How to earn United MileagePlus miles | finder.com
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How to earn United MileagePlus miles

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Endlessly diverse opportunities for earning miles.

The United Airlines MileagePlus loyalty program offers many ways to earn miles. Spend on dining, travel, shopping and more to earn airfare and other credit card perks.

Eleven ways to earn MileagePlus miles

Earn miles with credit cards

Spending with cobranded or partnered credit cards is one of the fastest ways to earn miles, even when you’re not spending on your next flight.

Our pick for earning United MileagePlus miles

United℠ Explorer Card

  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Earn two miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with two one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn two miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
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United partners with Chase to offer several cobranded credit cards to help you earn additional MileagePlus miles and other travel benefits. These cobranded cards can also help you earn additional status levels faster than other partnered cards.
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee
40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on tickets purchased from United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases
$450
50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$150 after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
2% back on airline tickets purchased from United® and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
$150 in United TravelBank cash after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Earn 2x miles at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores, 2x miles on tickets purchased from United and 1x miles on all other purchases.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Earn a $100 statement credit after your first purchase
Earn 2x miles on tickets purchased from United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases.
$450
Enjoy access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™ affiliated lounges worldwide.

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Transfer Ultimate Reward points earned through other Chase cards to your MileagePlus account at a 1:1 ratio. Because these cards have more bonus categories, they can give you higher mileage gains than cobranded cards, depending on how you spend.
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on travel and dining. 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit. 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
3x on travel, shipping, Internet, cable, phone and online ads up to $150,000 combined annually; then 1x after and on all other purchases
$95
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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Flying with United Airlines

Flying with United Airlines is the next best method to build your miles. The number of miles you earn on United flights depends on the fare and your membership level.

MileagePlus statusBase miles earnedPremier miles earnedTotal award miles earned
Base5x fare5x fare
Premier Silver5x fare2x fare7x fare
Premier Gold5x fare3x fare8x fare
Premier Platinum5x fare4x fare9x fare
Premier 1K5x fare6x fare11x fare

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

In addition to the rates above, certain specialty tickets are offered through United reward miles based on distance traveled and fare class.

Eligible fare classes on special ticketsBase award miles earned based on distanceFare class bonus
J, C, D, Z, P, F, A100%50%
Y, B, M100%0%
E, U, H, Q, V, W75%0%
S, T, L, K, G50%90%

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Flying with United partners

Miles are calculated based on fare class and flight distance, rather than just fare, when you book a flight with a United partner.

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MileagePlus Dining

Earn points with the MileagePlus Dining program by making purchases at participating restaurants.

While possible earnings vary, the program offers a 1,000-mile bonus for spending $25 or more on your first participating restaurant visit, and 500 bonus miles for each of your next three visits when you spend $25 or more.

MileagePlus Shopping

Use the MileagePlus Shopping portal to shop online at participating retailers to earn additional points. Earning rates tend to vary based on retailer, but you can check current rates on the portal.

The MileagePlus X app

Buy gift cards from select merchants using this app and earn a certain number of miles per dollar spent, varying by retailer.

You can also enroll in United Visa Rewards with your cobranded United credit card to earn 1,000 bonus miles.

Partnered hotels

You can earn MileagePlus miles by booking stays with participating hotel chains.

Participating hotelPotential earnings
Marriott BonvoyEarn between 1x and 2x miles per dollar depending on the hotel
Convert Marriott Bonvoy points into MileagePlus miles; 3 points equals 1.1 miles
Le Club AccorHotelsConvert Rewards points into MileagePlus miles; 2,000 points equals 1,000 miles
Hilton HonorsConvert points into miles; 10,000 points equals 1,000 miles
IHG Rewards ClubEarn between 1x and 2x miles per dollar spent depending on hotel
Convert points into miles; 5 points equals 1 mile
Radisson RewardsEarn between 250 and 500 miles per stay depending on hotel
Convert points into miles at varying rates
World of HyattEarn 500 miles per stay
Convert points into miles; 2.5 points equals 1 mile
Choice PrivilegesEarn 250 miles per stay
Convert points into miles; 5,000 points equals 1,000 mile
Wyndham RewardsEarn between 1x and 2x miles for every dollar depending on Wyndham Reward level
Convert points into mile at varying rates
Golden CircleEarn 500 miles per stay
Convert points to miles; 1 point equals 1 mile

