22 Best Ways to Earn Lots of United MileagePlus Miles

United Airlines

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United Airlines has 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, 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.

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards (Best Option)

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

To participate in the Ultimate Rewards program, you just need a card that’s linked to the program. Whether you are looking for a personal card or a business card, Chase has you covered with each earning Ultimate Rewards points.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The card earns 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more. Enjoy a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, and other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage, including car rental insurance and no foreign transaction fees, this card is a very rewarding card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,300+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, until 12/31/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.

Earn big with this card, earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A solid, no-annual-fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, and 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus, earn 3% cash-back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.

Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card - Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There's no annual fee.

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 and bonus mile categories to get you started quickly.

Hot Tip: Find out how you can earn 100,000+ 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.

The United Explorer℠ Card earns 2 miles per dollar on purchases with United, hotels and dining, and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

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 Premier qualifying points (PQP) through your annual credit card spend, and for 2021 you can apply this earned PQP toward Premier 1K status. For every $12,000 spent on these cards cardmembers earn 500 PQP, up to 1,000 PQP per calendar year.

The United Club℠ Card and the United 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 the valuable benefits of the United Explorer card for a deeper insight into this rewards card.

3. Refer a Friend for Bonus Miles

Every couple of months or so, Chase runs a limited-time promotion where cardholders can refer a friend to apply for the United 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!

4. Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to United at a transfer rate of 3:1.1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,500 United miles bonus.

Recommended Marriott Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card - Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn up to 17x total Bovoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card at at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, and 2x Bonvoy points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn up to 14x total Bonvoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Bold card at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Earn 6x per $1 at hotels participants in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x on all other eligible purchases. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

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!

5. 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.) Image Credit: United Shopping

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. Image Credit: United 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!

6. MileagePlus X App

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

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!

7. 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! Image Credit: United Dining

Sometimes, even more miles can be earned by reaching certain spending thresholds. Recently, the program offered the following within 30 days of registering:

  • Spend $25 or more on your first participating restaurant visit and earn 1,000 bonus miles
  • Earn 500 bonus miles on your next three participating restaurant visits of $25 or more

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.

8. Rewards for Event Tickets

Image Credit: Score Big

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.

9. Other Retail Purchases

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

CompanyProduct or serviceBonus miles
FTDFlowers, plants, gifts, & food20 miles/$1 plus 100 miles
Mercedes BenzA certified, pre-owned vehicleUp to 50,000 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 WineWine5,000 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!

10. 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 Explorer Card
  • 2x
United MileagePlus Card
  • 2x (1.5 on all purchases + 0.5 on United)
United MileagePlus Business Card
  • 2x (1.5 on all purchases + 0.5 on United)
Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • 5x if purchased through Chase Ultimate Reward
  • 2x if purchased directly from United
Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • 5x if purchased through Chase Ultimate Reward
  • 3x if purchased directly from United
Freedom Unlimited
  • 1.5x
  • 1x
Ink Business Preferred Card
  • 3x
Ink Business Cash Card
  • 1x

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:

Image Credit: United Partners

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).

Hot Tip: For more information, check out this in-depth guide to help you know where to credit your airline miles.

11. 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
Carmel50 miles (in NY), 100 miles (outside NY), and up to 2 miles/$1 on each tripSuperShuttle50 miles one-way
Dollar50 per day up to 4 days; 500 per rental 5+ daysThrifty50 per day up to 4 days; 500 per rental 5+ days
ExecuCar150 miles one-way
GroundLink200 miles each ride

12. Book With United Hotel Partners

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.

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
CountryMust transfer points after stayLa 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 Hyatt500Waldorf Astoria1 mile/$1
Fairmont500Park InnMust transfer points after stayWestin2 miles/$1
Fiesta Americana2,000 for 2+ nightsPreferred Hotel500Wingate2 miles/$1
Four Points2 miles/$1Quality250Worldhotels500
Hampton Inn1 mile/$1Radisson/BluMust transfer points after stayWyndham500

*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!

13. 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.

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! Image Credit: United Cruises

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!

