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

United Airlines

United Airlines is one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in the U.S., and there are some great ways to earn United miles for award flights.

In fact, the number of ways to earn miles with the United MileagePlus program is almost overwhelming, but the following is a simplified list to get you moving in the right direction.

Sign up For a United Airlines MileagePlus Account

Unlike transferable points programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and SPG Starpoints, you do not need a particular credit card to participate in United’s MileagePlus program.

Your MileagePlus account is your key to earning United miles whether you’re dining out, shopping, flying, or using a co-branded credit card.

To sign up and start earning miles, simply visit United’s website and create your account.

Once your account is set up, you’re ready to go. So let’s dive in to the best ways to earn United miles!

Earn MileagePlus Miles With Credit Cards

If you really want to earn tons of United miles, the strategic use of credit cards is going to be your key to success. From transferable points to earning United miles directly through co-branded credit cards, you have several options.

If you want to learn more about getting approved for credit cards, check out our post on Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained.

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Without a doubt, your best option to get your hands on United miles is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points are transferred to United at a 1:1 ratio, and there’s no limit to how many you can transfer.

To participate in the Ultimate Rewards program, you must have a card that is linked to the program. Whether you are looking for a personal card or a business card, Chase has you covered: they offer 4 personal cards and 2 business cards that each earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
#1 - Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Need Inspiration?
> Best Ways To Use Ultimate Rewards Points
  • 50,000 bonus points.
  • That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through
    Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
  • Full Review
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Full Review
Chase Freedom®
  • Earn 5% cash back in bonus categories
  • No annual fee
  • Full Review
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 5% cash back in select business categories
  • Full Review

Regardless of your spending habits, you’re bound to find a Chase card or 2 that work for you. Many of their cards also come with hefty sign-up bonuses to get you started quickly.

Additionally, each card has bonus categories that will allow you to earn points on your everyday spending at an even faster pace.

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

Hot Tip: Find out how you can earn 100k+ Ultimate Rewards points in just 90 days!

2. Chase United Co-Branded Credit Cards

After cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, the next best options are Chase’s co-branded United cards.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Our Review
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Includes United Club membership - up to a $550 value per year
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Our Review
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card earns 2 miles per dollar on purchases with United, but only earns 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card is very similar, but it also earns 2 points per dollar at gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants.

While these cards don’t have as many bonus categories as Ultimate Rewards cards, they do provide a complimentary checked bag and priority boarding when flying on United.

Additionally, if you fly United regularly, these cards can help you earn up to Premier Platinum status. Spending $25,000 on these cards waives the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement when earning Silver, Gold, or Platinum status. The PQD requirement is not waived for United 1K status.

The Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card and the Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card also earn 2 miles per dollar with United, but they earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases. These cards also come with 2 free checked bags and Premier Access: priority check-in, airport security lanes, boarding, and baggage (where available).

These cards are more useful for the perks than their earning potential.

Hot Tip: Check out 12 valuable benefits of the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.

3. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

We’re mentioning this option so you have all the information, but note that this is NOT a great option to earn United miles. SPG Starpoints can be transferred to United, but they lose half their value at an awful 2:1 ratio. There are many better ways to earn United miles!

There are only 2 Starwood credit cards to help you earn SPG Starpoints:

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Need Inspiration?
> Here's 45 Best Ways To Use SPG Points
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Card Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 35,000 bonus Starpoints®. Offer ends 11/1/17.
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Card Review

If want some ideas on how to use these points for amazing travel, check out the best ways to redeem SPG Starpoints.

4. Big Spend Bonuses on MileagePlus Cards

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; they’re different from a sign-up bonus that must be reached within the first few months of signing up. In the case of the MileagePlus Explorer cards, cardholders 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 for earning a big spend bonus.

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

5. Refer a Friend for Bonus Miles

chase united refer
Your 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!

Every couple of months or so, Chase runs a limited-time promotion where cardholders can refer a friend to apply for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card. The option to send invitations to your friends is very easy.

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

These limited time refer-a-friend promotions can be 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. If so, enter your card details on the Chase website to get your referral link!

Earn Miles Through Shopping and Dining

Before you get any of these credit cards, you can start earning United miles by shopping online and dining out. However, using one of the cards above can really boost your earnings!

6. The MileagePlus Shopping Portal

Shopping portals are a great way to earn extra miles on purchases you were going to make anyway. You can earn United miles 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 is an example of a few of retailers 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. With subscriptions starting as low as $12, that was a good offer!

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

  1. Go to MileagePlus Shopping
  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 store’s site to finish your shopping.
  1. After a few seconds, you’ll be able to shop on the store’s website
  2. 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 an eye out for limited time promotions that offer even more bonus miles at your favorite stores. They will be featured rather prominently on the site and under the Offers section. Take special note of the ones listed as expiring soon!

7. 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 earnings of up to 5 miles per dollar at stores and restaurants.

Miles earned through the app are in addition to bonus miles you earn in other ways. When you make a purchase in the app using your United MileagePlus credit card, you will earn miles from your card and from the app.

The MileagePlus X App is downloadable through the iTunes and Google Play stores.

If you have one of the MileagePlus credit cards, you will get a 25% boost to the miles you earn through the MileagePlus X App!

8. The MileagePlus Dining Program

Dining programs offer bonus miles when you dine at participating restaurants. You can sign up for the MileagePlus Dining Program for free.

