Revenue-Based United MileagePlus

Revenue-Based United MileagePlus

Beginning March 1, 2015, United MileagePlus members will earn award miles based on revenue rather than distance flown. The new MileagePlus earning structure will apply to most United and United Express tickets as well as tickets for flights operated by Star Alliance and MileagePlus partner airlines that have been issued by United (ticket numbers that start with 016).

Members will still earn Premier Qualifying miles based on the distance flown and Premier members will still earn a minimum of 500 Premier qualifying miles on flights that are less than 500 miles.

MileagePlus members will earn miles based on their membership level and on dollars spent on base fare plus carrier-imposed charges as follows:
– Members earn five miles per dollar spent.
– Premier Silver members earn seven miles per dollar spent.
– Premier Gold members earn eight miles per dollar spent.
– Premier Platinum members earn nine miles per dollar spent.
– Premier 1K members earn 11 miles per dollar spent.

Tickets for flights operated by a Star Alliance or MileagePlus partner airline that have not been issued by United will still earn miles based on distance flown and class of service. In other words, if you buy a partner airline ticket and fly on that partner airline, you will still earn miles based on distance flown and can credit them to your United account.

These changes will not affect the way miles are earned through MileagePlus co-branded credit cards and the program changes will apply to tickets departing on or after March 1, 2015, regardless of when the ticket was purchased. In addition, there will be a maximum of 75,000 award miles earned per flight and there is no minimum number of award miles earned.

Additionally, United announced that it plans to offer members more ways to use award miles, such as single-flight redemptions of extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and to redeem for Economy Plus and checked-baggage subscriptions.

For more information on the changes to the MileagePlus program visit

Bottom line: As with the recent Delta SkyMiles announced changes, members purchasing expensive short-haul flights and premium seats on international flights will benefit the most under the MileagePlus program changes. MileagePlus members can continue to earn miles through credit card spend and earn and transfer miles from partners such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and hotel partners like they do now. Members will continue to earn miles based on distance flown when flying partner airlines as long as the ticket is issued by the partner airline. Similar to Delta, Premier status continues to be earned based on miles flown.

Chris McGinnis of TravelSkills, summed up the changes in his blog post entitled, “United’s new copy & paste MileagePlus program” in which he says, “What is surprising, though, is how closely it mimics Delta SkyMiles’ proposed changes that go into effect in Jan. 15.”

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