How to redeem your United miles for the best value | finder.com
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Redeem United Airlines miles for best value

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Partner airlines and no fuel charges mean your miles go farther.

Get the most value out of your United MileagePlus miles by booking flights. A variety of Star Alliance flight partners and no fuel surcharges passed on to award tickets means you can get more for your miles when you get the right deals.

United Airlines transfer partners

MileagePlus members can earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance partner flights in addition to United flights. The miles needed to book flights depend on the seating class, destination and flight type.

Awards chart

Here are a few examples of how many miles you’ll need to travel to your desired destination from the US.

Destination Class Miles needed
Domestic US Economy

First class

  • One-way Saver Award: 10,000 for itineraries of 700 miles or less; 12,500 for greater than 700 miles
  • One-way Everyday Award: 32,500
  • One-way Saver Award: 25,000
  • One-way Everyday Award: 50,000
Hawaii Economy

First class

  • One-way Saver Award: 22,500
  • One-way Everyday Award: 45,000
  • One-way Saver Award: 40,000
  • One-way Everyday Award: 90,0000
Central America Economy

First and business class

  • One-way Saver Award: 17,500
  • One-way Everyday Award: 40,000
  • One-way Saver Award: 30,000
  • One-way Everyday Award: 70,000
Europe Economy

First and business class

Partner first and business class

  • One-way Saver Award: 30,000
  • One-way Everyday Award: 70,000
  • One-way Saver Award: 60,000
  • One-way Everyday Award: 155,000
  • One-way Saver Award: 70,000

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

These values come from United’s awards chart calculator. Some flights may require additional miles depending on certain conditions.

How to redeem miles for maximum value

Get the most bang for your buck by using reward miles to book flights. Based on United’s fare and award charts, miles are worth around 0.1 to 1.4 cents upon redemption, though the exact value depends on how they are redeemed. To get a higher value, skip on poorer redemption options, such as merchandise.

Cash in your miles with these better redemption options:

How to earn United MileagePlus miles

woman on a cruise ship in Alaska
Credit cards are one of the best ways to earn miles on your MileagePlus account. You generally have two options: United’s cobranded cards and cards that allow you to transfer points.

Our pick for 1:1 point transfer

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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Compare United cards and other credit cards

United’s cobranded cards have intro bonuses and can help jump-start your MileagePlus reward earnings with additional earnings on United products. The United cards can also help you reach your next status tier faster, letting you earn bonus rates on eligible purchases.
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee
40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on tickets purchased from United, 2x miles at restaurants, 2x miles on direct hotel purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Chase Ultimate Rewards has reward opportunities, offering plenty of miles while opening up your spending categories. Points can be transferred to your MileagePlus account at a 1:1 ratio.
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.
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back for each dollar spent
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The MileagePlus program is great for domestic and international travelers who want to redeem points by booking flights through United Airlines or partner airlines. It might take a little planning and research to find the best flight for the highest redemption value, but it can be worth it.

Frequently asked questions

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