What’s the Value of United Miles? (Calculator)

United miles are worth about 1.2 cents each when used for award travel.
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Nerdy takeaways
  • United miles are worth about 1.2 cents each.

  • The timeframe of booking won't impact the value of your miles for most main cabin fares.

The United MileagePlus program is one of the largest, and most complicated, airline rewards systems in the world. Learning how to navigate it starts with knowing how much its currency — miles — are worth.

Here’s the short answer: The value of United MileagePlus miles is roughly 1.2 cents each. You can get more or less value from each mile depending on when and how you use them, but this is a good estimate for comparing your own redemptions.

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How much are United miles worth?

We estimate that each United mile is worth 1.2 cents, but this is a baseline value, not a maximized value based on comparing real-world cash and award fares in main cabin. You can get considerably more bang from your miles by researching carefully, targeting partner airlines, leveraging the Excursionist Perk and booking business class (see below). You can also get considerably less value by using your United miles carelessly. Just like real money, there are better and worse ways to use award miles.

Calculator: Convert United miles to dollars

With the calculator below, you can quickly figure out how much your United miles are worth based on our estimated value.

United MileagePlus Miles value over time

United miles rose in value during NerdWallet's last valuation after a consistent three years.

How do United miles compare with other airlines?

United falls near the middle of the airline pack with its mile value.

Program

Mile value

1.4 cents.

1.7 cents.

1.2 cents.

1.1 cents.

1.2 cents.

1.5 cents.

1.5 cents.

1.2 cents.

When is the best time to use United miles?

We compared the value when booking at three different time frames:

  • 180 days before departure.

  • 15 days before departure.

  • Peak holiday travel (Dec. 22-29).

United miles are worth roughly the same across these three time frames, though in our analysis, miles were worth slightly less when you redeem them for holiday flights.

Can United miles be used on other airlines?

Yes, United miles can be used to book flights on United, of course. They can also be used to book flights on dozens of partner airlines (through the United search tool, not by transferring to partners), upgrade to premium cabin seats and even upgrade Star Alliance partner flights.

You can also use these miles for unusual purchases such as magazine subscriptions and rental cars, but in general these redemption options don’t offer great value.


Credit cards that earn United miles
United Gateway Card
United Gateway℠ Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase United Quest Credit Card
United Quest℠ Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase United MileagePlus(R) Club Card Credit Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0.

$0 intro for the first year, then $95.

$250.

$525.

Earning rates

• 2 miles per $1 on United purchases, gas stations and local transit and commuting.

• 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

• 2 miles per $1 on United purchases.

• 2 miles per $1 at restaurants and hotels (when booked directly with hotel).

• 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

• 3 miles per $1 on United purchases.

• 2 miles per $1 at restaurants, select streaming services and all other travel.

• 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

• 4 miles per $1 on United purchases.

• 2 miles per $1 at restaurants and all other travel purchases.

• 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

Other benefits

• No foreign transaction fees.

• First checked bag free for you and one companion on your reservation.

• 2 United Club one-time passes each year.

• Credit of up to $100 every four years for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS.

• Priority boarding.

• No foreign transaction fees.

• First and second checked bag free for you and one companion on your reservation.

• $125 United purchase credit per year (good on airfare).

• Two 5,000-mile award flight credits per anniversary year.

• Credit of up to $100 every four years for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS.

• Priority boarding.

• No foreign transaction fees.

• First and second checked bag free for you and one companion on your reservation.

• Access to United Club airport lounges.

• Credit of up to $100 every four years for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS.

• Priority boarding.

• No foreign transaction fees.

Bonus offer

Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.

Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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How did we determine the value of United miles?

We collected hundreds of data points comparing the cash value with award (mile) value for the same routes and dates. That is, we compared the cost of a given ticket in either cash or miles, across many tickets.

This method differs from others in that it looks at actual redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a real-world indication of how much these miles are worth, on average. That said, it doesn’t take into account the upper range of potential values.

Wondering what you can do with those miles? Check out our guide to booking award flights with United.

Get up to 80,000 miles with our favorite United cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best United credit cards and find the right card for you.
Frequently asked questions

10,000 United miles are worth about $120.

40,000 United miles are worth about $480.

50,000 United miles are worth about $600.

60,000 United miles are worth about $720.

100,000 United miles are worth about $1,200.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

United Cards from our Partners
Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

United℠ Explorer Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-2x

Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays and United® purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

Miles

Intro offer

60,000

Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Miles
Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Business Credit Card

on Chase's website

United℠ Business Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-2x

Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining, at gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Miles

Intro offer

75000

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Miles
Chase United Quest Credit Card

on Chase's website

United Quest℠ Card
4.6
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-3x

3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases. 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, select streaming services & all other travel. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, each year, receive up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits (terms apply) and earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points.

Miles

Intro offer

70,000

Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Miles
See more United cards
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