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Rundown of United Airlines’ MileagePlus for Canadians (updated December 30, 2019)

I was waiting for a few more updates before working on this post. But it has been long enough, especially with their change in expiry policy. With the uncertainty surrounding Air Canada’s Aeroplan program, I’m sure that I am not the only Canadian considering switching to another Star Alliance program to bank my miles to.

That being said, if you are a Canadian considering MileagePlus, I would consider the highlights below to help you optimize the program.

Expiry Policy

Miles no longer expire, which came into effect this past year. This may be a game changer for United Airlines. The question is at what cost? How will it affect reward redemptions?

Earning Miles

Unfortunately for Canadians, there is no Canadian direct way to earn miles (e.g. co-branded credit card or transfer partner of a transfer points program). Which means that we can only earn miles the general ways that worldwide members can earn.

Star Alliance Partners

United Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, which means that you can earn and redeem miles with all its members.

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines

Non-Star Alliance Partners

Furthermore, you can also earn and redeem miles with its non-alliance partners.

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromar
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Azul
  • Boutique Air
  • Cape Air
  • Edelweiss
  • Eurowings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Olympic Air
  • Silver Airways

Hotel Partners

There is a host of hotel partners that you can earn miles with. The earning structure can even vary for the same hotel chain, it is brand specific. The trick is to watch for bonus promotions to earn even more miles for the same stay. Please note that we are talking in US Dollars (USD) for this section below:

  • AC Hotels (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Aloft Hotels (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • AmericInn (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Andaz (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Ascend Hotel Collection (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Autograph Collection Hotels (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Baymont (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Best Western – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Cambria Suites (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Candlewood Suites (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 1 mile for $1 spent
  • Clarion (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Comfort Inn (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Comfort Suites (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Cordis Hotels and Resorts (Langham Hospitality Group) – earn 500 miles per night or up to 1,500 miles per stay
  • Country Inn & Suites (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Courtyard (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Days Inn (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Dazzler (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Delta Hotels (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Design Hotels (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Dolce Hotels and Resorts (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Eaton HK (Langham Hospitality Group) – earn 250 miles per night or up to 750 miles per stay
  • Econo Lodge (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Edition (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Element by Westin (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Esplendor Boutique Hotels (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Fairfield Inn (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Fiesta Americana (Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts) – earn 2,000 miles per stay (minimum of two nights)
  • Four Points by Sheraton (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Gaylord Hotels (Marriot Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Grand Hyatt (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hawthorn Suites (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Holiday Inn Express (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Hotel Indigo (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Howard Johnson (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Hyatt Centric (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt House (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Place (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Regency (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Summerfield Suites (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Zilara (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Hyatt Ziva (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • The Langham Hotels and Resorts (Langham Hospitality Group) – earn 500 miles per night or up to 1,500 miles per stay
  • Le Meridien (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • The Luxury Collection (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • MainStay Suites (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per eligible stay
  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Marriott Vacation Club (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 10,000 miles
  • Microtel Inns Suites (Wyndham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts (Millennium Hotels and Resorts) – earn 500 miles (Millennium) / earn 250 miles (Copthorne)
  • Moxy Hotels (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Park Hyatt Hotels (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Park Inn (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Park Plaza (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Protea Hotels (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Quality (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Radisson (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Radisson Blu (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Radisson RED (Radisson Hotel Group) – ability to convert hotel points to miles
  • Ramada Worldwide (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Renaissance Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 mile per $1 spent
  • Residence Inn (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent- earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Ritz-Carlton (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Rodeway Inn (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts (Shangri-La) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Sleep Inn (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • SpringHill Suites (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • St. Regis Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Staybridge Suites (InterContinental Hotels Group) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Suburban Extended Stay Hotel (Choice Hotels International) – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Super 8 (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • TownePlace Suites (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Trademark Collection (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Traders Hotels (Shangri-La) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • Travelodge (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Tribute Portfolio (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • TRYP (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Unbound Collection (Hyatt) – earn 500 miles per stay
  • United Hotels (United Airlines) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • W Hotels (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts (Marriott Bonvoy) – earn 2 miles per $1 spent
  • Wingate (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Wyndham Garden (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Wyndham Grand (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)
  • Wyndham (Wydham) – earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent (depending on Wyndham elite status)

Transportation (including Cruises) Partners

Below are MileagePlus’ car and other mode of transportation partners that you can earn miles with. The trick is to watch for bonus offers to earn even more miles for the same purchase.

