The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

Based on MoneyGeek’s study, the average value of United MileagePlus miles is between 1.2 and 1.6 cents. That said, how much United miles are worth may change based on how you choose to redeem them.

There are plenty of opportunities to earn and maximize United MileagePlus miles, including flying with United Airlines and its airline partners, using a co-branded credit card, shopping online via the MileagePlus Shopping portal and purchasing miles.

After racking up United MileagePlus miles, you can redeem them for award flights, flight upgrades, hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, United Club membership and more.

MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

points icon

On average, each United MileagePlus mile is worth 1.2 to 1.6 cents. However, the value will depend on how you choose to redeem your miles.

rewards icon

You can earn United miles by signing up for a MileagePlus frequent flyer account at no cost.

airportLoungeAccess icon

Qualifying for MileagePlus Premier status grants you access to seat upgrades, mileage bonuses, complimentary checked bags and free access to Economy Plus seating.

How Much Are United Miles Worth?

The average value of United Miles falls between 1.2 and 1.6 cents. This can be used as a baseline to determine whether you are getting a good value for your redemption.

Recently, United stopped publishing an award chart, so there’s no set amount of miles needed for a given flight anymore. United now uses the dynamic pricing model, meaning seat prices change based on demand.

discount icon

To calculate the value of United MileagePlus miles, you need to subtract the taxes and fees from the cash price of your ticket and divide the difference by the number of miles needed for the flight.

How United Miles Compare to Other Airlines

Check out how United Miles stacks up against other major U.S. airlines by browsing through the table below.

Value per Mile

United Airlines MileagePlus

1.2 to 1.6 cents

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

1.2 to 1.8 cents

Air Canada Aeroplan

1.5 to 1.9 cents

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

1.2 to 1.4 cents

American Airlines AAdvantage

1.5 to 1.7 cents

British Airways Avios

0.8 to 1.5 cents

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

1.4 to 1.5 cents

Emirates Skywards

1 to 1.4 cents

Frontier Miles

0.9 to 1.1 cents

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

0.9 to 1 cent

JetBlue TrueBlue

1.3 to 1.6 cents

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

1.1 to 1.3 cents

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

1.3 to 1.5 cents

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

1.1 to 1.5 cents

How to Earn and Maximize Miles From United Airlines

There are various ways to earn United MileagePlus miles, from flying with United or its partner airlines to using the right credit card or booking rooms at certain hotels. United Mileage Plus miles never expire, so you can focus on earning miles without having to worry about when you should redeem them.

Sign Up for United MileagePlus

United MileagePlus is the frequent flyer program of United Airlines. It’s known for its top-notch economy award availability, wide range of award destinations and multiple ways to earn and use miles. United MileagePlus is free to join; you only need to sign up for a MileagePlus frequent flyer account to start earning miles.

Joining United MileagePlus can help you earn miles for every dollar you spend in certain categories. Additionally, you get to enjoy various benefits, including:

  • Award availability: When booking an award flight, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.
  • Extensive flight network: You can use your United MileagePlus miles to book online with United Airlines’ 25 Star Alliance partners and fly to approximately 1,300 destinations.
  • Miles expiration: United MileagePlus miles don’t expire, meaning you can take your time planning when to use your hard-earned miles.

Earning Miles Using United Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards

Getting a United Airlines co-branded credit card may be one of the best ways to earn United MileagePlus miles. MoneyGeek found that United Club℠ Infinite Card rewards cardholders with the most miles per dollar spent (1–4X miles on eligible purchases), which they can maximize by earning the 100,000 miles welcome bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months.

United Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards at a Glance
Credit Card Name
Miles Earned per Dollar Spent
How to Increase Miles Earned

1–2 miles per dollar

Spend $1,000 within the first three months
of card ownership to earn 30,000 bonus

1–2 miles per dollar

Earn the welcome offer of 75,000 miles
after spending $5,000 in the first three
months of account opening.

