Best Ways To Earn United Miles | The Point Calculator

Best Ways To Earn United Miles

United Travel Partners

Looking for the best ways to earn United Miles? Get the list of ways you can up your United Miles balance with hotel, car rental, and shopping partners.


United Airlines provides a numerous amount of ways that you can earn miles in the United MileagePlus program. This includes flying United operated flights as well as flying with partners, booking other forms of travel, using co-branded credit cards, transferring points to your United account, and much more. This page will cover the best ways to earn United Miles.

Flying United & Partners

The most direct way to earn United Miles is by flying United, United Express, and United airline partners. The amount of miles you earn will be based on the type of ticket you've purchased, the ticketing airline, and the operating airline. You will also earn additional miles based on your United Premier status in the United MileagePlus program.

Useful Resources: United Airline Partners

Star Alliance

United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance. As a MileagePlus member, you will be able to earn and redeem your United Miles with all 26 Star Alliance partners. Those partners consist of:

  • Aegean
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • CopaAirlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Ethiopian
  • Eva Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss
  • TAP Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

In order to earn United Miles through these partners, you will need to input your United MileagePlus number when purchasing tickets from any of the above airline websites. Failure to do so will result in you earning miles with the respected airline instead of with United.

Other Airline Partners

In addition to Star Alliance partners, you can also earn United Miles flying a handful of other airlines. The amount of United Miles you earn will again depend on the airline. United's non-Star Alliance airline partners consist of:

In order to earn United Miles with these partners, you will need to add your United MileagePlus number to the flight reservation.

United Hotel Partners

You can earn United Miles booking hotels either through the United Hotels portal or by booking direct with hotels and setting your earning preferences to United Airlines. This is can be a great option if you're not looking to earn points with any given hotel loyalty program.

United Hotels Portal

Booking directly through the United Hotels Portal will earn you 2 United Miles per $1 spent which is not a bad rate for anyone looking to earn United Miles. The portal itself is powered by Hotels.com so it's pretty easy to navigate.

The portal behaves just like Hotels.com.

Booking through the United Hotels portal also provides a few extra benefits for those with United Premier Status so it's worth looking into.

United-Marriott RewardsPlus Partnership

If you're part of the Marriott Bonvoy Program, you'll benefit heavily from flying United. Marriott and United are partnered up through the RewardsPlus program. This grants a numerous amount of benefits for those who are part of both programs especially for those with elite status in either program.

Bonus United Miles

When you have a confirmed flight reservation with United, you can book your Marriott hotel through the special United-Marriott Bonus promo link to earn bonus United Miles through the RewardsPlus program. This is in addition to the United Miles you'll earn on your flight and the Marriott Bonvoy Points you'll earn on your stay. You also will still receive all your Marriott Bonvoy Benefits if you have elite status with Marriott. There's not really a downside to this so I recommend using this portal whenever booking a trip that involves both United and Marriott.

united marriott rewardsplus bonus miles
Earn bonus miles while still earning your normal rewards with both United and Marriott.

Other RewardsPlus Benefits

In addition to earning bonus miles, the RewardsPlus partnership also grants benefits such as complimentary elite status across programs, bonus miles when transferring from Marriott Bonvoy to United and the ability to transfer United Miles to Marriott Bonvoy, and more.

Hotel Partners

You can earn United Miles booking stays directly with various hotel brands by setting your earning preference to United. The plus to this over booking through the United Hotels portal is that you'll still be booking direct and you'll still receive credit towards earning elite status. This can be a solid option for those who:

  • Want to book direct to avoid third party problems
  • Don't care to earn hotel points with a hotel brand
  • Still wants to work to elite status with a hotel brand

Some programs also allow you to transfer your earned hotel loyalty points directly to your United MileagePlus account. Earning points directly and then transferring those points to your United account will be the better option if you consistently stay at a specific hotel brand.

Setting your earning preference to United Airlines is good if you stay at a whole bunch of different hotels and/or you don't care to keep track of rewards across many programs.

united hotel partners
United has a bunch of hotel partners you can use to earn additional miles.

The table below lists the hotels that you can use to earn United Miles and shows you which ones allow you to change you earning preferences and which ones allows you to transfer points directly to your United account. The amount of miles you earn depends on the hotel brand.