Hot Tip: If you’ve opted to earn points through an adventure on the open seas, don’t miss this ultimate cruise packing list to help you prep for your trip.

15. 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
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.

16. Make a Donation

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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!

17. Home and Energy Services

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

CompanyProduct/ServiceBonus Miles
ReliantIf in Texas, purchase Reliant Secure 24 electricity plan15,000 miles for signing up plus 500 miles each month for 24 months
NRG Home PowerUtility 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.

18. Financial and Security Services

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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 PlusUp to 13,000 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!

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.

Image Credit: United Opinions

United MileagePlus has teamed up with Opinion Miles Club 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.

Data Collection CompanyBonus Miles Offer
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

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.

21. Earn Miles for Golf

MileagePlus Golf allows you to earn miles for golf purchases:

Golf PartnersMiles Earned
Golf Direct Now (online golf equipment store)4 miles per dollar on regular price purchases, 6 miles per dollar on closeout and sale purchases, 9 miles per dollar on select “Hot Products”
GolfNow (online tee time booking)4 miles per dollar on tee times
GolfLogix (golf course map app)50 miles for downloading the app, 250 miles for an annual premier membership
Tathata (golf instructional program)1,000 miles for purchasing the Tathata Golf annual training program

22. Convert Currency with Travelex

You can also earn MileagePlus miles when converting currency at Travelex locations around the world. Currently, you can earn 1 mile per $2 converted on transactions under $500, and 1 mile per $1 converted on transactions over $500. As of the time of writing, you can earn up to 3,000 miles per transaction.

However, it should be noted that Travelex often has lackluster conversion rates. With this in mind, we recommend using the calculator on the Travelex website to see if they offered conversion rates make sense for your next currency conversion.

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!

The information regarding The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.

Frequently asked questions

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 Explorer Card, United MileagePlus Card, and United MileagePlus 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, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, Ink Business Preferred Card, and Ink Business Cash 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.

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

The World of Hyatt
IHG Rewards
Marriott Bonvoy

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 no longer expire.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

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  1. After cancelling a UA explorer card, how long to wait to apply for a new card and get 40,000 frequent flyer miles?


    • You’d need to wait 24 months from the date you applied for your United Explorer Card (not from the date that you cancel) if you were looking to sign up again and get the bonus.


      • How would you do this without losing points on your credit score? (cancel/reapply?)


        • You wouldn’t be able to avoid a drop in your credit score completely if you decide to cancel and then reapply. However, the drop is only temporary and will likely restore after 3-4 months of keeping all your accounts in good shape. So, I wouldn’t worry about this. The only thing to consider is if you’ve had this card for many, many years – then canceling will bring down your “average account age” across the board. If you’ve only had the card for a couple years, I wouldn’t worry much – but if you’ve had it for 5 years then I’d strongly consider if the points are worth the drop in average account age for you. Hope that helps.


  2. Unable to find the newest promotion United.com/2018BonusMilesOffer site?


  3. Looking for the highest earning Mileage Run trips (a list of cities, countries from SFO).
    Thank you!


    • Hello JLiz, looks like you’re ready to earn a lot of United miles. It would be very difficult to create an entire worldwide list of the best mileage runs from SFO without investing a lot of hours in research. We also do not know your preferences as to which class you prefer, your budget,etc. I would go to google.com/flights and limit your search to Star Alliance carriers.

      You can then input the dates you prefer, look at the explore maps and find the flight that suits your budget. You can use sites such as milecalc.com to estimate the amount of miles flown. Once you have found a flight, access the United.com site for earning charts. If the flights are on partner airlines, for example, you’ll want to match up the fare class with how many miles you’ll be earning. Hope this helps.


  4. MN Black Car Service LLC October 15, 2019

    Thanks for this amazing blog.


  5. Anton Rinck January 31, 2021

    Do you get both the double PQM and mile play with the current offer?


    • Hi Anton,

      Which offer are you referring to? The current mile play offers are targeted offers, so each will vary based on the account holder.


  6. airportspickup September 29, 2021

    Thanks for sharing this blog. This blog is very useful.


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