comScore

Overview

United MileagePlus
The United MileagePlus program is best for travelers based in major American cities and those who travel to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Latin America and Asia. When you become a MileagePlus member, you can earn and use miles on United and its 35-plus airline partners like Singapore Airlines, ANA and Copa Airlines, many of which are part of the Star Alliance network. As a MileagePlus member, you'll accrue Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs), Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs) and Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) each time you fly. Earn enough PQDs and PQMs or PQSs and you'll reach Premier status – MileagePlus membership levels for which you'll receive extra benefits. Additionally, you can earn miles on qualifying cruise vacations, car rentals and train fares, as well as on shopping, dining and other services. You can also earn miles for gas purchases at participating BP locations in the U.S. And since United partners with major hotel brands, including Marriott, Hyatt and IHG, you can earn rewards when you stay at properties worldwide. You may also redeem miles for flights, hotel stays, cruises, magazine subscriptions, destination experiences (think: sporting events and theater performances) and more.  Choose to use one of four United MileagePlus credit cards from Chase Visa and you'll earn miles on flights and everyday purchases.

Pros & Cons

  • United and its partner airlines fly to more than 1,000 destinations worldwide
  • You can earn and redeem miles on more than 35 participating airlines 
  • Award miles can be used for flights, shopping, hotel stays, car rentals and more
  • The program rules are complex
  • The number of seats available for award travel is limited
  • Miles expire after 18 months of account inactivity
3.92

Overall

Scorecard

  • Network Coverage
    5.0
  • Ease of Earning Free Flight
    3.0
  • Award Flight Availability
    3.5
  • Additional Benefits
    5.0
  • Airline Quality
    3.9
  • No. of Daily Flights
    > 2,000

Rankings

United MileagePlus is ranked No. 6 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:

Points

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 PQMs, PQSs and PQDs, 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.

Points Can Expire

Can Earn Points On:

  • Credit Card
  • Air Travel
  • Hotel Stays

Can Use Points On:

  • Booking Flights
  • Cabin Upgrades
  • Hotel Stays
See details about how to earn and use points

Membership Levels

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. Up to 100,000 miles can be transferred from one account to another.
  • 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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