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23 Best Ways To Earn Lots of United MileagePlus Miles

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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 spending with a United 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 into 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 points to United. 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 earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, you just need a card that’s linked to the program. Whether you’re looking for a personal card or a business card, Chase has you covered with multiple ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points.

GREAT STARTER CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ 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
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business owner? See our list of the best Chase business credit cards.

Regardless of your spending habits, you’re bound to find a Chase card or 2 that work for you. Many Chase cards also come with hefty welcome bonuses and bonus-earning 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 option for earning United miles are Chase’s co-branded United cards:

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United℠ Explorer Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 bonus miles
$720
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.

You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
Cons
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Program

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Club℠ Infinite Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 90,000 bonus miles
$1,080
$525
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.

United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.

Pros
  • 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $525 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access® travel services
  • 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Quest℠ Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
70,000 miles
$840
$250
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card. With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.

With an annual fee that falls between the United℠ Explorer Card and United Club℠ Infinite Card, the United Quest card makes for a fantastic card option for United frequent flyers.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on travel, dining, and select streaming services
  • $125 annual United credit
Cons
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Does not offer airport lounge access
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 PQP after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, dining and select streaming services
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and priority boarding
  • Up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year (terms apply)
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Gateway℠ Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
30,000 miles
$360
$0
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services, taxicabs, train tickets, tolls, and mass transit
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • If you are a frequent United flyer, other cards offer more perks
  • It does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
United Club℠ Business Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
50,000 miles
$600
$450
21.99%–28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.

From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $450 annual fee
  • Earning rate for United purchases is poor compared to other United cards
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases
  • Earn 1.5x miles on all other purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • United Club membership — up to a $650 value per year. Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more
  • Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, save up to $320 per round-trip
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99%–28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

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

Additionally, if you fly United regularly, some of these cards can help you earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) through your annual credit card spend.

These cards are more useful for the perks than their earning potential, but they are still a solid way to earn United miles.

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

Chase allows United cardholders to refer a friend to apply for United co-branded cards. Sending a referral link to your friends is very simple and just requires you to enter a few personal details.

If the person you refer is approved for any United card, even if it’s not the same card you hold, then you will earn 10,000 bonus miles. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles per year through referrals.

You can enter your card details on the Chase website to get your referral link.

4. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

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

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
85,000 points
$595
$250
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $250 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit, available for Qualifying Rates.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

5. Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

Bilt Rewards is a rewards program aimed at those who pay rent. You can earn Bilt points and transfer them to United at a ratio of 1:1 with a minimum of 2,000 points transferred. The Bilt card is the main avenue to earn Bilt points and allows renters to pay rent with their credit card with no additional transaction fees and earn points in the process.

However, the card lacks a welcome bonus and has a minimum transaction requirement per statement period to earn points for paying rent.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Learn More(at Bilt's secure site)
$0

Never before has there been a credit card built specifically with renters in mind. Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, designed specifically to help renters earn rewards on their rent payments with no transaction fees.

Of course, aside from rewards on rent, there are many other solid features that the card offers that add extra value to cardholders. In this guide, we provide a complete breakdown of everything the Bilt card has to offer to help you decide whether the card makes sense for you.

Pros
  • 3x points per $1 at restaurants
  • 2x points per $1 on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies
  • 1x point per $1 on rent payments, without a transaction fee, up to 100,000 points each calendar year
Cons
  • Does not offer a welcome bonus
  • Must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • $0 annual card fee
  • 1X points on rent payments with no transaction fee (up to $100,000 in rent payments every calendar year) and on other purchases
  • 2X points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X points on dining
  • Use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • Select Learn More to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Financial Snapshot
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

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. MileagePlus Shopping

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 hundreds of 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 Airlines MileagePlus 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 MileagePlus 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.
  6. After a few seconds, you’ll be able to shop on the store’s website.
  7. 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

United MileagePlus X
Use the MileagePlus X app on your smartphone to take advantage of extra United miles-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 $1 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. MileagePlus Dining Program

Pokeworks Houston Heights MileagePlus Dining
Sign up for MileagePlus Dining and get access to earn extra miles at places like the restaurant featured above! Image Credit: MileagePlus Dining

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 offered at sign-up).

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 points (that can be converted to United miles) as possible.

