United miles: Quick overview
Earning United Miles: United Miles can be earned booking flights with United and their airline partners. You can also earn miles by using credit cards, booking other forms of travel, spending with partners, and dining out. Purchasing United miles is also an option.
Redeeming United Miles: United Miles can be redeemed for flights, cruises, hotels, car rentals, United Club membership, in-flight WiFi, merchandise, and gift cards. You can also use them to pay for a TSA PreCheck application fee.
United Miles Value: Based on our valuations, United miles are worth 1.3 cents per mile. This means 10,000 miles are equal to about $130 in travel value.
Airline Alliance: United is part of the Star Alliance.
United Credit Card Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards is the only major credit card transfer partner of United MileagePlus.
Best credit cards for United
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for flexible travel rewards.
- United℠ Explorer Card: Best for occasional United travelers.
- Best for benefits and frequent United travelers.: Best for benefits and frequent United travelers.
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for flexible business travel rewards.
United airline partners
United airlines is part of the Star Alliance which allows you to earn and redeem your United miles for flights around the world. They also partner with a handful of other airlines in which you can earn and/or redeem miles with.
Star Alliance member airlines
Here are United's Star Alliance partners:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Asiana Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Eva Air
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Air Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
Other airline partners
United miles can also be earned and/or redeemed with a few select partners outside of the alliance. Those partners are:
- Aer Lingus
- Air Dolomiti
- Boutique Air
- Cape Air
- Eurowings Discover
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Olympic Air
- Silver Airways
- Virgin Australia
What's the value of United miles?
How much are United miles worth? The simple answer: about 1.3 cents per mile on average. This means 10,000 United miles are worth about $130 in flight value when booking with United and their airline partners.
In addition to flights, Untied miles can also be used for United Club membership, cruises, car rentals, gift cards, and towards the fee of a TSA PreCheck application.
|Redemption option||Redemption value in cents|
|Award Flights (Research/Sweet Spots)||2|
|Award Flights (Average)||1.3|
|United Club Membership||0.77|
|United Wi-Fi Subscription||0.65 - 0.68|
How to earn United miles
United offers many ways to earn United miles. This includes flying United Airlines and their partners, booking travel with partners, shopping online, and dining out.
The easiest way to earn United miles is by flying United airlines. This can be done by booking travel directly through united.com when signed into your United MileagePlus account.
When flying United, you will earn United miles based on the fare and your status in the MileagePlus program.
Fly airline partners
United is part of the Star Alliance which features over 20 airlines. They also partner with a large amount of airlines that are not in the Alliance.
When booking flights with these airlines through their own respective websites, you'll need to use your United MileagePlus number when you complete this reservation. This will allow you to receive credit for United instead of the respective airline partner program.
When flying partner airlines booked through other airlines, you'll earn United miles based on flight distance and purchased fare class. Booking First/Business class fares will earn you the most miles while booking basic or deep-discount economy fares will either earn you the lowest or no miles at all.
For example, using your United MileagePlus number to book travel through singaporeair.com can earn you up to 150% of miles flown.
If you're looking to get the most miles out of your international flights, it can be well worth it to see which partner airlines are flying to your destination. There are many scenarios in which flying partners will earn you more miles than flying United, especially if it's a long distance.
Use credit cards
United offers a total of five Chase credit cards that you can use to earn United miles on everyday purchases. These cards also offer great perks and benefits for anyone who frequently deals with United.
If you're looking for the best United credit card, our top pick is the United℠ Explorer Card which earns up to 2X miles on your purchases and offers a free checked bag for yourself and one companion traveling on the same reservation and two United Club passes annually.
Want to relax before or between flights? Check out the United Club℠ Infinite Card which offers United Club access for a cheaper annual fee than paying for membership directly through United. On top of that, you'll be able to enjoy up to 4X miles on your purchases and a free checked bag.
View All Cards: Skip to full credit card list
United miles can be earned booking hotels through United Hotels which will earn you 2 miles for every $1 spent on all properties. You can also earn United miles by setting your earning preference to United MileagePlus with several hotel loyalty partners which includes Marriott, IHG, Choice, and several more.
You can earn up to 1,250 United miles per qualifying rental with Avis and Budget. The amount of miles you earn is based on your status or whether or not you have a Chase United credit card.
- MileagePlus general members: Earn 500 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.
- MileagePlus Chase cardmembers: Earn 750 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.
- Premier Silver and Premier Gold members: Earn 1,000 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.
- Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members: Earn 1,250 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.
