All the Ways to Earn United Airlines MileagePlus Miles

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United MileagePlus offers numerous ways for members to earn miles, providing a wide array of opportunities beyond traditional flight rewards.

The program offers diverse earning possibilities, from flying with United and its partner airlines to utilizing co-branded credit cards. Additionally, members can earn miles through hotel bookings and various everyday spending activities.

This guide will show you how to earn extra United miles for your next trip.

United Airlines

Ways to Earn United Miles

There are many ways to earn United Airlines miles easily:

United Airlines Credit Cards

For most people, I recommend the United℠ Explorer Card or the United℠ Business Card, which each provides a lot of benefits on United for a reasonable annual fee. For more frequent travelers, the United Club℠ Infinite Card is excellent if you want United Club airport lounge access.

Other options include United Gateway℠ Card (no annual fee) and United Quest℠ Card ($250 annual fee).

Transfer Partners

United is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (1 to 1), Bilt Rewards (1 to 1), and Marriott Bonvoy (3 to 1, but 2 to 1 if you transfer in increments of 60,000 Marriott points).

Fly on United

Members earn 5x miles per dollar spent on United or United Express, and Premier elite status members earn extra miles: Silver (7x), Gold (8x), Platinum (9x), and 1K (11x).

Fly on a Partner Airline

You can fly on a Star Alliance member airline or one of United’s other partners and earn miles based on flight distance and your purchased fare class.

  • Star Alliance: Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa, Croatia, Egyptair, Ethiopian, EVA, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Thai, and Turkish.
  • United Airlines’ other worldwide partners include: Aer Lingus, Aeromar, Air Dolomiti, Airlink, Azul, Boutique Air, Cape Air, Discover Airlines, Edelweiss, Emirates, Eurowings, Flydubai, Hawaiian Airlines, JSX, Olympic Air, Silver Airways, Virgin Australia, and Vistara.

Rental Cars

 Avis and Budget are United’s exclusive rental car partners:

  • 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 Gold members earn 1,000 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.
  • Premier Platinum and 1K® members earn 1,250 miles on Avis and Budget rentals.


You can book via United Hotels (2 miles per dollar), Villas of Distinction (3 miles per dollar), or Marriott Vacation Club (exchange points for United Miles).

E-Shopping Portal

Earn United miles via United’s online shopping portal to earn extra points at many major online retailers (Apple, Home Depot, Walmart, Nike, Best Buy, etc.).

Eat at Restaurants

United’s MileagePlus Dining program lets you earn miles when you join and eat at certain restaurants.


When you book your cruise through United, you can earn up to 25,000 miles per trip.

Vacation Package

 When you book a travel package via United’s portal with Priceline, you can earn about 1,000 miles per trip.

Buy Gift Cards

You can buy gift cards for most major retailers and earn United miles.

United’s Other Partners

United has special partnerships with several other retailers including: Therabody, LifeLock by Norton, or RocketMortgage.

Ways to Redeem United Miles

United Airlines is in the Star Alliance allowing you to redeem miles on airlines such as ANA, Lufthansa, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, EVA, and more.

The best thing about the United MileagePlus program is that it doesn’t add fuel surcharges to award tickets, saving you hundreds of dollars when redeeming miles on airlines such as Lufthansa.

Some of the best ways to redeem United Miles are:

  • Flying United Airlines to Europe for 31,800 miles in economy class or 80,000 miles in business class.
  • Fly Lufthansa first class from the U.S. to Frankfurt, starting at 121,000 miles.
  • Business class on a Star Alliance partner from the U.S. to Africa starting at 88,000 miles one-way.

United Polaris min
Photo: United

The Verdict

The United MileagePlus program offers various options for earning miles, such as flying with United or its partners or utilizing shopping and dining programs.

You can significantly boost your mile earnings using the right credit cards and taking advantage of promotional offers.

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