  • Amtrak – earn up to 750 miles per segment depending on fare class
  • Carmel – earm 50 award miles (within New York) or 100 award miles (outside of New York) and up to 2 miles per $1 spent on each trip
  • Dollar Rent A Car – earn 50 miles for rentals of 1 – 4 days or earn 500 miles per rental of 5 of more days
  • GroundLink – earn 200 miles per ride
  • Hertz – earn between 500 – 1,250 miles per qualifying rental depending on MileagePlus status
  • Thrifty Car Rental – earn 50 miles for rentals of 1 – 4 days or earn 500 miles per rental of 5 of more days
  • United Cruises – earn up to 45,000 miles per cruise booking

Also watch for bonus offers to earn even more miles on a booking.

Multiplier Bonus with Elite Status

The most direct way of earning miles is paying for a flight with United Airlines, which has the following earning ratios depending on your elite status:

  • Earn 11 miles for every $1 spent on the base fare as a 1k member (in 2020, qualify by earning: 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP or 24,000 PQP)
  • Earn 9 miles for every $1 spent on the base fare as a Platinum Premier member (in 2020, qualify by earning: 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP or 15,000 PQP)
  • Earn 8 miles for every $1 spent on the base fare as a Gold Premier member (in 2020, qualify by earning 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP or 10,000 PQP)
  • Earn 7 miles for every $1 spent on the base fare as a Silver Premier member (in 2020, qualify by earning 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP or 5,000 PQP)
  • Earn 5 miles for every $1 spent on the base fare as a General member (sign up free)

Surveys

You can earn miles by completing surveys with E-Rewards (E-Rewards invitation only) and Opinion Miles Club.

Destinations Departing from Canada

Even though the frequent flyer program has a weak relationship with Canada, United Airlines has a strong presence in Canadian airports. Last time I already mentioned that the numbers of United flights are dwindling, and it only goes worse this time as even more flights got discontinued, rather than added.

Below is an of direct flights that are serviced by Canadian airports. Changes from last time are in brackets or struck-through:

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

  • United Airlines: Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, San Francisco
  • United Express: Chicago-O’Hare, Denver (added), Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

  • United Airlines: Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, San Francisco
  • United Airlines (seasonal): Los Angeles (added), Newark, Washington-Dulles
  • United Express: Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
  • United Express (seasonal): Denver (added), San Francisco (added)

Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

  • United Express: Chicago-O’Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

  • United Airlines: Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental
  • United Express: Chicago–O’Hare, Denver, San Francisco

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

  • United Airlines: Houston-Intercontinental
  • United Express: Denver

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW)

  • United Express: Chicago–O’Hare, Newark (ends March 4, 2020), Washington–Dulles
  • United Express (seasonal): Chicago–O’Hare (added)

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

  • United Express: Chicago-O’Hare, Denver

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

  • United Airlines: Newark (added)
  • United Express: Newark
  • United Express (seasonal): Chicago-O’Hare

Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)

  • United Express: Newark
  • United Express (seasonal): Chicago-O’Hare

What I would like to See

I just want to see one thing happen. A Canadian co-branded credit card with United Airlines MileagePlus plan. I’ll also settle for them to have a partnership with one of the transferable points program. Basically I would like to see a more direct relationship with Canada.

More importantly, what would you like United Airlines’ MileagePlus program do to expand its reach for Canadians? Please share in the comment section below!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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