You can earn miles with Avis by going to avis.com and entering in Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD#) A791500.
You can earn miles with Budget by going to budget.com and entering Budget Customer Discount (BCD) B204900.
United Miles can be earned booking cruises through United Cruises. There's over 25 cruise lines to choose from and you can earn up to 45,000 miles.
Shop online and dine out
You can earn United miles shopping online with hundreds of retailers using the MileagePlus Shopping portal. You can also earn miles dining out when you sign up for MileagePlus Dining and add your favorite rewards credit card to your account.
United offers the ability to book your whole vacation through one site: United Packages. Through this portal, you can book hotels, flights, and car rentals together, in any combination, and earn bonus miles on every package.
Purchase United miles
United miles can be purchased directly from United's buy miles portal. United miles will cost you 3.5 cents per mile along with a 7.5% tax recovery fee. If you're a few miles short of a redemption, topping off your account can be well worth it.
Ways to redeem United miles
There many ways to redeem United miles for travel including flights, cruises, hotels, and more. You can also use miles for United Club membership, TSA PreCheck, gift cards, and even to buy merchandise.
Use miles on flights
Redeeming United miles for award flights with United and their airline partners will offer you the most value out of your miles. When using miles to book flights on united.com, all partner flights will be listed in the results along with United's own flights.
You can also use your United miles to upgrade your flights using MileagePlus Upgrade Awards.
Use miles for cruises
United miles can be used to book cruises through United Cruises. When booking through United Cruises, you have the option to use all miles or combine your miles with money to book your cruise.
Sign up for United Club membership
United miles can be used to pay for United Club membership starting at 85,000 miles which normally starts at $650 when paying cash. At our United miles valuation of 1.3 cents per point, 85,000 miles is equal to $1,105 in flight value meaning you're losing almost half of your miles value with this redemption.
If you're looking for United Club membership, I recommend either paying cash or picking up the United Club℠ Infinite Card which offers United Club membership at a cheaper cost.
Pay for a TSA PreCheck application
United miles can be use towards the cost of a TSA PreCheck application for 11,000 miles. TSA PreCheck gives you access to quicker security screening when departing from major U.S. airports.
Book a car rental
United miles can be redeemed to book cars with Avis and Budge through the United Cars portal. You can pay with all miles or use a combination of miles and money to book your car rentals.
Book a hotel stay
Hotels can be booked using United miles through the United hotels.
Pay for in-flight WiFi
In need of Wi-Fi on your United flights? Use your United miles to pay for a monthly or annual subscription based on the regions you travel to the most.
Use miles for gift cards
Gift cards can be purchases using United miles through the gift card portal or through the MileagePlus X app.
United miles can be used to buy merchandise online through MileagePlus Awards. You can also use miles to make purchases through the United Apple store.
United Premier status
When you sign up for a free United MileagePlus account, you'll be given a MileagePlus account number. You'll use this number when booking flights with United and their airline partners which will not only earn you miles, but also earn you Premier Qualifying flights (PQF) and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP).
- Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF): This is the number of flight segments flown from wheels up to wheels down. For example, a straight flight with no layover would be 1 segment while a flight with 1 layover would be 2 flights since you took off and landed twice.
- Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): These points are based on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharge of flight purchases along with seating purchases and paid upgrades.
Each level in the United MileagePlus program requires a combination of Premier Qualifying Flights and Premier Qualifying Points OR an increased amount of Premier Qualifying Points only.
Here's the requirements for earning United MileagePlus status:
- Premier Silver: 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP OR 5,000 PQP.
- Premier Gold: 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP OR 10,000 PQP.
- Premier Platinum: 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP OR 15,000 PQP.
- Premier 1K: 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP OR 24,000 PQP.
Along with earning PQPs on flights, you can also earn PQP using United co-branded credit cards. Here's the amounts you can earn:
- United Explorer Card: Earn up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year.
- United Quest Card: Earn up to 6,000 PQP in a calendar year.
- United Club Infinite Card: Earn up to 8,000 PQP in a calendar year.
Premier Silver benefits
United Premier Silver members receive 7 miles per $1 spent on every flight, priority check-in, Group 2 boarding, complimentary premier upgrades, complimentary preferred seating at booking, complimentary access to Economy Plus at check-in for themselves and one companion, and 1 complimentary checked bag.
When flying Star Alliance partners, United Premier Silver members will be able to enjoy Star Alliance Silver. This offers priority reservation waitlist and priority airport stand-by.
