Real World Machine values United MileagePlus miles at 1.2 cents (USD) each. By our calculations, this makes United MileagePlus less valuable than American, Southwest, Alaska, or Virgin America miles, and equally as valuable as Delta and JetBlue miles.
Measured as a reward miles rebate for non-elite members, the MileagePlus program rebates you 6.0%, in the form of miles, for your spending on airfare, exclusive of taxes and most fees, with United Airlines. Those at the top elite status level, which is Premier 1K, get a 13.2% miles rebate.
How Did We Calculate the Value?
The value of one point is determined primarily by the award mileage cost to redeem MileagePlus miles towards flights. Award flight redemption costs are are based on 20 air routes…10 domestic and 10 international. For consistency, the same air routes are used to compare multiple airlines when determining point value.
The valuation also factors in the variety of redemption options, the size of the United’s network, and the availability of awards.
|Related:||Calculator: How much are my MileagePlus miles worth?|
United does well on these fronts. They have a good variety of redemption options in terms of class of travel: first, business, premium economy, and economy cabins. As the third largest commercial airline in the world by passenger-miles, they also have one of the most extensive global networks of any airline, especially once you add in their Star Alliance partners.
Award availability is reasonable, although you may need to do some research to find open award flight dates for popular routes/times. United’s membership in Star Alliance also means that you have the potential to redeem your MileagePlus miles on some great Star Alliance carriers like Singapore Airlines and ANA (All Nippon Airways). United still bases award redemption on a fixed regional mileage chart and does not directly base the mileage redemption cost on the cash price of the flight.
Want to see more? You can check out our full table of the value of one point, and the average rebate percentage (in points) per dollar spent, for leading airlines like American, Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, and Virgin America along with hotel, rail, and rental car travel providers.