All United Seats Now Bookable With Miles for MileagePlus Members

United Polaris Boeing 787 9 Dreamliner Blue lights

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If you’re a United MileagePlus member without a co-branded United credit card, we’ve got some good news.

Chase and United have a robust selection of co-branded credit cards, including 4 different personal cards and 2 small business card options: United Quest℠ Card, United Gateway℠ Card, United℠ Explorer Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, United Club℠ Business Card, and United℠ Business Card.

Historically, those who hold any one of the above cards have been able to access additional award seat space that others couldn’t. More specifically, United granted its cardholders the ability to purchase any seat on the plane using their miles — whether there was regular award availability or not. 

Now, that same access has been granted to all United MileagePlus members. This may represent a devaluation to those who’ve used such availability in the past to purchase seats but can spell great news for those who don’t have a United credit card.

MileagePlus Awards May Now Price Higher

Keep in mind, however, that although you can now purchase these seats, they can be exorbitantly expensive, especially when inventory on a flight is low. Take a look at the cost for an economy class flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Frankfurt (FRA):

United mileage award cost LAX-FRA
Image Credit: United

70,000 United miles for an economy flight to Europe is outrageous — and may be more than a Saver-level business class flight. So although it’s now bookable, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to spend your miles on these flights.

Elites and Cardholders May See Reduced Prices

Be aware, however, that pricing can change depending on what kind of elite status and credit cards you’ve got. United maintains additional Saver-level inventory for its elite members and cardholders. Take a look at what happens when we log in as a Premier 1K elite:

United mileage award cost LAX-FRA elite member
Image Credit: United

The cost drops to less than half because, as elite members, Premier 1Ks have additional access to that cheaper inventory. Keep that in mind while you search for your seats.

Hot Tip: Our helpful guides review the value of United elite status prior to departure and at the airport, as well as the perks and benefits for seating and upgrades.

Final Thoughts

This is good news for those who don’t have a United credit card, though how useful it’ll be will depend on how many United miles you’ve got to spend. It can certainly be of aid when you’ve got very inflexible flight dates or need a certain number of seats for your trip. Just be aware that costs can easily pile up when you’re looking to book these flights.


The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 


Carissa Rawson

About Carissa Rawson

Carissa is a native Californian whose taste for travel began during her seven years in the US Air Force. A former Arabic translator, her first serious journey overseas was to Jordan, where a six month deployment taught her a lot about people and a little about award travel. What started as a curiosity quickly became an obsession, and soon she had launched her own website teaching others how to travel for free.

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