1–4 miles per dollar

Receive up to 100,000 bonus miles by
spending $5,000 on eligible purchases
during the first three months of owning the

1–2 miles per dollar

Use the card for a total of $3,000 in eligible
purchases within the first three months to
unlock the welcome bonus of 60,000

1–3 miles per dollar

Complete an award flight and receive
5,000 MileagePlus miles to your account
up to two times each year.

United Gateway Card

Chase’s United Gateway Card is a solid entry-level travel credit card that comes with no annual and foreign transaction fees. You earn 2X miles on gas stations, transit and United Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases.

Additionally, you can earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

United℠ Business Card

Business owners who frequently travel with United Airlines may benefit from the United℠ Business Card. This credit card awards 2X miles per dollar spent on United Airlines, restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores. All other eligible purchases give cardholders 1X miles per dollar.

Cardholders can maximize their miles by earning the 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on eligible purchases during the first three months of card ownership.

United Club℠ Infinite Card

The United Club℠ Infinite Card comes with generous bonuses and exclusive travel perks to offset its hefty $525 annual fee. With this card, you can get 4X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on travel and dining purchases and 1X miles on everything else.

In addition, the United Club℠ Infinite Card offers a 100,000 miles welcome bonus if you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.

United Explorer Card

United Explorer Card has a $95 annual fee waived the first year and travel perks like priority boarding and a free first-checked bag. Cardholders get 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, delivery services, restaurant payments, directly purchased hotel accommodations and 1X miles for other eligible purchases.

Furthermore, they stand to earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card.

United Quest℠ Card

Although it has a $250 annual fee, the United Quest℠ Card offers various benefits including up to two 5,000-mile award flight credits per account anniversary. It earns 3X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on travel, dining and eligible streaming services and 1X miles on other purchases.

New cardholders can also earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Buying Airline Tickets From United Airlines Partner Airlines

An easy way to earn United MileagePlus miles is by flying with United Airlines or its airline partners. United Airlines has 39 partner airlines, 25 of which are part of Star Alliance. These include but are not limited to:

  • Air Canada
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Lufthansa Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss Airlines
  • Thai Airways

Earn Miles Through United Airlines Partners and Affiliates

While flying with United Airlines or its airline partners and using co-branded credit cards are the primary methods to rack up United MileagePlus miles, there are other ways to earn miles through United’s non-flight-related partners. For instance, you can earn United miles by booking a stay at one of United’s hotel partners.

Earn MileagePlus Points Through Partner Merchants
How to Earn MileagePlus Points

MileagePlus Dining and MileagePlus Shopping

Link your credit card with MileagePlus Dining and earn up to 5X miles per dollar spent when you use it at a participating restaurant. Additionally, you can rack up miles by shopping online using the MileagePlus Shopping portal.

Earn miles by booking a stay directly with United’s hotel partners, including Courtyard by Marriott, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Grand Hyatt, Hotel Indigo and more. Making a hotel reservation using United’s partner booking services can also help you earn additional miles.

United Vacations and Cruises

Booking vacation packages through United Vacations can earn you miles, and you rack up extra miles if you pay using the United Explorer Card. Traveling by sea can also earn you miles if you book a cruise through United Cruises.

Earn 25,000 miles when you purchase or refinance a home with Rocket Mortgage. To earn the miles, you need to call the dedicated benefit contact number or use the dedicated benefit website.

Depending on the plan you select, you can earn up to 10,000 United miles when you sign up for identity theft protection from LifeLock with Norton.

You earn miles when you purchase egift cards from over 270 egift card merchants using your credit card.

Buying Miles From United Airlines

Although you can get miles by purchasing them on the MileagePlus website, it is generally not a good idea as they are quite expensive. In most cases, buying miles only makes sense if you need to top up your MileagePlus account to book an award flight.

