How to Keep Your United Airlines Mileage Plus Miles From Expiring

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Canarsie, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    Canarsie Silver Member

    This thread is designed to give those who are looking to prevent their United Airlines Mileage Plus miles from expiring, with the list being updated with the latest information here in this milepost.

    How to keep your United Airlines Mileage Plus miles from expiring:
    • Earn United Airlines Mileage Plus miles for the following, while ensuring that what you earned is credited to your United Airlines Mileage Plus frequent flier account:
    • Redeem United Airlines Mileage Plus miles for the following:
    • Original Member

    Pat+ Silver Member

    I'm sure you meant United Express [​IMG]
    • Original Member

    Pat+ Silver Member

    Oh, and I'm pretty sure that purchasing or transfering miles also works--any activity will reset the clock.
    • Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Newspaper subscriptions only use a few hundred miles to extend your expiration date.
    This can be done right on United.com -> MILEAGE PLUS>USE MILES>Subscribing to newspapers
    • Original Member

    FriendlySkies Gold Member

    Purchasing some music, etc from iTunes will extend your RDMs.. Just make sure you go through UA, before going into iTunes.
    • Original Member

    FriendlySkies Gold Member

    :D

    The FA on my Mesa flight from MCI-IAD kept referring to us as United Airways Express... :eek:
    chrislacey likes this.
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member


    The other key bit of info there is that the miles for you flights must be credited to MP.

    Also, if your miles would not otherwise expire this year, flying on Continental or a partner and crediting to Continental will likely extend the combined program expiration date when the two programs are merged later this year.
    • Original Member

    YankeeTravlr Gold Member

    I've been pleasantly surprised by how many retailers that I regularly shop with (from?) are represented in Mileage Plus Shopping. The trick is to remember to go through there first. I cannot tell you the number of times I have bought something, and then realized I could have gotten miles for it. More than once I have purchased the same item a second time (esp. when there's a high miles-to-dollars ratio), and returned the non-mileage plus purchased order.
    trobb49 likes this.
    • Original Member

    cvarming Silver Member

    Keeping UA Miles alive.. The classic trick is to buy a few miles: The award accelerator.
    1. Buy a refundable one-way fare for a very short flight. For instance SFO-SMF.
    2. Purchase award accelerator miles for the fare. SFO-SMF is 86 miles which is roughly $3.
    3. Refund the ticket.

    $3 buys your miles another year. And usually the miles post in less than 24 hours.
    mre5765 and Newscience like this.
    • Original Member

    sinfonia Active Member

    At some point, there will be a post here that says, "I just realized my miles are going to expire tomorrow, and I need to earn miles QUICK! What do I do?"

    I, myself, was in this bind not very long ago. What I learned by calling United was that if I purchased a song from iTunes (an option Canarsie has listed) on the very day that the miles are to expire, it will keep the miles from expiring. That is: even though the miles themselves will not post until much later (a month or so), and even though you might freak out when you log in the following day to see your mileage balance read 0, the miles from the song WILL post a month or so later, and at that time, your previous miles will be automatically reinstated. You do not need to call for reinstatement -- this is automatically done by the system.
    • Original Member

    cvarming Silver Member

    That is a lot of trust in one system. I would be very nervous through out the wait, but if you have the stomach for it...
    • Original Member

    RedTape Silver Member

    The shopping mall function is good, but it is quite slow to post. If you're in the position I was in recently, don't wait until the last minute for that...
    • Original Member

    sinfonia Active Member

    Agreed, but I was already in the situation where I had one day to keep them, and I documented which agent gave me the information. I think I must have checked back into my account twice a day every day until they posted, but was relieved to see that they did, in fact, post. I'm not saying this is the perfect solution, but it's an option for those who don't fly United often and find themselves in the same situation.
    • Original Member

