United MileagePlus guide: The best ways to earn and use United miles
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For world travelers looking to fly with miles, the United MileagePlus program may offer the best combination of travel options, value and flexibility in routing out of any airline loyalty program. Not only can you use miles on United’s worldwide fleet, but you have your choice of 39 airline partners to use your miles (as well as elite status benefits) on.
What is United MileagePlus?
United MileagePlus is the loyalty program of United Airlines, rewarding its frequent flyers with airline miles that they can redeem for awards, including free flights on United or one of its Star Alliance partners, gift cards, merchandise and more.
There are many advantages to the MileagePlus program: United’s flight network is huge, United’s award routing rules are a little more generous than average (allowing you to book a free stopover on certain itineraries), MileagePlus doesn’t add fuel surcharges to any of its flights and, best of all, United miles can be extremely valuable when used the right way.
There are a few drawbacks, too. There are many fees for booking, changing and canceling flights with United, including a $75 fee for booking awards less than 21 days in advance. Also, MileagePlus Saver Awards – which can be a really great redemption value – are limited in availability. Meanwhile, United’s alternative to Saver Awards – Everyday Awards – are widely available but very expensive.
United has a fair amount of Saver Awards scattered through its calendar, but, still, if you don’t have the flexibility to check multiple dates and times, you might give the MileagePlus program a pass.
Read on for a full overview of the United MileagePlus program, including how to earn and redeem miles for the most value.
United program overview
|Type of currency||Miles|
|Average point value||1.52 cents|
Explorer Card, United
MileagePlus Club Card, United MileagePlus Go, United MileagePlus Explorer
Business, United MileagePlus Club Business
airline statement credits, hotels, car rentals, cruises, TSA PreCheck credit,
in-flight wi-fi credit, United Club membership, merchandise, gift cards, gas
discounts, magazines/newspaper subscriptions, experiences, event awards,
Broadway shows, restaurant gift cards, airport dining, credit card annual fee
|Minimum required to redeem||8,000
miles for Saver Awards
|Do rewards expire?||After 18 months of no activity (earning or redeeming miles)
|Airline partners||28 Star
Alliance partners and 11 additional partners
daily flights, 1,300+ destinations, 190+ countries
- How much are United miles worth?
- Best United Airlines credit cards
- 12 ways to earn United miles
- Best ways to redeem United miles
- United Airlines partners
- United Airlines elite status benefits
- A guide to United Club lounges
- How to book a United flight with miles
- United MileagePlus Shopping guide
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