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United is among the largest airlines in the world and there are millions of members in its United Mileage Plus frequent flyer program. United Airlines is a US-based airline and one of the founding members of Star Alliance. You can fly with any 25 member airlines of the Star Alliance and earn United miles for it.

The extensive network of United allows you to travel to almost any corner of the world and you can redeem your United miles to book both United as well as Star Alliance award flights. You can redeem miles for award flights without fuel surcharges and save a lot of money per ticket. You’ll need to earn United miles to redeem them and there are multiple ways to do so.

In this article, we will learn about the best ways to earn and redeem United Airlines MileagePlus Miles.

United Airlines MileagePlus miles

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Best Credit Cards to Earn United Miles in India

Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Choose a gift voucher worth Rs. 12,500 from any one of Luxe, Yatra, or Postcard Hotels

Card Details +

One of Axis Bank’s most premium credit cards, Magnus offers travel insurance, complimentary lounge access and many other travel-related privileges. You even get 24×7 concierge service and exclusive dining and hotel stay discounts.

  • 12 Edge reward points per Rs. 200 spent with the card up to Rs. 1.5 Lakhs. 35 RPS per Rs. 200 spent with the card on spends above Rs. 1.5 Lakhs.
  • 5x Edge reward points on the TravelEdge portal
  • Edge reward points can be transferred to United miles at a 5:2 ratio. 5 RP = 2 United Miles that is a reward redemption rate of 2.4% on normal and 12% on TravelEdge spends.
  • Customers who have a Burgundy account with the bank can continue to transfer points with their Magnus credit card at the 5:4 ratio.

axis bank reserve credit card

(4.4/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 50,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 50,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Movies

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

50,000 Edge Reward Points on card activation and every year the card membership is renewed

Card Details +

Axis Bank Reserve is the most premium credit card by the bank and offers exclusive benefits across multiple categories. You get complimentary golf rounds, lounge access, dining benefits, and much more with the card.

  • 15 reward points per Rs. 200 spent
  • 2x reward points on international transactions
  • Welcome benefit of 50000 reward points
  • Reward points can be converted to United Miles at a 5:2 ratio. 5 RP = 2 United Miles which is a reward redemption ratio of 6% on normal and 12% on international spends.
  • Customers who have a Burgundy account with the bank can continue to transfer points with their Reserve credit card at the 5:4 ratio.

Axis Bank Atlas Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

2,500 Edge Miles on Completing 1 Transaction Within 37 Days of Card Issuance

Card Details +

A sub-premium travel credit card by Axis Bank, Atlas offers high reward rates on travel along with other categories as well. The card comes with impressive dining, fuel, and other privileges.

  • 15 reward points per Rs. 200 spent
  • 5 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 spent on travel
  • 2 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 on other spends
  • Edge Miles can be transferred to United Miles at a ratio of 1:2. 1 Edge Mile = 2 United Miles which is a reward redemption rate of 10% on travel spends and 4% on normal spends

HDFC Infinia Credit Card Metal Edition

(5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Welcome bonus of 12,500 Reward Points and complimentary Club Marriott membership for the first year offering 20% discounts on dining and stay in the Asia-Pacific region.

Card Details +

HDFC Bank’s most premium credit card is the Infinia and being invite-only, just a few high net-worth individuals can get it. The card offers the best privileges like VIP concierge service, complimentary lounge access, travel benefits, and a high reward rate.

  • 5 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 spent on travel
  • 5 reward points per Rs. 150 spent
  • Up to 10x reward points on SmartBuy portal spends
  • Welcome benefit of 12500 reward points
  • Reward Points can be converted to United Miles at a ratio of 1:0.5. 1 RP = 0.5 United Miles that is a reward redemption ratio of 1.62% on normal and up to 16.2% on SmartBuy spends.

HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card

(5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 10,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 10,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Get complimentary annual membership of Forbes, Club Marriott, Times Prime, MMT Black, Amazon Prime, and Swiggy One (3 Months) on spending Rs. 1,50,000 or more in the first 90 days of card issuance

Card Details +

The Diners Club Black is another super-premium offering by HDFC Bank which offers complimentary membership to merchants like Times Prime, Club Marriott, MMT Black, Amazon Prime, and more. Also, you get complimentary lounge access and travel insurance as well with the card

  • 5 reward points per Rs. 150 spent
  • 5 reward points per Rs. 150 spent
  • Up to 10x reward points on SmartBuy spends
  • Reward Points can be converted to United Miles at a ratio of 1:0.5. 1 RP = 0.5 United Miles that is a reward redemption ratio of 1.62% on normal and up to 16.2% on SmartBuy spends.

How to Earn United Miles in India

There are multiple ways to earn United MileagePlus miles in India but the best way to do so is by flying via United or one of it’s partner airlines. The number of miles earned by you depend on multiple factors like the airlines, flight route, fare class, etc.

Flying on United Airlines

Earlier, you used to earn miles based on the miles flown on your United flights, but now it is based on your flight ticket’s base price not including any taxes. Also, the higher your MileagePlus elite status, the more number of miles you get. Here is how many miles you earn for every dollar you spend based on your elite status –

General – 5 miles

Premier Silver – 7 miles

Premier Gold – 8 miles

Premier Platinum – 9 miles

Premier 1K – 11 miles

For example, if you are a general member of MileagePlus and you buy one-way ticket from New York to Vancouver at a $200 base fare, you will earn 1000 miles but if you’re a Premier Gold member, you will earn 1600 miles.

The miles earning rate also stands for economy class and the flights will also help you reach Premier status. This is based on a combination of Premier qualifying points (PQP) earned and Premier qualifying flights (PQF) taken by you.

Flying on United Partner Airlines

It is possible to earn United miles when you fly on any Star Alliance member airline as United is a member of the Star Alliance. You also get miles when you fly with United’s non-alliance partners but it is a bit tricky with this method.

If you book a partner airlines flight through United and have a United ticket number then you earn miles similar to what you get on flying via United-operated flights. It is based on your elite status and your ticket’s base fare. However, if you have a partner ticket then you earn miles based on your flight route and fare class.

If you book directly through a partner airline or credit card portal or a 3rd-party website, you will most likely have a partner ticket stock. Ticket numbers starting with 016 are United tickets and you can check the number on your e-ticket. The miles earning rate varies for different partner airlines and you should check it on United’s website before booking your ticket.

Other than Star Alliance partner airlines, you also earn miles on non-alliance partners of United like Vistara. You can find Vistara-operated flights on United’s website, book directly from there, and earn miles on your flights.

Converting Credit Card Reward Points to United Miles

Another method to earn United miles in India is to transfer or convert your credit card reward points into United MileagePlus miles. Different cards have a different transfer ratio and you should check it before converting your points into United airmiles.

Convert Marriot Bonvoy Points to United Miles

If you are a Marriot Bonvoy member or your credit card earns your Marriot Bonvoy points, you can transfer these points to United Miles at a ratio of 3:1, 3000 Marriot Points = 1000 United Miles. Also, when you transfer every 60,000 Marriot points to United Miles, you get a bonus 10000 miles. Thus, you can earn up to 30,000 United miles on transferring 60,000 Marriot points.

If you own an American Express credit card, you can convert your Membership Reward points to Marriot points at a 1:1 ratio, where 1 Membership Reward Point = 1 Marriot Bonvoy point. You can further transfer your Marriot points to United Miles at the existing ratio. Overall, you can convert your Amex Membership Reward Points to United Miles at a 3:1 ratio and when you transfer 60,000 points then you get bonus 10,000 miles and the conversion ratio becomes 2:1.

