What Are The Best Ways To Maximize Expiring United Miles?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
I was recently tweeted a great “newbie question of the week” by TPG reader @Mommalogues:
“@thepointsguy My 18,000+ United MileagePlus miles will expire on July 31st. Can I trade them for American AAdvantage miles?”
The answer to your question is yes, you can trade your expiring MileagePlus miles for American AAdvantage miles through points/miles exchange and clearing house points.com … but at a terrible ratio. Points.com will let you transfer your hard-earned miles and points between programs, but the commissions they charge are so high that they effectively eviscerate the value of those points and miles. You’d probably get more from your MileagePlus miles by exchanging them for magazines.
I’d suggest that you use your miles with United, rather than allowing them to expire. Even though the airline just had a big devaluation in February, and announced changes to how miles are earned just this past week, you can still find some decent awards for United flights. Unlike many airline loyalty programs, United MileagePlus allows one-way awards, so I’d recommend trying for a one-way, 12,500-mile Economy Saver award.
Another option would be to reset the clock on when your miles expire. United gives its MileagePlus members 18 months to keep their miles active, meaning that any account activity (including earning or redemption) will reset that 18 months. This includes signing up for the MileagePlus Dining Program and buying as little as a soda, or doing some online shopping at the United MileagePlus mall. Keep in mind, though, that these partner activities can take between a few days to a couple of weeks to post, so don’t wait until the last minute. Since United and Chase Ultimate Rewards are transfer partners, a more immediate way to reset your expiration date is to make a 1:1 transfer of as few as 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points to your MileagePlus account. Finally, any activity on United branded credit card will also keep your miles from expiring.
If you want to build up a stash of American AAdvantage miles, I’d suggest making that a separate part of your points and miles strategy. To help you along, check out our Hot Deals page for a great 100,000-mile Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard offer going on right now.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.