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As a major domestic airline with plenty of international partners, United Airlines can be a solid choice for your upcoming travels. As you fly with United, you can earn United MileagePlus miles, then redeem them with United or its vast network of Star Alliance partner airlines and additional worldwide partners.
This guide can help you learn more about United’s partners and how to earn and use United miles.
United Airlines partners
United Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which unites 26 member airlines made up of both global and regional worldwide brands. Choosing an airline rewards programs that’s part of an alliance like this can make it easier to book and connect flights to anywhere in the world using your rewards.
On top of the Star Alliance, United partners with additional worldwide airlines, so you’ll have even more options to use your MileagePlus miles.
United Star Alliance partners
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Asiana Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- EVA Airways
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Air Portugal
- Thai Airways International
- Turkish Airlines
Non-Star Alliance United Airlines partners
- Aer Lingus
- Air Dolomiti
- Boutique Air
- Cape Air
- Eurowings Discover
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Olympic Air
- Silver Airways
- Virgin Australia
Earning miles on partner flights
When you fly with one of United’s airline partners, you can earn United miles simply by adding your MileagePlus number when you purchase your tickets.
Just be aware of how you may earn miles differently depending on how you book the partner flight. If you bought your tickets from United, you’ll earn miles based on the fare and your MileagePlus status level. When you book a flight through a partner airline, you’ll earn miles according to the distance of your flight and your fare class.
If you’re seeking Premier status with United, Premier-qualifying credits can vary, and not all partner tickets are eligible for Premier-qualifying points. For a full rundown of Premier-qualifying credits with partners, you can visit this page on United’s website.
How to redeem United miles for partner flights
Once you’ve racked up United MileagePlus miles and you’re ready to redeem, the best way to find flights for both United and its partners is directly through United’s website.
Simply search for flights on the site by indicating you want to search for award travel and entering your travel dates. From there, you can see all of the award seats available to your destination with United, its Star Alliance partners and other partner airlines. You can then book your award flight using your miles.
Other United Airlines partners
In addition to airline partners, you can also transfer and earn United MileagePlus miles with hotel and rental car partners, as well as a few retailers.
- Marriott Bonvoy
- IHG Rewards Club
- World of Hyatt
- Radisson Rewards
- Wyndham Rewards
- Choice Privileges Rewards
- Golden Circle
Rental car partners
Shopping and everyday spending partners
- Opinion Miles Club
- Vinesse Wines
Best cards to earn United miles
Both United’s co-branded credit cards and flexible travel credit cards that transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to United MileagePlus are great options for maximizing your MileagePlus miles. Here are a few options you might want to consider:
United Explorer Card
The United℠ Explorer Card* offers entry-level loyalists an easy way to earn rewards on United purchases, for a reasonable $95 annual fee (waived the first year).
To start, the Explorer Card offers a 50,000-mile welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Plus you’ll receive 2X miles on dining, hotel stays and United purchases, as well as 1X miles on all other purchases.
A few additional perks of this airline credit card include your first checked bag free, up to $100 in credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, priority boarding and two one-time United Club passes.
United Club Infinite Card
You’ll pay a hefty annual fee ($525) to own the United Club℠ Infinite Card*, but if you fly often enough with the airline and can take advantage of the card’s many perks, it can be worth it.
To start, you’ll earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in your first three months, as well as 4X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on all other travel, dining and eligible delivery services and 1X miles on everything else.
Premium perks of the Club Infinite Card include automatic United Club lounge membership, United Premier Access (meaning priority check-in, boarding and more), two free checked bags each for you and one companion, a few travel credits to expedite the airport security process and more.
United Business Card
If you’re a small business owner and frequently fly with United, the United℠ Business Card is a solid option to consider. For a $99 annual fee (waived the first year), you’ll earn 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, dining, gas station purchases and on office supplies, local transit and commuting (plus 1X miles on all non-category purchases).
The card offers a 50,000-mile welcome bonus after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, plus a variety of additional benefits: first checked bag free for you and a companion, $100 yearly statement credit after marking at least seven United purchases, an annual 5,000-mile anniversary credit (if you also own a consumer United card) and more.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
With the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 2X points on general travel, as well as 3X points on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases and 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 31st, 2025). All other purchases earn 1X points.
There’s a $95 annual fee, but you’ll have the chance to earn a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months and can enjoy a wealth of travel protections. Other benefits include an annual $50 hotel credit and a 10 percent anniversary point bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a great choice if you’re looking for a more premium travel card with access to the same Chase transfer partner perks.
To start, you’ll earn 5X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel and 3X points on general travel (after first earning your $300 travel credit). The card also offers 3X points on restaurant purchases, 10X points on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), 10X points on Chase Dining purchases and 10X points on hotel stays and car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (plus 1X points on everything else).
The card charges a steep $550 annual fee, but you’ll get Priority Pass Select lounge membership, a $300 annual travel credit (as noted), a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, various travel protections and more. There’s also a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in your first three months.
How to maximize United miles
If you’re a frequent traveler with United, its wide range of airline partners can help you stretch your MileagePlus miles even further with added destinations and access.
Just remember, your United miles will often go furthest when you book United flights directly through United. And to maximize your miles rewards over time, don’t forget to check for additional partner benefits when you book a hotel, rent a car or shop with partner retailers.
*The information about the United℠Explorer Card and United Club℠ Infinite Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.