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Get 15,000 MileagePlus miles with the United credit card

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For a few months now, the United Airlines MileagePlus Amex credit card (issued by MBNA) has had the unique distinction of being the only UK airline credit card with NO sign-up bonus!

Things are improving, though.  Via this link, you can now earn 15,000 bonus United miles when you take out their card.  The card is free and you only need to spend £300 within 60 days to trigger the bonus.

The offer runs until 30th November.

As United is a Star Alliance member, you can redeem miles on Lufthansa, Swiss etc as well as United itself.  Here is a PDF of their award chart with Star Alliance awards on page 3.

A one-way business class award to the Middle East is 27,500 miles, so you’d need an extra 12,500 miles which you could buy or transfer from a hotel programme.  A one-way to Dubai in economy would be only 17,500 miles, so you pretty much get them all from the card.  If you’re heading to the US, a one-way Saver-level award in business from New York to San Francisco would be 25,000 miles.

In the main, though, the main beneficiaries of this deal will be people who already have some MileagePlus miles they want to build up.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (8)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Darren says:

    I live in Birmingham which United use to go to New York. 15,000 is a great start but would i struggle to gain additional miles in the UK with miles and more?
    I was with AAdvantage and struggled to gain miles, so i ended up with BA and avios which is far easier to earn miles.
    I would love to be able to use United with Birmingham airport being on my doorstep.

    • Raffles says:

      Yes, its tricky with United. As I outlined in this post http://headforpoints.com/2012/07/23/all-star-alliance-credit-card-opportunities-for-uk-residents/ United is not an Amex Membership Rewards partner, and it also has a terrible rate for converting Starwood Preferred Guest points if you got an SPG Amex. You can transfer hotel points in, though.

      Perhaps you got the card, built up just enough miles for a one-way to the US from Birmingham for one person (assuming you were going solo!) and then came back on Avios or some other currency.

      • Darren says:

        Thank you for your guidance.

      • gagravarr says:

        Can you transfer United miles to someone else?

        (That might open up two people in a household both getting one and pooling, or swapping your miles with a friend who flies United for some points of theirs that’d be more useful for you)

        • Raffles says:

          You can transfer miles between 2 people but the $15 / 1,000 cost is rubbish. You can also use points.com to swap United miles – 15,000 gets you 3,294 AA, 4,941 US Airways, 6,375 Priority Club etc …. again, all pretty poor. Only sensible way to leverage a friends application is to get both of you up the cost of a one-way flight and then book the outbound from your account and your friend books a return for you from their account.

  • Akhil Gupta says:

    I had the MBNA BA card. Cancelled this 2 months ago – do you think I can sign up for the United one and get the bonus or is that a bit greedy and no bonus would come through?

    • Raffles says:

      No, you’ll be fine. In fact, MBNA is happy for you to have 2 or 3 of their cards at the same time and get the bonuses, as long as you don’t mind reducing the credit limit on an old one to get approval for a new one.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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