United Airline’s MileagePlus program is in many ways ideal for travelers who fly with this airline often. You will find that this program allows its members to accrue points/miles that can be used to redeem free award flights, cabin upgrades, hotel bookings, and even car rentals. When you earn enough PQMs (Premier Qualifying Miles) or PQSs (Premier Qualifying Segments), you will be able to move up to the next Elite status level to enjoy a number of other perks and benefits. You can also earn miles on qualifying cruise vacations, car rentals, and train fares, as well as on shopping, dining and other services. Since United Airlines partners with more than 80 hotel brands, you will be able to earn rewards when you stay at properties worldwide. There are a number of different United MileagePlus credit cards to choose from, and each one comes with its own set of benefits that you will definitely want to explore. Those who fly with United Airlines regularly or semi-regularly will find that this loyalty program has quite a bit to offer in terms of its benefits. It is quite easy to earn points through this program, especially for those who fly with United often.

General Information

Star Alliance™
+1 (800) 864-8331

Pros

  • Free one way perk ❹
  • Easy to use booking tool
  • No fuel surcharges at all!
  • Cancel free within 24 hours ❶
  • Mileage price starts from 10K
  • Taxes are shown for each flight
  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Good availability of saver awards
  • Most airlines can be booked online

Cons

  • Close-in fee ❷
  • Hard to earn elite status
  • Miles expire in 18 months
  • Stopover on round trip only ❸
  • Only one 1 : 1 transfer partner
  • Even saver awards are not so cheap

Fees & Charges

  • Cancellation fee ❶
    $200
  • Change award fee ❶
    $100
  • Phone booking fee ❸
    $25
  • Close-in booking fee ❷
    $75

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 18 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ You can make free changes or cancellations of your United award within 24 hours of ticketing by phone or online.
❷ A $75 fee will be charged for award tickets booked less than 21 days prior to departure
❸ Stopover is available on round trip flights only
❹ The Excursionist Perk, a free one-way award flight within select multi-city trips. All you have to do is book a multi-city award itinerary with three or more one-way awards and one of those awards will be free, if the qualifying conditions are met.

Transfer Partners

1,000
Chase points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Chase points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Starwood points
2 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
500
miles
30 days
1,000
Starwood points
2 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
500
miles
30 days
1,000
Choice points
2 : 1
500
miles
42 days
1,000
Choice points
2 : 1
500
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.24 : 1
446
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.24 : 1
446
miles
42 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to MileagePlus®.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Adria Airways Adria Airways
Star Alliance™
Aegean Airlines Aegean Airlines
Star Alliance™
Aer Lingus Aer Lingus
No alliance
Aeromar Aeromar
No alliance
Air Canada Air Canada
Star Alliance™
Air China Air China
Star Alliance™
Air India Air India
Star Alliance™
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand
Star Alliance™
ANA ANA
Star Alliance™
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines
Star Alliance™
Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Avianca Avianca
Star Alliance™
Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines
Star Alliance™
Cape Air Cape Air
No alliance
Copa Airlines Copa Airlines
Star Alliance™
Croatia Airlines Croatia Airlines
Star Alliance™
Edelweiss Air Edelweiss Air
No alliance
EgyptAir EgyptAir
Star Alliance™
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Eurowings Eurowings
No alliance
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
EVA Air EVA Air
Star Alliance™
Germanwings Germanwings
No alliance
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
No alliance
Island Air Island Air
No alliance
LOT Polish Airlines LOT Polish Airlines
Star Alliance™
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Star Alliance™
Scandinavian Airlines Scandinavian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen Airlines
Star Alliance™
Silver Airways Silver Airways
No alliance
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
Star Alliance™
South African Airways South African Airways
Star Alliance™
SWISS SWISS
Star Alliance™
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal
Star Alliance™
Thai Airways Thai Airways
Star Alliance™
Turkish Airlines Turkish Airlines
Star Alliance™
United Airlines United Airlines
Star Alliance™
Azul Brazilian Airlines Azul Brazilian Airlines
No alliance
Great Lakes Airlines Great Lakes Airlines
No alliance
Jet Airways Jet Airways
No alliance

Program Review

United Airlines is ranked the second biggest airliner in the United States. It boasts of a fleet that serves a huge number of passengers across hundreds of destination in the US and broad. In 2016, United Airlines and its subsidiary United Express carried 143 million passengers. This was made possible due to the numerous routes that the airline traverses. Locally, the airliner operates in New York, Denver, San Francisco, Denver, Washington D.C., and Chicago where it is headquartered. United Airlines operates a comprehensive frequent flyers reward program that can offer tons of great benefits for frequent and occasional flyers as well. This reward program is known as the MileagePlus Frequent Flyer program. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the MileagePlus program.

