If your United account balance is primarily made up of miles that were transferred over from Continental, the 18 month expiration rule might be quickly approaching. If you haven’t done anything with your United account since the merger, there is a good chance that your miles are due to expire September 30, 2013.

In my spreadsheet that contains all my families account numbers, passwords, number of points, expiration dates, etc. I have three family members whose accounts are set to expire on this date. Make sure to double and triple check your accounts – you definitely do not want your miles to expire!

Ways to keep your United Account active (if you only have a few days!):

  • Purchase a $25 Restaurant.com certificate  for 500 miles
  • Transfer miles/points from another loyalty program to United using Points.com. Exchanges take up to 5 days to transfer and some programs have a minimum amount needed, so read the terms per program. To earn 1 United Airlines MileagePlus mile you can exchange:
    • 3 Aeroplan miles
    • 5 American Airline miles (balance must be more than 25,000 miles, or be a Gold, Platinum, or Executive Platinum member)
    • 4 Amtrak Guest Reward points
    • 5 Asia Miles
    • 3 Audience Rewards points
    • 4 LifeMiles
    • 4 EssoExtra points
    • 7 Frontier Easy Returns miles
    • 8 Hawaiian Airline miles
    • 6 Iceland Air Saga miles
    • 12 InterContinental Hotel Group points
    • 5 Melia Rewards points
    • 4 BestBuy points
    • 21 GreenPoints points
    • 33 Speedy Rewards points
    • 57 SubaGames points
    • 5 Virgin America points
  • Donate 500 miles – I wrote more about this in a prior blog post (miles will post within a few minutes)
  • Purchase a magazine subscription – some start as low as 400 miles, although those ones probably aren’t of interest to you! (miles will post within a few minutes)
  • Purchase a newspaper subscription – miles vary but for a 39 week subscription to the Wall Street Journal in my zip code it is 2,900 miles (miles will post within a few minutes)
  • Transfer points from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account to United – 1,000 points minimum transfer required (transfers typically happen instantly, but will definitely post within 24 hours)
  • If you are an SPG Platinum member you can transfer 2 SPG points for 1 United mile – although the miles might not post in time (it says it can take 4 weeks) – anyone have any experience with how long it takes for SPG points to transfer to United miles?
  • Book a flight using your miles

While there are MANY other ways to keep your account active, this list above is the quick and easy way when you only have a few days left.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • Andy said,

    If anyone does E-Rewards surveys for the miles, a 500 mile dump ($25) will refresh the expiration date too.

  • Jade said,

    Thanks a lot for your reminder. This is very helpful!

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