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Car rentals and ground transportation

Earn up to 1,250 miles by renting a Hertz car through United.com. You can also convert your Hertz Gold Plus Reward points into MileagePlus miles at a ratio of 600 points to 500 miles. Other ground transportation partners include:

Car rental partnerCar rental partner
Dollar50x miles per day on one- to four-day rentals
500x miles per rental on qualifying rentals of five or more days
Thrifty50x miles per day on one- to four-day rentals
500x miles per rental on qualifying rentals of five or more days
GroundLink200x miles per ride
SuperShuttle50x miles per direction to and from the airport
ExecuCar150x miles per direction to and from the airport
Carmel50x miles within New York or 100x miles outside of New York on each trip booked and completed
2x miles per dollar on each trip booked and completed
AmtrakMiles vary on class and segment

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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United Cruises

United cardmembers who book a cruise through the United Cruise program can earn bonus miles and a bonus rate to their standard miles earned through a cobranded credit card. Bonuses vary based on each cruise.

Home services

If you choose NRG for your home electric needs, you can earn a bonus of 12,500 miles after your first two months of service along with 3x miles for every dollar spent on the supply portion of your bill. This opportunity is only available for residents of Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Residents in Texas can find similar miles opportunities when signing up with Reliant’s Reliant Secure 24 plan. Texans can earn a 15,000-mile enrollment bonus and 500 additional miles each month for the following 24 months.

Some of your other home and auto earning partners include:

Auto partnerPotential earnings
California Casualty7,500 miles after four months of continuous coverage
5,000x miles after your first and second policy renewals
2,500x miles after your third policy renewal

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Financial services

United has also partnered with several financial services to help you earn miles.

Financial serviceEarnings
Quicken Loans25,000 miles for closing or refinancing a home loan
LendingClub1x miles for every dollar you borrow with a personal loan
LifeLockUp to 13,000 miles when you enroll in LifeLock

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Miscellaneous partners

United’s partnerships extend to a variety of companies that don’t fit in other categories, each with their own potential for bonus mileage.

PartnerPotential earnings
FTD30x miles on flowers and gifts
1800Flowers.com30x miles on flowers and gifts
TelefloraUp to 750 bonus miles
Harry & David30x miles on eligible purchases
Shari’s Berries20x miles on eligible purchases
Personal Creations20x miles on eligible purchases
Travelex2x miles when exchanging over $500
1x miles when exchanging under $500
BP Driver Rewards3x miles for every gallon of gas
200 bonus miles after making your first purchase with a debit or credit card linked to your BP Driver Rewards account
Opinion Miles Club300 miles for joining and completing the first survey
Vinesse Wines5,000 miles when you join American Cellars Wine Club
5x miles on eligible purchases
MyPoints1,500 miles when you join and shop online
VisaCentral1,000 miles for visa and passport services
500 miles for Australian ETA and US ESTA services
Thanks Again100 miles when you enroll
1x miles at participating retailers
National Foundation for Cancer Research10x miles on contributions to the organization
IT&E3x miles on mobile or Internet services

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Buy MileagePlus miles

MileagePlus miles can be purchased directly through the MileagePlus site starting at $35 per 1,000 miles. There’s a minimum purchase of 2,000 miles.

Bottom line

With a seemingly endless way of earning miles, you can gain significant rewards with United’s MileagePlus program. Make sure to compare your best redemption options to get the most out of your miles.

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Frequently asked questions

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