Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance to get 12,000 bonus miles with the United MileagePlus credit card

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A quick heads up that TODAY, New Years Eve, is your last chance to apply for the United MileagePlus credit card whilst it still has the 12,000 miles sign-up bonus.

The United Airlines card, issued by MBNA, had historically been fundamentally ignored by pretty much everyone.  There was no sign-up bonus (once a year they offered a whopping 5,000 miles!) and it wasn’t even mentioned on the MBNA website.

The card was revamped and relaunched in October.  As is now the model with MBNA cards (Lufthansa, American, Etihad, Emirates etc) it comes as a double-pack with an American Express and a Visa.

Full details can be found here.

United credit card

Here are the core facts:

Generous (for a free credit card) sign-up bonus of 12,000 United MileagePlus miles

No annual fee

Acceptable earning rate of 1.25 miles per £1 on the American Express and 0.625 miles on the Visa

To qualify for the sign-up bonus, you must apply TODAY and spend £1,000 across both cards together within 90 days.

It is worth noting that United is the only airline to enforce a particularly poor exchange rate with Starwood Preferred Guest, in order to protect its own credit card.  Whilst almost all other airlines transfer at 1:1 from Starwood, United transfers at an amazingly poor 2:1.  This means that these cards are the only realistic way to earn decent levels of United miles on credit card spend.

However, United recently announced an incredibly bad devaluation of MileagePlus.  This particularly impacts people outside the USA, since the hardest hit awards were Business Class and First Class redemptions on Star Alliance partners.  There are over 40 articles on the devaluation listed here if you need to know more.  A decent summary can be found here at View from the Wing.

It is very unlikely, therefore, that you would use this credit card as a good excuse to start building up United MileagePlus miles, especially as most people are trying to spend them as quickly as possible before the devaluation kicks in.  However, if you want to top-up an existing balance then this is an easy way to earn 12,000 MileagePlus miles quickly and cheaply.


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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge 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. 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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) 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:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

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 Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (2)

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

  • callum says:

    If you fly economy like I do the increases are minimal to non existent. I guess there could be more competition for economy seats now though.

  • Daniel says:

    I’ve got an idle 30,000 miles that will get a nice top up for an easy 1k spend.

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

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