Premier Gold benefits
United Premier Gold members receive 8 miles per $1 spent on every flight, complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating at booking, complimentary premier upgrades as early as 48 hours, two complimentary checked bags, and complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.
When flying Star Alliance partners, United Premier Gold members will be able to enjoy Star Alliance Gold status. This includes priority airport check-in, priority baggage handling, priority boarding, airport lounge access, and more.
Premier Platinum benefits
United Premier Platinum members receive 9 miles per $1 spent on every flight, complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating for up to 8 companions, complimentary premier upgrades as early as 72 hours, 40 PlusPoints, Avis President's Club status, and three complimentary checked bags.
When flying Star Alliance partners, United Premier Platinum members will be able to enjoy Star Alliance Gold status.
Premier 1K benefits
United Premier 1K members receive 11 miles per $1 spent on every flight, complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating for up to 8 companions, complimentary premier upgrades as early as 96 hours, 280 PlusPoints, and complimentary CLEAR membership.
When flying Star Alliance partners, United Premier 1K members will be able to enjoy Star Alliance Gold status.
Credit cards that earn United miles
United offers a total of five co-branded credit cards through Chase bank. These cards allow you to earn United miles for every $1 spent and offer a bunch of nice benefits ranging from free checked bags to United Club access.
United℠ Explorer Card
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- Earn 2X miles on hotel stays, United purchases, and on dining including eligible delivery services. 1X miles on everything else.
- Free checked bag for yourself and one companion traveling on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for the flight and two United Club passes annually.
- $95 annual fee.
United Quest℠ Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- Earn 3X miles on United purchases, 2X miles on dining including eligible delivery services, select streaming services, and all other travel, and 1X miles on all other purchases.
- Receive $125 in statement credits annually as reimbursements for United purchases charged to your card, receive the first and second checked bag free, automatically get 5,000 miles back in your MileagePlus account after you take a United or United Express-operated award flight booked with your miles (twice per year), and earn 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases with your card.
- $250 annual fee.
United Club℠ Infinite Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 4X miles on United purchases, 2X miles on dining and travel, and 1X miles on all other purchases.
- Receive complimentary access to United Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges around the world and receive the first checked bag free for you and one companion when you use the card to pay for your flight.
- $525 annual fee.
United Gateway℠ Card
- Earn 20,000 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.
- Earn 2X miles on United purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting, and 1X miles on all other purchases.
- Get 25% off in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi in the form of a statement credit.
- $0 annual fee.
United Business Card
- Earn up to 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
- Earn 2X miles on United, restaurant, gas station, office supply store, and transit/commuting purchases, and 1X miles on everything else.
- Receive 5,000 bonus anniversary points if you also hold a personal/consumer United credit card, a $100 travel credit every year that you use your business card to make seven United flight purchases, two United Club Passes annually, one free checked bag for you and up to one companion traveling on the same reservation, and priority boarding.
- $99 annual fee.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is the only major credit card rewards transfer partner of United. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to United at a rate of 1,000 Chase points for 1,000 United miles.
In additional to earning miles with Ultimate Rewards, you can also transfer points to United using several major hotel loyalty programs. Out of those programs, Marriott Bonvoy is the best option due to the amount of points you can earn on stays combined with their solid credit card earning rates.
Here's a few of our favorite credit cards for earning United miles:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for flexible travel rewards.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for high value and travel benefits.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Best for United travelers who frequents Marriott hotels.
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for flexible business travel rewards.
United miles calculator
Use the United miles calculator to determine which credit cards will earn you the most miles based on the monthly or yearly spending amounts you enter.
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These estimates are to help guide you towards making the best decision when it comes to picking up a rewards credit card. They should be used for illustrative purposes only.
You can click on the estimated earnings to see the calculations or click on the card to learn more and apply for the card through our partners.
Do note that all spend amounts entered into the tool above will carry over to every credit card rewards calculator on the site, so there's no need to re-enter spend if you choose to dive deeper into calculating rewards for credit cards on the site.
**Amount of rewards when transferred to program.
We've run the calculations for you and here are our top picks for best credit cards of 2023:
- Best premium card for unlimited miles: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
- Best for flexible travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- Best for everyday spend and travel: Citi Premier® Card.
- Best cash back card for groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
- Best for dining and supermarkets: American Express® Gold Card
- Best for business travel rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
- Best cash back business card: Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Our Credit Card Rewards calculator can help you find the perfect card and offers based on your monthly and yearly spending habits. Simply enter your spend amounts into our tool and let us do the work for you!