How to Redeem United Miles

Now that we know about the various ways to earn United MileagePlus miles, next we will talk about how to redeem United miles. You can redeem your earned miles on United as well as Star Alliance member airlines award flights. United’s website is great to search award flight availability for both United and Star Alliance-operated flights. Let’s check out the best ways to redeem your United miles

Flying on United Airlines

United Airlines has a great network of international and domestic flights, where you can choose from thousands of destinations across the world. United does not have an award chart anymore and it has been replaced by dynamic award flight pricing. There is another option called the Money + Miles where you can pay for your ticket with a combination of miles and money.

How to Book United Airlines Award Flight

Follow these steps to book a United award flight –

United Airlines

  • Select Book with Miles and enter the departure, arrival destination, fare class, and date. Click on Find flights after entering this information.

Select Book with Miles

  • You will see all available flights on your chosen date and can look for available flights for that week.

available flights on your chosen date

  • You can click on the 30-day calendar to check available flights for the month.

30-day calendar

  • The miles required to book a flight is given in front of it along with the money you need to pay. You can check out the flight details and click on the fare class to proceed with the booking.

flight details

Flying on Star Alliance and Other Partner Airlines

United is one of Star Alliance’s founding members and has a widespread international connectivity. You can redeem your United miles for Star Alliance and other non-alliance partner airlines directly from the United website.

The United flight search engine is comprehensive and accurate than most others making it easy to search for and book partner airlines’ award flights.

How to Book Star Alliance Award Flight

You can use United Airlines’ flight search engine to search for Star Alliance and other partner award flights. You can search for flights without logging in as well.

If you find it difficult to look for multi-partner connecting flights, you can search for the flight ticket segment-by-segment. The process to search for flights is similar to how you search for United-operated award flights.

Upgrade Ticket Fare Class

You can use earned United miles for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards and Star Alliance Upgrade Awards.

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards – You can upgrade your fare class on United paid tickets and the cost depends on cabin and current fare class. You can change the departure and arrival location to check out upgrade costs for a flight. Generally, the upgrade is cheaper for expensive fare classes and expensive for lower fare classes.

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards – You can upgrade your tickets on Star Alliance and non-alliance partner airlines with your United miles. The economy and business class fares are eligible to upgrade and the cost varies based on the partner airline.

Airport and Flight Benefits

You can redeem your United miles for a host of flight and airport benefits that include –

  • United Club Membership
  • In-Flight WiFi subscription
  • Airport Dining
  • TSA PreCheck

Some Other Ways to Redeem Your United Miles

  • Car rentals
  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  • Hotel bookings
  • Shopping and gift card or vouchers

Best Routes to Redeem Your United Miles from India

Let’s check out some of the best routes from India to redeem your United miles. There is no fixed region-based award ticket table at United and they follow dynamic pricing for their award flights, so you should check for your travel dates by searching for flights individually. Also, all the flight options discussed below are for one-way routes.

Within India – You can book a flight within India, say from Delhi to Mumbai for 8800 Miles for Economy class. The miles required to book a flight within India start from 8800 Miles and can go up to a maximum of 22000 Miles.

book a flight within India

India to Singapore – You can book a flight from Delhi to Singapore at 27500 Miles for Economy and 55000 Miles for Business class.

book a flight from Delhi to Singapore

India to France – You can book a flight from Delhi to Paris at 33000 Miles for Economy class.

book a flight from Delhi to Paris

India to Dubai – You can book a flight from Delhi to Dubai at 24800 Miles for Economy class.

book a flight from Delhi to Dubai

India to USA – You can book a flight from Delhi to New York at 46800 Miles for Economy and 180,000 Miles for Business class.

flight from Delhi to New York

Miles Expiry and How to Extend Them

Earlier, until summer 2019, United Miles used to expire after 18 months of inactivity on your MileagePlus account, but this is not the case anymore. United Miles do not expire anymore and you don’t need to redeem miles on flights, rent cards, or spend miles on shopping portal to ensure your account is active, and your United Miles don’t expire.

All of these restrictions don’t apply anymore, and it is a welcome news for casual flyers and individuals who do not regularly keep track of their Miles. When United Airlines ditched their award chart and opted for dynamic award pricing, they announced their United Miles will no longer expire. The only way that you won’t have access to United Miles is if you forget your MileagePlus Account number or its password.

