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4 Things the United Airlines MileagePlus Program Gets Right

Jan. 4, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel
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Everyone loves a bargain – but maybe not at the expense of comfort. When you’re crammed into a middle seat between a sneezer and a snorer, you start to reconsider if the ultra-savings was worth it.

United Airlines, while not considered a low-cost carrier, could be a solid option for flyers looking for comfort and easy ways to save money with travel rewards. This legacy carrier’s frequent-flyer program has a lot to offer, and with 4,600 daily departures to 357 airports in 48 countries, United and the Star Alliance take you where you want to be.

Here are four things the United Airlines MileagePlus program gets right.

1. Earn miles with a credit card

With generous sign-up bonuses and at least 1 miles per $1 spent on eligible United purchases, restaurants, hotel nights and more, miles add up quickly.

» Learn More: Want to know how much your United miles are worth? Check out our separate valuations page.

If you book with the United℠ Explorer Card, get perks such as one free checked bag, get 25% back on in-flight purchases, priority boarding privileges and up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you

2. Booking flexibility and ease

In general, you can earn MileagePlus miles on flights with Star Alliance partners and redeem your miles for flights on Star Alliance airlines. If you have Gold elite status or above your partner flight benefits include an extra baggage allowance and access to the airport clubs around the globe.

» Learn more: How to get started with frequent flyer programs

And if you are booking an international trip, United’s Excursionist Perk — a free one-way award with certain multi-city itineraries — can add savings to a trip. Members who book an itinerary with three or more one-way awards will be eligible to receive one of those one-way awards for free if it meets specified conditions.

MileagePlus elite members can also save on fees for tickets booked within 21 days of departure. Fees are reduced or waived for MileagePlus elite members.

3. A comfortable in-flight experience

Flights with United Private Screening offer films and TV shows you watch on your own device via the United app.

Wi-Fi is available on most planes, with United promising more coverage and better service to come.

4. Use miles on non-travel expenses

MileagePlus Exclusives offer members the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind adventures, including VIP access to Broadway shows, sporting events and foodie events with Michelin starred chefs.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
The United Airlines MileagePlus rewards program: The complete guide
United replaces first-class intercontinental flights with Polaris seating
Go ahead, use your travel rewards for regular expenses

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