To start earning MileagePlus miles on dining out:

  1. Go to MileagePlus Dining
  2. Register/log in with your MileagePlus account number
  3. Select “Add a card” in your account and enter the details of any credit or debit card you want to use at restaurants
  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 can also earn miles for special bonus offers (usually at sign-up).

The MileagePlus Dining Program offers bonuses from time to time, so it’s worth checking out whether you can earn any extra miles this way.

For example, at one time they offered a chance to earn up to 7,000 bonus miles for signing up, spending $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 earned by reaching certain spending thresholds. 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 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: Once you’ve signed up through the portal, you can register any credit card (not just a United one)! By using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, you’ll earn the most miles possible.

9. Rewards for Event Tickets

scorebig

If you like going to music or theater events, then MileagePlus has a great way to earn miles when you buy tickets for events. With Audience Rewards, you can earn 50 to 2,000 miles per ticket.

Just register with the program using your MileagePlus number, search for tickets, and make your purchase to earn bonus miles right away.

10. 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
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 award miles)
Vinesse WineWine2,500 miles on first shipment, then 5 miles/$1

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

Earn United Miles Through Travel

We definitely focus on how you can redeem miles for travel. But if you happen to have some paid flights or hotel stays in your future, you can of course earn some United miles on them too!

11. Airfare & Airline Purchases

Not surprisingly, you can 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/United Express or your tickets are issued by United (ticket number starts with 016), then you will earn miles based on the fare.

The base 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 for more restrictions).

12. Car Rentals and Other Ground Transportation

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

Rental CompanyMilesRental CompanyMiles
Amtrak250-750 miles depending on fare 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+ daysSuperShuttle50 miles one-way
ExecuCar150 miles one-wayThrifty50 per day up to 4 days; 500 per rental 5+ days

Amtrak rail service is a great 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 high rate of 750 miles earned through Amtrak is applicable when you book a first class segment on Acela Express trains between New York’s Penn Station and Boston or Washington, D.C.

13. 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 dollar or night spent.

You can find all hotel partners listed on United’s site, but here’s a consolidated list.

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/$1Langham500-1,500Suburban 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 Americana2,000 for 2+ nightsPreferred Hotel500Wingate2 miles/$1
Four Points2 miles/$1Quality250Worldhotels500
Hampton Inn1 mile/$1Radisson/Blu500Wyndam500

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

If the 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 points with hotel partners, you can open up hotel credit cards and transfer the points you earn to United MileagePlus.

However, this should be a last resort as the transfer rates from these cards are horrible. You’re better off using these hotel points for hotel stays!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card. Terms apply.
  • Annual Fee: $75
  • Our Review
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
  • Earn 50,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points
  • 7X points on qualifying purchases with hotels from the Hilton portfolio
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • 5 Points Per $1 Spent at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.
  • Annual Fee: $85
  • Our Review
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
  • Earn 5x points at IHG hotels and 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $49
  • Our Review
Chase Hyatt Credit Card
  • 3x points at Hyatt properties and 2x points at restaurants, airfare purchased directly from the airline and car rental agencies
  • Annual Fee: $75
  • Our Review

14. Book Vacation Packages

Search for great vacations combining flights, hotels, transportation, and activities at United Vacations. Use your United credit card when you purchase your vacation and earn a total of 2 miles per dollar spent.

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.

15. 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!

Cruises all over Europe, the Caribbean, South America, and off the coasts of the U.S earn some huge miles bonuses. You can even 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 that will add 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!

16. Special Travel Partners

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

Product/ServiceCompanyBonus Offer
Subscription to magazine for premium-class travelersGlobal Traveler500-1,500 miles depending on subscription length
Shop, dine or park with more than 100 airports and thousands of retailers around the worldThanks Again1 mile/$1 spent; plus 5,000 miles when $1,000 spent in 1 year
Secure travel documents fasterVisaCentral500-1,000 miles for visa & passport services

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

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 1 calendar year.

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.

17. 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 participates in 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!

18. 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 PowerUtilities company5,000 for consultation, 25,000 for installation

Be careful: the cost of these services 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.

19. Financial and Security Services

investing-1-1239039
United MileagePlus often has partnerships with companies in the personal finance and security services world. These services can 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
LifeLockEnroll in identity security plan: Standard, Advanced, or Ultimate Plus5,000-7,000 miles depending on the plan

Consult a financial advisor before making any decisions, especially with any providers that are 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!

20. 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 2 major companies to offer you this super easy way to earn a few extra miles. These are good options if you need to keep an account active or earn a few more miles for an award ticket.

Here are 2 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 5-1,000 miles per ad
Opinion Miles Club300 miles for joining and completing first survey (600 miles for MileagePlus Cardholders); then 50-70 miles per survey

21. Buy United Miles

Buying United miles should be left for times when you need to top off your MileagePlus account to book an award ticket. United occasionally offers bonuses for purchased miles, and if you can get them for a lower cost than their redemption value, you’ll come out ahead.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the best way to earn United miles thanks to their higher earning rate and 1:1 transfer ratio. Paired with a MileagePlus credit card, you can earn some serious miles and fun perks.

To top it all off, you can earn tons of extra miles shopping and dining out thanks to United’s partnerships. Before you know it, you’ll be booking your next award flight with United miles!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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 4,000 United miles.

How do I transfer United MileagePlus miles to a spouse?
Sign in to 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:
The World of Hyatt
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.

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