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United Airlines offers many opportunities to buy mileage for mileage, but some buyout options are better than others. You want to know what the options are so you can choose the ransom that works best for you and hopefully provides a good benefit. In this post, we’ll look at different ways to redeem your only miles, from good ones (i.e. business class award tickets) to not-so-good ones (i.e., buying an iPhone).

Keep that in mind The cost of NerdWallet for United Millions is 0.8 quintals each. Ideally you want to aim for ransoms that exceed this estimate. Usually you will find that tickets awarded in first and business class cabins lead to an improved redemption price in cents per mile.

Option 1. Buy flights on United Airlines

Buying miles for reward tickets is one of the most common uses of miles in the United States. As one of the largest U.S. airlines (362 destinations with nearly 5,000 daily departures), United’s wide reach provides a number of opportunities to receive award tickets. Through a user-friendly website, United has done a good job of developing an award-winning search interface.

Enter your origin, destination and date, then select the “Book Miles” option and click “Find Flights” to see the award ticket options. Below is the award-winning flight from Chicago to Los Angeles on July 8, 2020.

Rewards are provided for each travel class (if available) and are also classified as screensavers or daily rewards.

Screensavers Discount tickets in economy, business or first class. They are controlled by opportunities, which means that during popular travel days it can be difficult to find them. Saver Awards can also be ordered from Star Alliance partners. In the example above, the reward for saving 12,500 miles is the Saver Award.

Daily rewards they are also power controlled, but they cost more than the Saver rewards. There is a good chance that the “Daily” award will be available if the “Screensaver” award is not. Generally, daily rewards are not a good redemption because they are expensive. These awards are only available on United and Copa Airlines flights. MileagePlus elites and United joint branded credit card holders are not subject to power controls for such types of rewards on United and United Express flights. For the flight shown above, the business / first prize for 45,000 miles is a daily bonus.

Search and redemption through dynamic price rewards

United no longer publishes a schedule of awards based on the region. Although theoretically dynamic pricing should result in rewards that are more expensive and some more expensive than previous prices, in most cases tickets will be more expensive.

For reference, included Old US Chart Award (page 2), which is no longer available on the site. This chart applies to United or United / Partner awards where a long-haul flight is conducted by United. You can use this chart as a guide to determine if the price posted on the site matches the previous bids.

For example, the economy saver awards from the Americas to Europe were valued at 30,000 miles per mile for the old award. Search for award-winning seats from Chicago to London in September. 2020 shows the following award places in United:

Listed two flights: at 16.05. The flight offers two award-winning savers with savings of 30,000 miles or business class 60,000 miles. However, if you wanted to make an evening flight, you would have to pay 45,000 miles for the same economical place with a dynamic price. You decide whether to pay 45,000 miles for a ticket.

If you have exact travel dates, you can also pick up a 30-day calendar to look for rewards on other days.

Scanning the calendar along the same route illustrates that some days are cheaper to travel than others.

Usually you get the best value when you buy miles for a business or first class ticket. Consider Saver’s next return business-class award from Chicago to London for 120,000 miles + $ 304 costs. High results in the reverse are the fault of United, as well as the UK. infamous for its high flight costs.

If you booked the same business class flight in cash, you would pay $ 4,646. Note that the consequences of this flight are somewhat higher. the flight is paid in miles.

Using miles, you could get a value of 3.6 cents per mile, which is more than four times higher than the 0.8 percent estimate. While not everyone is willing to spend more than $ 4,600 on a double flight, this example is intended to illustrate the potential redemption price of miles for premium salon awards.

Purchase for United United transactions

United editions flight reward offers to various destinations in just 5,500 miles. This is separate from the Saver Awards or Everyday Awards and is probably your best bet on finding the availability of rewards at prices that are below the old chart. A good way to find premium availability is to sort your flight list from low to high. Select the flight you are interested in, and on the next results page, select the 30-day calendar to see if other dates have low mileage prices.

For example, tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles are listed for just 5,500 miles in September. 18, 2020.

Once you click “Book” on a San Francisco flight to Los Angeles, you’ll see a seven-day calendar at the top accompanied by tickets priced at an ad level of 5,500 miles.

You can also select “View 30-day calendar” if you are interested in viewing other dates.

The calendar shows that rewards for 5,500 miles are available every day, as opposed to September alone. 18, 2020, is the date announced on the initial awards page. So if you see a reward that isn’t on the date you want, you may want to dig a little deeper and check out alternative dates for the same route price.

Option 2. Buy flights on Star Alliance and other airlines

United is a co-founder of the Star Alliance, which has 25 members. Thanks to United’s involvement in the Star Alliance and partnerships with 12 additional airlines, they have access to an extensive international network of routes; you can earn and redeem United MileagePlus for 37 miles of airlines. Reward tickets for all partners can be booked at (just like tickets to the United Award), making travel travel convenient.

Here is a list of all 37 award-winning airlines that can be booked using United:

Since United removed the partner reward schedule in April 2020, you can no longer see the base cost of award flights between certain regions. This makes it difficult to decide on a fair price. For reference provided United Union / United Union (page 3), which is no longer on the site. Given 10% increase in reward rates on Star Alliance / affiliate flights, you can use this chart to determine what the new prices will be.

Option 3: Use them for the United Upgrade Awards

United offers four types of upgrade rewards. Free Premier and PlusPoints upgrades are free, and you don’t need to use MileagePlus mileage, so we’ll definitely look at two forms of upgrades that you can use on your miles.

MileagePlus Awards update

These upgrade rewards are available on paid tickets on United and United Express flights. The cost of the upgrade can be a combination of miles and cash depending on the fare class and cab.