9. Rewards for Event Tickets

United Audience Rewards
Image Credit: Audience Rewards

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:

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Earn United Miles Through Travel

If you happen to have paid flights or hotel stays in your future, you can, of course, earn United miles on them, too!

11. Airfare and Airline Purchases

United Polaris Boeing 767-300
United Polaris seat on the Boeing 767-300. Image Credit: Victoria M. Walker

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

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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 airlines are all partners with United:

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Star Alliance Partners
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Air
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandinavian Airlines
ANAShenzhen Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSingapore Airlines
AustrianSouth African Airways
AviancaSWISS
Brussels AirlinesTAP Air Portugal
Copa AirlinesThai Airways
Croatia AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Egypt AirUnited Airlines
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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 on earning miles for paid flights, check out this in-depth guide to help you know where to credit your airline miles.

12. Car Rentals and Other Ground Transportation

Flying is not the only way to earn United MileagePlus miles when you travel.

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13. 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 and how many miles you’ll earn:

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Hotel Transfer Partners

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 hotel rewards programs, you can opt to earn United miles instead of the hotel’s own loyalty currency, though we would not recommend this due to poor value:

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14. Book Vacation Rentals through Vrbo

United MileagePlus members can earn 3x United miles per $1 spent booking a Vrbo vacation rental through the United Vrbo portal. United miles are awarded after the stay is complete and are based only on the rental amount. Taxes, cleaning fees, and any other service fees or extra charges won’t earn you miles.

The last name of the primary traveler on the Vrbo booking must match the last name on the United MileagePlus account in order to receive miles.

The bonus miles are not associated with having a United co-branded credit card so you can stack these bonus miles with any credit card to earn even more miles on your Vrbo purchase.

15. Book With United Vacations or United 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 $1 spent.

Miles 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.

With United Packages, you can earn 1,000 bonus miles when you book your flight, hotel, and car together.

16. 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 earn up to 45,000 miles by booking a single cruise if you’re a United co-branded cardholder or 25,000 miles for non-cardholders!

Scroll down on the main page of the United Cruises website to find a list of special deals that will add even more miles to the normal amount offered. Some cruise lines will tack on up to 10,000 miles extra when booking through them!

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

17. Special Travel Partners

The following company offers unique services and products related to your travel experience. It has bonus miles offered in partnership with MileagePlus and is worth taking a look at (especially if you’re a frequent traveler).

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18. Fly Semi-private

While flying private or even semi-private isn’t something that the majority of us can do, it’s good to know that it’s another way to earn United miles.

Passengers flying on JSX flights can earn 50% to 100% of the miles flown, depending on the fare class booked, in the form of United MileagePlus miles.

Specialty Earnings for United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus has partnered with lots of other companies and non-profits to give you different ways to earn extra miles.

19. Make a Donation

The National Foundation for Cancer Research was started in the 1970s to support cancer research and educate the public about cancer 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 10 miles per $1 spent. Make a donation and the miles will post to your account in 4 to 6 weeks!

20. Home and Energy Services

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

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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.

21. Financial and Security Services

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.

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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!

22. 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.

United MileagePlus has teamed up with Opinion Miles Club to offer you this simple way to earn a few extra miles. You can earn 300 miles for joining and completing your first survey (600 miles for MileagePlus cardholders), then 50 to 70 miles per survey.

23. 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 its 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 United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are United miles?

United’s loyalty program is called MileagePlus. The points you earn and redeem are United MileagePlus miles.

Which credit cards earn United miles?

You can earn miles for United MileagePlus with the United Explorer card, United Quest card, United Club Infinite card, United Gateway card, United Business card, and United Club Business card.

MileagePlus miles can also be earned by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. These include the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and Ink Business Preferred 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.

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 MileagePlus has several airline, hotel, and retail partners, including Marriott Bonvoy, Singapore Airlines, and more.

When do United MileagePlus miles post in your account?

United miles earned from flights should arrive in your account within 48 hours of completing travel.

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

Are United MileagePlus miles refundable?

Yes, you can get your United miles refunded for no fee if you need to change or cancel your award ticket. If you miss your flight a $125 fee will be charged to get your miles back.

When do United MileagePlus miles expire?

United MileagePlus miles do not expire.

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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). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.

The Ultimate Lounge Playbook!

Discover the exact steps we use to get into 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide, for free (even if you’re flying economy!).

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