Hotel Set Preference Transfer Partner
Accor Live Limitless - Yes
Hilton Honors - Yes
IHG Rewards Club Yes Yes
Radisson Rewards Yes Yes
World of Hyatt Yes Yes
Choice Privileges Yes Yes
Wyndham Rewards Yes Yes
Shangri-La Golden Circle Yes Yes

Hotel Portal Partners

Another option you have when it comes to earning United Miles booking hotels is Rocketmiles and PointsHound. Both of these websites allow you to earn up to 10,000 United Miles per night. In order to do such, you'll need to set your earning preference to United with both programs.

United Transportation Partners

United Miles can be earned booking car rentals, cruising the seven seas, and riding the rails. You'll want to make sure that you're providing your United MileagePlus number when booking with the transportation partners listed below to receive credit.

United Cruises

The United Cruises portal allows you to earn United Miles when booking a cruise. If you own a United MileagePlus credit card you'll be able to earn up to 7 United Miles per $1 spent for up to a max of 45,000 miles. If you don't have a United credit card, you'll be able to earn up to 25,000 miles per cruise.

Earn big as a United credit cardholder.

Along with earning United Miles, you'll receive several other benefits when booking through United Cruises which includes the ability to redeem your United Miles for cruise, the ability to use Miles+Cash for your cruise, extra benefits for those with United Premier elite status, and much more.

United Car Rental Partners

If you need a rental car and you want to earn extra United Miles, you'll be able to solve both problems renting with Hertz and Hertz-owned brands Thrifty and Dollar. This can easily be done using the cars.united.com car rental portal powered by RentalCars.com. You'll earn the most points and benefits when booking with Hertz versus Thrifty and Dollar.

Do note that you will be charged a Frequent Flyer Surcharge of $0.75 per day when taking this route with Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty.

Book your Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty rentals through the United portal for easy miles.

Hertz

The amount of United Miles you earn with Hertz will depend on your United Premier Status. With Hertz, you'll able to earn up to 1,250 United Miles per rental.

Qualification Miles Per Rental
General Member 500 Miles
United Credit Cardholder 750 Miles
Premier Silver & Gold Members 1,000 Miles
Premier Platinum & 1K Members 1,250 Miles

If you'd prefer to book direct, you can also earn the same amount of miles directly though hertz.com by using the following codes:

  • Hertz Discount Code (CDP): 62455
  • Hertz Promotional Code (PC): 204508

If you have United Premier Status or hold certain United credit cards, you'll have access to complimentary Hertz Elite status which grants a good handful of useful benefits with Hertz.

Qualification Hertz Status
United Premier Silver Hertz Five Star Status
United Premier Gold
United Club Cardholder Hertz President's Circle
United Club Business Cardholder
United Premier Platinum Members
United Premier 1K Members

You can sign up for your complimentary status though the United-Hertz promo link.

Thrifty & Dollar

If you plan on booking a rental with Thrifty or Dollar, you'll be able to earn United Miles based on the length of your rental.

Days Booked Miles Earned
1-4 Days 50 Miles Per Day
5+ Days 500 Miles Per Rental

Due to the Frequent Flyer Surcharge, booking 1-4 days with Thrifty and Dollar may not be worth it. You'll be charge $0.75 per day and only earning 50 United Miles which I value around $0.65. You can book with Dollar and Thrifty using the United Car Booking Portal.

United & Amtrak Partnership

You can earn United Miles when traveling on Amtrak in the northeast region of the United States. This will apply if you fly United and make a connection using Amtrak.

Based on United class flown, you'll earn between 250 and 325 United Miles when you fly United and make a connection at Newark Liberty International Airport to or from any of the following Amtrak destinations:

  • New Haven Rail Station, CT
  • Stamford Rail Station, CT
  • Philadelphia 30th Street Station, PA
  • Wilmington Rail Station, DE

You can earn 500 United Miles per Business Class segment and 750 United Miles per First Class segment on Acela Express trains between New York's Penn Station and the following train stations:

  • Boston's South Station, MA
  • Boston's Back Bay Station, MA
  • Boston's Route 128 Station, MA
  • Washington D.C.
earn united miles

Do note that no connecting flights are required when using the Acela Express train.

Other Partners

United has a few other partners that stretches across retail, dining, entertainment, financial services, home, auto, and more. You can check out United's Partner Page to get the full details on how much you can earn with each partner as well as any terms and conditions.