How to Redeem MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus miles can be used to book free or discounted flights with United Airlines and its 39 airline partners. To redeem your United miles, you need to visit United’s website and choose your origin, destination and flight dates to see how much an award ticket will cost in miles.

Because United discontinued its published award chart, there’s no longer a set amount of miles needed for each flight. It’s advisable to compare the cost of a flight in cash and in miles before booking.

Alternatively, your United MileagePlus miles are redeemable for other purposes. These include hotel stays, car rentals, flight upgrades, gift cards and more.

  • hotel icon

    Hotel accommodations

    You can use your MileagePlus miles to book stays at brand-name hotels and resorts through United Hotels and United Vacations.

  • car2 icon

    Car rentals

    Redeem your miles by booking an Avis or Budget rental car using the MileagePlus Car Awards booking portal.

  • airplane icon

    Flight upgrades

    Make use of your United miles by upgrading your seat to business or first class.

  • travel icon


    Your miles can be redeemed for cruises to various destinations.

  • shoppingBag icon


    Use your United miles to shop for a wide range of products, from electronics to jewelry.

  • photoCamera icon


    You can usually redeem your United miles for tickets to concerts, theater events and live sports, but United’s MileagePlus is currently suspended due to COVID-19.

  • care icon


    Use your United miles to donate to a cause that speaks to you.

  • securePayment icon

    United Club membership

    You can use your miles to purchase a United Club membership and access airport lounges while waiting for your flight.

cashCard icon

As airline tickets have shot up in price in recent years, the argument of sacrificing some value of your airlines for saving money has become tricky.

You shouldn’t redeem your miles for a poor value, but it’s better to have cash in your pocket rather than nit-picking over maximizing the value of your miles

Brett Holzhauer, contributing expert for MoneyGeek

How to Get United MileagePlus Premier Status

If you want to enjoy an enhanced travel experience and take advantage of more travel benefits, you’ll need to qualify for United MileagePlus Premier.

You can achieve Premier status through a number of Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) or a higher amount of PQP.

  • Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF): These are accrued based on the number of flight segments flown. Note that basic economy and award tickets don’t earn PQFs.
  • Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): You earn PQPs for the base fare, carrier-imposed surcharge of flight purchases, seating purchases, paid upgrades and flights ticketed and operated by Star Alliance partners.

Depending on your Premier status, you can access mileage bonuses, priority check-in, seat upgrades, complimentary checked baggage, free access to Economy Plus seating and more.

There are four levels of Premier status, and each of them comes with varying requirements.


Premier Silver

You need to earn eight PQFs and 3,000 PQPs or 3,500 PQPs to attain this level. Its benefits include 7X miles on each flight, complimentary access to Economy Plus at check-in and complimentary checked baggage.


Premier Gold

Achieving this level requires 16 PQFs and 6,000 PQPs or 7,000 PQPs. With Premier Gold, you get two complimentary checked bags, complimentary access to Economy Plus at booking, Star Alliance Gold status and 8X miles on each flight.


Premier Platinum

This level gives you 40 PlusPoints, complimentary access to Economy Plus for you and eight companions, three complimentary checked baggage and 9X miles on every flight. You may qualify for this level by accruing 24 PQFs and 9,000 PQPs or 10,000 PQPs.


Premier 1K

As the highest Premier status, you need 36 PQFs and 13,500 PQPs or 15,000 PQPs to achieve this level. Its top benefits include 280 PlusPoints, pre-boarding, one free snack and drink in Economy and 11X miles earned for every flight.

How We Determined the Value of United Miles

MoneyGeek determined the value of United MileagePlus miles by collecting and analyzing data on various flights. Then, we divided the cost of each booking by its cost in rewards to determine the cash value of a mile for a given flight. That said, these valuations may change or fluctuate based on United Airlines’ policies.

Other Questions You May Have About United Miles

We have answered some common questions about United MileagePlus miles to help you understand how to earn and use them.

Next Steps

Compare and Review Miles and Points

Compare and Review Credit Cards

*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with and for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.