/$1Swissôtel500
Doubletree1 mile/$1MainStay250TownePlace1 mile/$1
Eaton250 – 750Mariott2 miles/$1Traders500
Econo Lodge250Microtel2 miles/$1Travelodge2 miles/$1
element2 miles/$1Millennium250-500TRYP500
Embassy1 mile/$1New Otani500W Hotels2 miles/$1
Fairfield1 mile/$1Park Hyatt/Plaza500Waldorf Astoria1 miles/$1
Fairmont500Park Inn250Westin2 miles/$1
Fiesta Americana2000 for 2+ nightsPreferred Hotel500Wingate2 miles/$1
Four Points2 miles/$1Quality250Worldhotels500
Hampton Inn1 mike/$1Radisson/ Blu500Wyndam500

*Rocketmiles is an online hotel booking agency with thousands of hotels and resorts to choose from worldwide.

If the exhaustive list above does not suit you, perhaps one of the partnering rewards programs will. MileagePlus has partnered with numerous hotel rewards programs covering hundreds of other hotels and resorts around the world.

As a member of any of the following, you must only indicate MileagePlus as your earning preference to start earning MileagePlus miles through them:

Hotel Partner Credit Cards

For even more ways to earn point with hotel partners, you can open up hotel credit cards and transfer the points you earn to United MileagePlus.

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card Review
Hilton Honors Loyalty ProgramHilton Honors™ Card from American Express
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
 Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card
Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card
Marriott Rewards Loyalty ProgramChase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Loyalty ProgramStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
IHG Rewards Club Loyalty ProgramChase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
World of Hyatt Loyalty ProgramChase Hyatt Credit Card
Choice Privileges Loyalty ProgramBarclaycard Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card

13. Book Vacation Packages

Search for great vacations combining flights, hotels, transportation, and activities at Unitedvacations.com. Use your United credit card when you purchase your vacation and earn a total of 2 miles per $1 spent (1 mile/$1 for the United charge plus 1 mile/$1 for the all purchases benefit).

Points earned from these packages vary depending on the combination, location, and dates you desire. There’s a great list of vacation ideas with promotional codes aimed to earn you a set number of miles on the offers page.

14. Book United Cruises with Partners

united cruises
United Cruises is a fabulous way to earn more frequent flyer miles while taking another type of vacation!

I would love to go on a cruise and earn extra miles through booking with cruises.united.com. There are cruises going all over Europe, the Caribbean, South America, and off the coasts of the United States with huge miles bonuses.

Like the image says above, you’ll earn up to 35,000 miles on all cruises!

Scroll down on the main page of the United Cruises website to find a list of special deals adding even more to the everyday miles offer. Some cruise lines will earn you an extra 25,000 miles for a total of 50,000 miles in some cases!

15. Special Travel Partners

The following are a few very unique services and products related to your travel experience. They each have bonus miles offers in partnership with MileagePlus and are worth taking a look at especially if you are a frequent traveler.

Product/ServiceCompanyBonus Offer
Subscription to magazine for premium-class travelersGlobal Traveler500 – 1500 miles depending on subscription length
Shop, dine or park with more than 100 airports thousands of retailers around the worldThanks Again1 miles/$1 spent; plus 5,000 miles when read $1,000 spend in 1 year
Secure travel documents fasterVisaCentral500-1,000 miles for visa & passport services

In addition to the usual miles earned on everyday transactions, participants can qualify for an additional 5,000 miles if they spend $1,000 through the program in one calendar year.

Register for Thanks Again with your MileagePlus number and the credit cards you will be using to make purchases.

Specialty Earnings for United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus has partnered with lots of other companies to give you many different ways to earn extra miles.

16. Make A Donation

breast-cancer-bands-2-1514825

The National Foundation for Cancer Research was started in the 1970s to support cancer research and educating the public about prevention, early diagnosis, better treatments and finding a cure for all types of cancer.

MileagePlus has created the “Fly to Find a Cure” program to encourage members to donate to the cause. You can donate to this wonderful organization and earn MileagePlus miles in return.

Donations of $25 or more will earn 1 mile per $1 spent. Make a donation and the miles will post to your account in 4-6 weeks!

17. Home and Energy Services

The following are some great ways to earn additional miles through services for your home.

CompanyProduct/ServiceBonus Miles
DIRECTVSatellite television to new customers25,000 miles
Everything EnergyAt least 2 months of active electricity service with promo code: XA0YNE5,000 miles; plus 2 miles/$1 on energy portion of monthly bill
ReliantIf in Texas, purchase Reliant Secure 24 electricity plan15,000 miles for signing up; plus 500 miles each month for 24 months
NRG Home SolarSolar energy company5,000 for consultation, 25,000 for installation

Be careful; the cost of the service may not outweigh the benefits in the end. Figure out what better offers you can get for similar services in your area and then decide which one makes the most sense for you.

