United’s Mile Play promo is back: Earn up to 20,000 bonus miles

Jan 21, 2021

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. 

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

United just re-launched its Mile Play promotion, which incentivizes targeted MileagePlus members to book and fly a certain number of trips or miles in order to earn bonus miles.

Several TPG staff received targeted offers for trips booked and flown from now through March 31, 2021. This gives travelers just under two-and-a-half months to take advantage of this offer. To see if you’re eligible this time around and register, click here and enter your MileagePlus number.

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Examples of offers

As is normal with these promotions, the offers range widely from one member to another. Additionally, not everyone is targeted for a bonus. We checked around the TPG team and found the following offers:

To start, I — a general United MileagePlus member — received an offer for 5,000 bonus miles after taking two trips. Each purchased fare must be a minimum of $25 to qualify. Based on TPG valuations, 5,000 MileagePlus miles are worth $65.

Travel Reporter Victoria Walker and Senior Aviation Editor Ben Mutzabaugh were offered the same amount of miles after taking three flights, while senior reporter Katie Genter was offered the same amount of miles after taking just one flight. None of them have United Premier elite status.

TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen, who has the United Explorer Card, received an offer for 7,200 bonus points after taking two trips.


Elite members appear to be getting higher offers but also need to do more flying. Senior reporter Andrew Kunesh, who has United Gold status, received an offer of 9,200 bonus miles after taking three trips costing $100 or more.

Director of Video Tom Grahsler, who also has Gold status, received an offer for 12,000 bonus points after taking two trips.

Meanwhile, senior reporter Katherine Fan, who only has Silver status, received an offer for 14,000 bonus miles after taking two trips costing $300 or more.

Editor-at-large Zach Honig, a top-tier 1K elite, received a really great offer of 20,000 bonus miles after taking two trips, though they each must cost a minimum of $300. Based on TPG valuations, this bonus is worth $260.

Not everyone is targeted for an offer, though. A number of members on our team didn’t get offers, unfortunately.

Other ways to earn United miles

Whether you were targeted for this promotion or not, you can earn a ton of bonus United miles by opening a new United cobranded credit card. Currently, there are several sweet offers:

For the United Explorer Card, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months. The first year annual fee is waived and it’s $95 per year thereafter.

Related reading: Full review of the United Explorer Card 

For the United Club Infinite Card, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. With this card, you’ll earn a whopping 4x miles on United purchases, 2x on all other travel and dining purchases and 1x on everything else.

Related reading: Full review of the United Club Infinite Card

The perennial perk of the Infinite Card is a United Club membership which typically costs $650 per year for a general United MileagePlus member. This will come in handy once travel picks up again.

Cards that earn bonus miles on United flights

While these United co-branded cards are the best for stocking up on United miles, you’ll earn even more miles when you book these flights with one of the best cards for airfare purchases, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare) or the  Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®American Express® Gold Card, which each earn 3x on airfare (when booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com on the Amex Gold).

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

All screenshots courtesy of United.

Featured photo courtesy of Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Additional reporting by JT Genter, Summer Hull, Jasmin Baron and Victoria Walker.

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WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


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.

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More Things to Know
  • 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.
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