United MileagePlus® Program Review

by Michael P

Most consumers have an airline they prefer over others, and mine happens to be United Airlines. It’s not that I’ve flown every airline, or that United has gone out of their way to discount my flights or provide me the things that other airlines do not. However I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem in dozens of flights with United. Sometimes a flight is delayed a few minutes, and sometimes I land a few minutes late, but I’ve never lost a bag with United, never had a problem checking in with United, and never sat in the airport for hours with United. In fact, I foolishly booked a flight with Jet Blue just a few weeks ago, and ended up sitting at the airport as my flight was delayed seven hours. Ugh.

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Review

Get United Airlines perks with the United MileagePlus® program.

Since I use United as my primary airline, I participate in the United MileagePlus® program, a free frequent flier program that helps you earn awards that can be redeemed for travel, dining, shopping, and more. MileagePlus is the frequent flyer program of United Airlines, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia and Aeromar. MileagePlus was also the loyalty program left standing after United and Continental merged in 2011. MileagePlus miles can also be earned on over 25 partner airlines, including many regional and international partners.

Earning and Redeeming Reward Miles

The United MileagePlus® program includes a litany of travel perks for frequent fliers, including the ability to earn award miles for flights, which can be redeemed discounted or free travel upgrades, vacations, discounted or free items through their shopping portal, and more. You can even buy, transfer or give miles to other members.

The best place to learn more about the various redemption options is at the United.com site, or MileagePlusAwards.com, a site dedicated to helping you get the most of your United MileagePlus awards.

Earning Premier Status

The United Mileage Plus program features several different Premier Status levels, including Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, Global Services, and the Million Miles and Beyond club. These various Premier Status levels give members access to upgrades, priority boarding, priority security screening, access to lounges, and other perks (all depending on your status level, of course!).

There is also a co-branded credit card called the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card. Some of the benefits include airline miles, priority boarding, and other perks. Check with the website for special terms, conditions, and current offers.

As with all loyalty and rewards programs, there are a variety of specific terms, exclusions, etc. I recommend you read the fine print, which can be found here.

Photo credit: Drewski2112

Published or updated May 9, 2013.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krantcents

I got this card months ago just for the free bag. I am a United Mileage Plus card owner for more than 20 years. In fact my European trip is booked through United using my frequent flier miles.


2 Julie @ Freedom 48

Holy smokes! That 25,000 mile bonus for making the first purchase is quite the incentive. That in itself makes it worthwhile.


3 Con-Man

I just applied for the United Explorer card and I got 50,000 after my first purchase. For most people, if you have a balance in your MileagePlus account, login and see if you get the 60,000 mile offer. I did it for both me and my wife.


4 cbkcc1

this is great if you don’t fly a lot and/or not an elite.
a lot of cool benefits.


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