Pros & Cons
The program rules are complex
The number of seats available for award travel is limited
Miles expire after 18 months of account inactivity
Ease of Earning Free Flight3.0
Award Flight Availability3.0
No. of Daily Flights> 2,000
United MileagePlus is ranked No. 5 in the Best Airline Rewards Programs. U.S. News evaluated 9 frequent flyer programs offered by airlines based in the United States across several indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank rewards.
United MileagePlus is ranked as:
You'll earn miles every time you fly on United or one of its more than 35 airline partners, including all members of the Star Alliance network. Miles can be used to cover the cost of future airfare on United or its partner airlines. You'll accrue Premier Qualifying Miles, Premier Qualifying Segments and Premier Qualifying Dollars, which count toward MileagePlus Premier status. When you purchase flights and everyday items using one of the MileagePlus credit cards from Chase Visa, you'll earn additional miles.
Can Earn Points On:
Can Use Points On:
The United MileagePlus program offers basic membership and Premier membership. Premier is divided into four main levels: Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K. MileagePlus also offers the invitation-only United Global Services program for its most loyal customers.See details about how membership works
The Fine Print
- The number of miles you earn on partner airlines is determined by each airline and may differ from your earnings on United.
- To transfer miles to another account, you'll be charged $7.50 per 500 miles, plus a $30 processing fee.
- Miles in expired accounts can be reinstated for a fee.
- Award travel with United and Star Alliance partners must be booked through United by phone or online.
- A companion for lifetime Premier status is defined as a spouse, significant other or any individual living at the same home address as the MileagePlus member.
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Delta SkyMiles ...
The Delta SkyMiles program is convenient for frequent flyers based in United States cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle, and for passengers who often travel to and from New York City. Delta Air Lines operates more than 15,000 flights each day to 335 destinations across more than 60 countries. By becoming a SkyMiles member, you'll earn miles based on the amount you pay for your flight with Delta, Delta Connection or Delta Shuttle; you can also earn miles for flying with any of Delta's multiple partner airlines, including KLM, Air France and Virgin Atlantic, among others. Those miles can be redeemed for free air travel on any participating airline or cashed in for cabin upgrades, unique experiences or items for sale at the SkyMiles Marketplace. When you fly with Delta, you will also earn Medallion Qualification Miles, which will help you gain access to a variety of perks through the Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite membership program. (Medallion-level members can rack up miles at participating Starwood Hotels through the Crossover Rewards program.) You can also earn miles on everyday purchases if you've signed up for a Delta SkyMiles credit card by American Express.
The Frontier EarlyReturns program caters to travelers based in Denver and the Midwest who frequently fly within the United States. Frontier Airlines services major domestic airports – like those in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago – as well as smaller destinations like St. Augustine, Florida; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Bozeman, Montana. Frontier also offers flights to various destinations around Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The EarlyReturns program awards miles based on the airport-to-airport air mileage distance flown. Miles earned can be used for free flights, car rentals, hotel stays and magazine subscriptions. EarlyReturns members can also earn points when staying at certain hotels, purchasing services through partner merchants and charging everyday expenses to one of two Frontier World MasterCard credit cards.
The American Airlines AAdvantage program benefits travelers based in cities throughout the United States, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Dallas, who fly to destinations around the world. As an AAdvantage member, you'll earn miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) for every American Airlines, American Eagle and codeshare flight operated by other airlines. You'll also earn award miles and EQDs for flights on Alaska Airlines and affiliated partner carriers through American Airlines' extensive oneworld frequent flyer network, which includes Qantas Airways, British Airways and Qatar Airways. Additionally, members will accrue Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) to apply toward achieving elite status. What's more, you can collect miles for everyday purchases if you use any of the Citi / AAdvantage credit cards or AAdvantage Aviator MasterCards. And thanks to American Airlines' relationship with numerous car rental companies, hotel brands and cruise lines, you can also earn AAdvantage miles on a variety of travel expenses.