For example, if you purchased a ticket in fare class O for a flight from the mainland USA. In Europe, upgrading the United Premium Plus to a Polaris business will cost 15,000 miles.

You can play with the regions of origin and destination to find out what the upgrade price will be for a particular flight. If you are hoping to spend miles on upgrading your ticket, you may want to check the cost of the “Association” award when determining which fare class to purchase. In general, the more expensive the fare, the cheaper the upgrade will be and vice versa.

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

Similar to MileagePlus updates, you can also use your miles to upgrade paid tickets to Star Alliance and partner airlines.

Tariffs of class C and D (business class) and Y and B (economy class) are entitled to modernization. Additional fares may be allowed depending on the airline. Contact United about suitability for the upgrade. You can currently upgrade tickets on the following partner airlines:

Option 4: Flights and benefits at the airport

You can spend your miles on a variety of flight and airport benefits, including:

Membership in the Unified Club

There are more than 45 seats of the United Club in the airports of the world. If you don’t have a living room yet or you just love United Clubs, membership can be a great choice. The annual subscription to United’s club halls costs $ 650 or 85,000 miles, bringing the cost to just under 0.8 percent per mile.

Wi-Fi subscription

You can also purchase a package for a Wi-Fi flight that starts at $ 49 or 7,500 miles, resulting in just under 0.7 percent per mile.

TSA check

TSA Precheck helps speed up time at the airport as you walk along the designated TSA checkpoint on your way to security check. Also, when you go through safety, you need to take off your shoes, laptop, fluid, belt or light jacket. Membership in the TSA pre-audit is valid for five years.

If you already have a Global Entry, you don’t also need to purchase a pre-TSA check because the benefits overlap. Also, a lot of premium travel cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer a credit statement if you use a card to pay Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

If you already have credit card payment, and given a subscription to TSA Precheck, you can use 11,000 single miles to pay for a $ 85 application. Using miles results in a redemption of just under 0.8 percent.

Airport dining room

To pay your bills you can take advantage of the connected miles at selected restaurants in Newark and Houston-Intercontinental Airport. You went to scan your boarding pass to start ordering; if you are willing to check, be able to choose miles or cash to pay for your overall bill. Based on screenshots from the United site, found at a price of just under 0.7 percent.

All other options: no flights, no upgrades? No problem.

In addition to flying and upgrading, there are many ways to use your single miles. While you tend to get the most out of buying miles at premium salon showrooms on long-haul flights, it’s good to know that there are other ways to buy miles.

Certificates for the dining room

Your Combined Miles can be used to purchase gift cards and dining certificates at Lettuce Entertain You and for use at participating restaurants. If you go that route, you’ll make much better use of miles on’s lunch certificates, which will result in an excellent buyout of 3.8 percent per mile. In “Salad Entertain,” you buy a little over 0.7 percent per mile ($ 6,800 miles for a $ 50 card), which saves a lot.

Subscriptions to newspapers and magazines

You can use US miles to pay for a magazine or newspaper subscription. A look at the current subscriptions shows the following option for the Financial Times:

A 24-week subscription to the electronic edition of the Financial Times costs $ 49 or 1960 miles, reflecting a redemption value of 2.5 cents per mile. Surprisingly, this is a really good value considering that the NerdWallet of one million units is 0.8 quintals each.

Car rental

Your miles can be used to book car rentals. To illustrate, a two-day weekend rental in September 2020 costs 16,700 miles.

When looking for a cash price, the exact model available above is available, but a similar economy class car costs $ 137.

If you use miles, you get a value of just over 0.8 percent per mile, which is exactly in line with NerdWallet’s base estimate for United Miles. Although the use of miles for car rental consumes the most efficient use of miles, it saves on the worst redemption.

Hotel awards

You can also use your miles to pay for hotel accommodation. For example, a two-night stay in Denver in August 2020 will cost 44,500 units of miles (with a cash value of $ 258). If you used miles for this stay, you’ll get a little less than 0.6 percent per mile, which is a little weak.

Shopping and gift cards

United also allows you to use your miles to pay for online purchases, including Apple products. While you’ll probably get solid value from miles if you use them to pay for online purchases or gift cards if you plan to use your miles for travel, it’s good to know that you have other options. Be it through Apple, the MileagePlus X app or the United gift card portal, and the price is just 0.3 percent per mile.

The rest is the rest

  • Experience: Bet on unique experiences or purchase tickets for events. The price varies depending on the available ticket price or the experience at the auction.

  • Make a donation: Browse Donation Association Search Site for a list of current companies. Donations made before June 30, 2020, will receive a match from United to a total of 500,000 miles.

  • Pass them on to someone else: This is usually a terrible value. Not only will you have to pay tolls for the miles traveled, but you will also have to pay for processing. For example, a 10,000 mile ride will cost you $ 180.

  • Credit card statements: Unified credit card holders can use miles for lending or to reimburse the annual fee. Usually such results lead to bad values.

  • Cruises: You can spend your miles to pay for a cruise. United often conducts promotions cruise website for reduced options.

The essence

United offers many opportunities to use miles. Even though the airline has published its rewards schedule and increased the cost of many rewards partners by 10%, you can still get a decent value out of miles, especially if you redeem premiums for a premium salon.

If you prefer to spend miles on non-flying events, United also offers many redemption options through various partnerships. Surprisingly, using miles to subscribe to newspapers and certificates leads to a decent buyout.

On the other hand, shopping on credit, buying gift cards and hotel rewards reflect some of the weakest goals in the US. No matter what option you have completely, there is no such thing as a perfect ransom. Miles are for use, not concealment, so choose the ransom that suits your needs.

How to maximize your rewards

You want to travel with a credit card that prioritizes the ones that matter most to you. Here are our choices for the best road credit cards of 2020, including the best for:


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