    Xyzzy Gold Member

    I found a super easy way to instantly renew the miles. At present, you need a minimum balance of 12,500 miles for this to work. The procedure is as follows:
    1. Call UA at 800-UNITED1 (800.864.8331) and go through the automated system for booking an award ticket (reservations / award travel)
    2. Book a 1 way ticket between two cities. (EWR/LGA-ORD is a good choice because there is lots of availability)
    3. Near the end of the booking process you will be asked for the birth date of the passenger. Do not enter it. You d;)n't have it.
    4. The system will explain that it can not complete the reservation without this information. It will then give you the PNR of the reservation that it booked and tell you it is connecting you to an agent.
    5. Remember the PNR! Hang up.
    6. Call back and tell the automated system "reservations / award" again. This time, also tell it you have already made a reservation.
    7. Provide the PNR.
    8. Tell the system to cancel.
    9. Viola -- your miles will immediately be extended for 18 months.
    This takes about five minutes. Enj;)y!
    mre5765, JY1024, JRZYSHAWN and 6 others like this.
    • Original Member

    chitownflyer Silver Member

    An easy way to kepp your United frequent flyer account active is to get a Mileage Plus Visa and make a charge to it every so often.
  1. alimas711 New Member

    Thank you very much for your posting and help, Xyzzy. I just tried this earlier today and your procedure works great.

    My miles were expiring end of this June 2011 and got extended to November 2012 (which is only 17 months, not 18 months).

    I see activities in my account for today where miles got deducted from the account and credited back. My mileage balance remained as it was before I started the procedure.

    For those wanting to try this, your expiration date may not update right away as was my case. However,I left the site and came back about 3 hours later and the expiration date had since gotten updated.
  2. hooterbif Active Member

    Do an online transfer of 1 mile from Continental. It's free.
    • Original Member

    Mackieman Gold Member

    I believe they have to be in 1,000 mile increments, but yeah, that should work too.
  3. jayrm Member

    Mileage Plus Shopping is how my wife keeps her miles from expiring. You can download a toolbar for Firefox (probably other browsers as well) that makes it easy to remember to use the service. As YankeeTravlr said, it's amazing WHO is a MP Shopping partner - darn near everybody :)
    • Original Member

    gobluetwo Silver Member

    Another way to extend it is to tie a hotel or rental car to your MP (or other airline) account you wish to extend. I do this with my DL SM account. It's dwindling, but still 30k-ish miles I'd rather not lose! I'm sure I could also tie them to my wife's/kids' accounts, too.

    @Xyzzy, how did you (or whomever) ever figure that out??

    The calculation includes the current month, so June 2011-Nov 2011 (inclusive) is 18 months.

    Is that even possible? I thought the minimum was 1,000 miles.
    • Original Member

    cvarming Silver Member

    I transfered an odd number of miles the other day. No problem at all.
  4. alimas711 New Member

    Thank you for the follow-up, gobluetwo.

    That's how it works, but just wasn't what I'd expect if they say activities would extend expiration by 18 months. Since the miles wouldn't expire until end of June 2011, that means the 18-month countdown should start from the day after that, 7/1. So, I expected the 18 months to be from July 2011 to December 2012. I'm new to this, so definitely don't know what the ramifications are behind it and there's probably an FAQ about this already somewhere. But, if they want to extend only by 17 months, then just say so and it'd make more sense for analytical people like me. ;)
  5. alohastephen Gold Member

    I downloaded the United Shopping toolbar during the 250 mile promotion and have been using it for nearly three months now but none of the search miles or sign up bonuses have posted. Just curious if anyone else is having the same problem?
    • Original Member

    DealHound Silver Member

    Same here.
    • Original Member

    Xyzzy Gold Member

    I tried to book an award over the phone and then cancel within 24 hours so I could extend the life of one of our accounts. It asked for birthday inf:eek: and i didn't want to provide it, but then gave me the PNR. It was truly an accident!
    During the testing phase transfers had to be in increments of 1000 miles. That has changed with the rollout to all users.
    essxjay and gobluetwo like this.

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