United Miles Program Changes: Spend More, Earn More

United Airlines is following Delta’s lead by switching its miles program to a model that showers its biggest rewards on those who pay the most for their airline tickets. The big winner: Business travelers.

Changes underway at American/US Airways, too

Changes Take Effect March 1, 2015

As USA Today reports, United’s changes to its MileagePlus program appear to go a bit further than Delta’s SkyMiles because United’s new miles-earning formula combines frequent-flyer status levels with ticket prices. Here’s how miles will be earned starting March 1 – based on miles earned per dollar spent:

United: Miles Earned – Per Dollar Spent

No elite status 5 miles
Premier Silver 7 miles
Premier Gold 8 miles
Premier Platinum 9 miles
Premier 1K 11 miles

On United’s site, there is a mileage calculator: Enter the price of your ticket and your status level to see how much you’ll earn.

Why the Changes

It’s a way to reward and presumably retain the loyalty of the passengers airlines value most – those who spend the most money.

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Published: June 10, 2014