18. Financial and Security Services

investing-1-1239039
United MileagePlus has teamed up with a few more businesses to help you earn miles on your personal finances and security. These services will help you earn extra miles when you sign up via the links provided or mention your MileagePlus number to an agent.

CompanyProduct/ServiceExample of Largest Bonus Miles Offer
Fidelity$25,000 – $100,000+ Brokerage Account deposit15,000 – 50,000 miles
LifeLockEnroll in identity security plan: Standard, Advanced, or Ultimate Plus5,000 – 7,000 miles depending on the plan
ProsperLow rate personal loan (not available in IA, ME, ND, PA)1 mile for ever $1 borrowed up to 35,000 miles

Consult a financial advisor before making any decisions especially with Fidelity and Prosper since they are immediately connected to your personal finances.

It’s one thing to earn lots of extra miles using these options, but quite another to end up with a new account or loan for which you could have gotten a better rate elsewhere!

19. Fill Out Surveys for Miles

Did you know there are data collection companies out there eager to get your marketing opinion in return for miles? All you have to do is sign up for free and fill out a few surveys or watch a few advertisements and give your opinion.

opinion
United MileagePlus has teamed up with three major companies to offer you this super easy way to earn a few extra miles. Over time, these few extra miles add up. Here are the three participating companies and the miles they offer:

Data Collection CompanyBonus Miles Offer
e-Miles400 MileagePlus miles to sign up plus 100 e-Miles miles; earn 5-1000 miles per ad
Opinion Miles Club300 miles for joining and completing first survey (600 miles for MileagePlus Cardholders); then 50-70 miles per survey

20. Buy United Miles

While this isn’t always a popular option, you can sometimes earn good value when purchasing miles. Sometimes, United will hold bonuses for purchases miles, and if you can get them for a lower value than you would redeem them, you will come out ahead.

For instance, if you purchase 20,000 miles at $400 then the value of each mile is $0.02. If you redeem for anything over $0.02+, you will come out ahead in value. It may not be much, but note that you can also earn miles on credit cards when you purchase them!

U.P. Pro Tips

One of the primary ways I earn United MileagePlus miles is through the Chase Ultimate Reward program. United MilesagePlus is a transfer partner through Chase. I can earn United MileagePlus miles through all of the ways outlined above and then bolster my account further through Chase.

This is especially handy when I am short on points for a flight. Transferring Chase points into my United account is one of the primary ways I earn (and redeem) for travel on United airlines flights and their Star Alliance airline partners operating all around the world!

Summary

That was a lot of ways to earn United MileagePlus miles. There are some awesome credit card options through Chase with tons of ways to earn miles including sign-up bonuses, category spending, and big spend bonuses.

If these cards are not enough, there are multiple ways to earn through retail purchases, travel, and specialty partners.

Build up enough miles, and you’ll be on your way to redeeming great travel awards with United!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Apply Now

FAQ

What are United miles?
United’s points program is called MileagePlus. The points you earn, redeem, and transfer are United MileagePlus miles.

Which credit cards earn United miles?
You can earn miles for United MileagePlus with the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card, Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card, and Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card.

MileagePlus miles can also be earned by transferring from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. These include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, Chase Freedom®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

What are United MileagePlus miles worth?
The value of United MileagePlus miles depends on where you are redeeming your points. It lies somewhere between 1 cent per mile and 2.5 cents per mile depending on where you would otherwise go to spend your money.

At 2.5 cents per mile, that’s like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 4000 United miles.

How do I transfer United MileagePlus miles to a spouse?
Sign into your account at united.com and hover over MileagePlus in the navigation at the top. Choose Buy, Transfer, and Give miles and then select the “transfer miles” button.

Enter your account number and password again. Then fill out the information on the loaded page to transfer United miles to anyone who also has a MileagePlus account.

Who are United MileagePlus partners?
United Mileage Plus program has several airline and hotel partners.

Airlines:
British Airways Executive Club
Korean Air SkyPass
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotels:
Hyatt Gold Passport
IHG Rewards Club
Marriott Rewards
Ritz-Carlton Rewards

When do United MileagePlus miles post in your account?
United miles should post to your account within 3-7 days.

If miles are missing after this time period, consider requesting missing miles.

Are United MileagePlus miles refundable?
Yes, but a $150 fee per traveler may apply. You can cancel a trip and get a redeposit of miles online.

When do United MileagePlus miles expire?
United MileagePlus miles expire after 18 months of inactivity. Your account will not expire for 18 months from the date of your most recent activity. Simply earn or redeem miles a minimum of every 18 months to keep your account from expiring.