How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles with United Airlines
If you are a frequent traveler, chances are you have heard of frequent flyer miles. These loyalty programs offered by airlines allow passengers to earn miles for their flights, which can then be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including free flights, upgrades, and other travel perks. One such program is United Airlines’ MileagePlus program. In this article, we will guide you on how to effectively use your frequent flyer miles with United Airlines and answer some frequently asked questions about the program.
Earning United MileagePlus Miles:
Before we delve into how to use your miles, let’s first discuss how to earn them. There are several ways you can accumulate United MileagePlus miles:
1. Fly with United Airlines: The most straightforward way to earn miles is by booking and flying with United Airlines or its partner airlines. The number of miles you earn depends on the fare class and distance flown.
2. Credit Card Rewards: United Airlines offers co-branded credit cards that allow you to earn miles on everyday purchases. These cards often provide sign-up bonuses and additional perks like priority boarding and free checked bags.
3. Shopping and Dining Programs: United partners with various retailers and restaurants, allowing you to earn miles for every dollar spent. By linking your credit card to these programs, you can accumulate miles while shopping or dining.
4. Hotel Stays and Car Rentals: United has partnerships with several hotel chains and car rental companies, enabling you to earn miles for your stays and rentals.
Using United MileagePlus Miles:
Now that you have accumulated United MileagePlus miles, it’s time to put them to good use. Here’s how you can maximize the value of your miles:
1. Redeem for Flights: The most popular redemption option is using your miles for flights. United has a tier-based award chart, with different redemption rates based on the distance and class of service. To find award availability, use United’s website or call their reservations line.
2. Upgrade Your Seat: If you prefer to travel in style, you can use your miles to upgrade your seat to a higher class. United offers both upgrade awards and miles plus copay options, depending on the fare class you have booked.
3. Hotel and Car Rental Reservations: United allows you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rentals through their partners. This is particularly useful if you have a surplus of miles or prefer to save money on accommodation and transportation.
4. Merchandise and Gift Cards: If you have a small number of miles or are not planning to travel anytime soon, you can redeem them for merchandise or gift cards through United’s MileagePlus Shopping portal. This option is often less valuable compared to flight redemptions but can be a good way to utilize expiring miles.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do United MileagePlus miles expire?
A: United MileagePlus miles do not expire as long as you have qualifying account activity at least once every 18 months.
Q: Can I transfer my United miles to someone else?
A: Yes, United allows members to transfer miles to another MileagePlus account holder for a fee.
Q: Can I combine cash and miles for a flight?
A: Yes, United offers the option to book flights using a combination of miles and cash. This allows you to reduce the number of miles required for redemption.
Q: Can I use United miles on partner airlines?
A: Yes, United is part of the Star Alliance network, which includes several partner airlines. You can use your miles to book flights on these partner airlines, subject to availability.
Q: Can I change or cancel my award booking?
A: Yes, United allows changes or cancellations to award bookings, but fees may apply depending on your elite status and the time of cancellation.
In conclusion, United MileagePlus miles can be a valuable asset for frequent travelers. By earning miles through various methods and utilizing them strategically, you can enjoy free flights, upgrades, and other travel perks. Remember to regularly check for award availability and plan your redemptions wisely to get the most out of your miles. Happy travels!