 

MileagePlus Program

The Mileageplus program is a loyalty mileage reward program that has consistently been voted as the best among other such programs run by other airlines. If you are a frequent flyer, this loyalty reward program has many perks such as reduced airfare, access to reduced prices on lodging and more.
Basically, you earn mileage points every time your travel depending on the class you travel. Obviously, traveling first class means more points as compared to economy class. These points can entitle you to receive some reward from the airline such as free travel or get merchandise. Merchandises that can be bought using United award miles include handbags, headphones, Bluetooth devices, and smartphones. 

 

Earning MileagePlus Points

The first step that you must take to start earning point is to sign up for the MileagePlus on the official United Airlines website. You will not be charged a dime for registration. Immediately you finish the signup, you will automatically earn points anytime you fly with United Airlines or their affiliate United Express. Miles can also be earned by using services such as car rentals, hotels bookings, club membership, and buying gifts using United credit cards. The minimum of $2,500 with United Airlines and earned at least 12,500 award miles to qualify to start redeeming your reward points. Miles awards in the MileagePlus Award miles are earned on both United flights and any other with a codeshare. Awards are given at 100 percent of the economy ticket but higher at 1.5 higher for premium cabins. There is a catch though; miles are not earned for bulk fares or those that are unpublished. Using cards also qualifies you to earn miles. The main cards that are used are the United MileagePlus Explorer Card and Chase United MileagePlus Club. Alternatively you can decide to accumulate your points in the Chase Ultimate Rewards converting the points to award miles at 1:1 ratio. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the best credit card to use for MileagePlus due to its flexible ways for redeeming miles awarded. United Airlines has also partnered with a number of hotels in the US with a reward program and allow you to transfer points from these programs into award miles. Some of the airlines that are partnered with United Airlines include Air Canada, Air India, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, South African Airlines, and Lufthansa.

 

Redeeming Mileage Points

Once you have accumulated enough miles through frequent travel on United flights or any of its partners, you can redeem the miles to purchase an award ticket through their website. One of the best things about using the MileagePlus programs is that it provides a wide array of options for you. United Airlines has partnered with the Star Alliance airlines translating to numerous destinations in the US and abroad. Traveling first class on Lufthansa is awesome. But, wait a minute; one-way first class on Lufthansa airlines will cost you $4,000. That’s a lot of money for most people. With 110,000 award miles however, it is possible to book an award first class ticket on Lufthansa to London. Now, that’s really great! One thing that makes MileagePlus program superior to other frequent flyer reward programs is that it doesn’t surcharge you for fuel. Lufthansa airlines also have a loyalty reward program but for a first class award ticket under their reward program, you will have to cough up at least $400. MileagePlus does not require you to pay a dime. Award miles can also be redeemed for merchandise such as headphones and small electronic gadgets. Buying award tickets remains the best way to make use of award miles.
Please contact United Airlines for a full list of all the awards you can redeem using your miles.

 

Routing Rules

Unfortunately, United Airlines made some not so pleasing changes in their rules especially for stopovers. Initially, it was possible for travelers on award tickets to make stopovers anywhere. You could enjoy a stopover in Europe while traveling to Japan or China on round-trip booking. Now stopovers have been confined to the destination of the flight. This implies that you could make a stopover in any country in the Asian continent but not in any other continent. It’s not all that bad considering you don’t spend a anything for the ticket.

 

Benefits of United Airlines MileagePlus Program

Mileage plus has a number of benefits that make it the best frequent flyer program. For instance, MileagePlus provides more ways of earning rewards points. Other airlines usually confine point earning to airfare and miles travel. As a MileagePlus member, you can earn points when you use your MileagePlus credit cards to book a hotel, rent a car, and also shop at specific outlets that have partnered with United Airlines.
Most frequent flyer programs make it extremely difficult to use miles once earned. It is not uncommon to be met with restrictive conditions while trying to use your award miles to get an award ticket. MileagePlus provides an easy and flexible system for redeeming mileage points. 
For instance, since MileagePlus provides one way tickets only, it is possible to combine different class of services to reach a destination, probably using a standard award for part of the journey and a savers award for the rest.
Lastly, due to the many small ways that one can earn miles on MileagePlus, even the little travel expenditure can disappear into award points. This implies that there are no losses with MileagePlus.