You can earn United Miles with the following partners:

  • Quicken Loans
  • LifeLock
  • California Casualty Auto and Home Insurance
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • NRG
  • Reliant
  • SimpliSafe
  • Sixt mydriver
  • Carmel
  • Bandwagon
  • Audience Rewards
  • Home Chef
  • TPC (Golf)
  • Timeshifter® - The Jet Lag App®
  • FTD
  • 1800Flowers.com
  • Teleflora
  • eRewards
  • Harry & David
  • Travelex
  • Opinion Miles Club
  • Vinesse Wines
  • MyPoints
  • VisaCentral
  • Thanks Again®
  • National Foundation for Cancer Research
  • IT&E
  • Mobil Guam and Saipan

MileagePlus X App

The MileagePlus X App allows you to earn United Miles at your favorite restaurants and retailers. This mobile application is available through the iTunes/Apple App Store and Google Play. Through this application you will have access to:

  • The ability to purchase eGift cards to use online, in-store, and at restaurants
  • MileagePlus Dining
  • MileagePlus Shopping
  • Featured Apps (similar to Shopping, but through apps)
  • United Visa Rewards

If you're serious about earning United Miles from every purchase and every corner of the universe, you will want to download this app.

Earning Miles Shopping

You can earn United Miles shopping online through the MileagePlus Shopping portal and the United MileagePlus Golf portal.

MileagePlus Shopping

The United MileagePlus Shopping portal allows you to earn United Miles shopping online at top retailers. When you go to the United MileagePlus Shopping portal, you'll have more than 900 stores to shop at. Find the store you want to earn and click 'Shop Now'. You'll be taken to that store's website to shop as normal. Once you make a purchase, the MileagePlus Shopping portal will be notified and you'll receive your United Miles. It's that easy.

united mileageplus shopping
Earn a certain amount of United miles per $1 spent shopping at 900+ stores online.

There are many airlines, hotels, and other rewards programs that have their own shopping portal. If you're not looking to earn points and miles, you can also earn cash back through several portals, most of which allows you to cash out immediately or has a low threshold.

MileagePlus Golf

The United MileagePlus Golf portal allows you to earn United Miles purchasing golf equipment and merchandise such as clubs, gear, golf balls, clothing, and more. Each item will tell you how many miles you'll be earnings

You'll know how many miles you'll earn before you checkout.

If you love to golf and you love earning United Miles, you could easily squeeze some value of this portal. Just be sure to check the United MileagePlus Shopping portal as well to make sure you're getting the best deal on your golf equipment/merchandise purchases.

MileagePlus Dining

The United MileagePlus Dining program allows you to earn United Miles when dining out at participating restaurants. Once you create a free account, you'll be able to link debit/credit cards to your profile. Every time you use one of those linked cards at an eligible restaurant, you'll earn United Miles. The amount of miles you earn will depend on your "status" in the MileagePlus Dining program. You can earn up to 5 United Miles per $1 spent using this program. Be sure to link a rewards card that earns a great return on dining purchases. This is an easy way to double dip on rewards.

united mileageplus dining
Easily earn rewards with your credit card and United Miles when dining out.

United Vacations

You can book your entire vacation through United and earn miles when doing so. United Vacations allows you to package together a United flight with hotels, car rentals, and activities. This earns you United Miles on your entire purchase and also saves you a couple of bucks as a package deal. Booking through the United Vacations portal also has a few other perks which includes price matching, bonus miles, and the ability to secure your trip with a small $200 per person down payment. If you don't care about earning rewards points with hotels or car rental companies, this is a great chance to earn a large amount of United Miles.

Summary

As you can see, there's lots of ways to earn United Miles spending with their partners and that's not even all of them. United Miles can also be earned using United Credit Cards which will earn you miles on everyday spend. You can use the United Credit Card Miles Calculators to calculate how many miles you can earn based on your spend:

United also has a handful of useful transfer partners which allows you to transfer points directly into your United MileagePlus account. Check out the United Transfer Partners Calculator to calculate the transfer of points to your account and get the details on partners. You can also use the Best Credit Cards For United Miles tool to get a list of the best United Credit Cards based on your spend which includes transfer partner credit cards as well!

Lastly, buying United Miles is also an option. If you don't have the means to transfer points to your United account, buying them is the next best option if you need points now.


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Page Last Updated: 2020-04-22
Article By: Robert Flowers III

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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate the value of points, miles, and cash back you can earn with various rewards programs and using reward earning credit cards. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.

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