Cancellation Charges of Award Tickets

If you have to reschedule or cancel your United award ticket, then you don’t have to pay any cancellation or date change charges. However, in case of a no show, you will have to pay a fee of $125 regardless of the award ticket class.

Miles Redemption for Others

You can redeem your United miles to book award tickets for your friends and family members. It is a simple process and you don’t need to add any nominees to your account. Just head over to the United Airlines website and use your miles to book award flights for anyone you want to.

Miles Redemption for Infant/Child

United Airlines have reduced the infant fares on international award travel and now charge a flat, reasonable rate instead of a percentage of the adult award ticket. United used to allow infants up to 2 years of age to travel free on domestic award tickets including US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, but on international awards, individuals had to pay 10% of the fare for infants.

Now, there is no fee for domestic award flights in the USA for infants. For flights between the USA, Mexico, and Canada, you have to purchase an award ticket for infants but just have to pay the taxes on it. For international award flights, the fee depends on the fare class and the flight route.

Bottom Line

Being one of the most respected and highly-connected airlines in the world, United Airlines is also one of the founding members of Star Alliance. United MileagePlus, the airlines’ frequent flyer program has members throughout the world. We discussed the best ways to earn United miles in the above article.

Apart from flying on United or partner-operated flights, you can transfer your credit card reward points or Marriott points to United miles as well. When it comes to redeeming your United miles, you can do so on United-operated and Star Alliance or non-alliance partner airlines.

We recommend you to get a credit card that allows you to earn United airmiles so that you earn maximum benefits whenever you spend money on travel and other categories. Let us know what do you think about the United Airlines’ frequent flyer program and how you plan to redeem your earned miles.

FAQs:

You can convert your credit card reward points to United Miles at a given ratio that depends on your card. The best credit cards in India to earn United Miles are Axis Bank Magnus, Axis Bank Reserve, Axis Bank Atlas, HDFC Bank Infinia, and HDFC Bank Diners Club Black credit cards. You can earn reward points on your card spends and then convert the points to United Miles.
There are several ways to earn United Miles in India –
  • By flying on United Airlines’ flights
  • By flying on Star Alliance and other non-alliance partner airlines of United
  • By converting your credit card points to United Miles
  • By converting Marriot Bonvoy points to United Miles
There are several ways to redeem your United Miles –
  • By flying on United Airlines award flights
  • By flying on Star Alliance and other non-alliance partner award flights
  • Upgrading ticket fare class
  • Airport and flight benefits
As United Airlines is one of the founding members of Star Alliance, you can redeem your United Miles to book Star Alliance award flights. You can search for Star Alliance award flights through United’s flight search engine and proceed with your booking there.
Follow these steps to book an United Airlines award flight –
  • Visit United Airlines’ official website and then click on Book > Flight
  • Click on Book with Miles. Then enter your departure and arrival destination, date of travel, passengers, fare class, and click on Find Flights
  • Check out all the flights on your chosen date and look for flights in that whole week.
  • Check out the 30-day calendar to search for all flights during that month.
  • You will see the miles required to book an award flight along with the money you have to pay as taxes and fees in front of every flight.
  • Click on the flight you want to book and continue with the booking process.
You can travel the following routes from India if you want to redeem your United Miles for award flights –
  • Book a flight within India, say from Delhi to Hyderabad at 8800 Miles for Economy Class.
  • Book a flight from Delhi to Singapore at 27500 Miles for Economy Class.
  • Book a flight from Delhi to Paris at 33000 Miles for Economy Class.
  • Book a flight from Delhi to Dubai at 24800 Miles for Economy Class.
  • Book a flight from Delhi to New York at 46800 Miles for Economy Class.
All the miles requirements are for one-way tickets. Also, United Airlines use dynamic award pricing for their flights so you must search for your flight individually to know the exact miles requirement to book an award flight.

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