Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Short miles for award, What about transferring from another account? Alternatives?

Old Jan 17, 2020, 12:17 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Transfer miles between UA accounts cost 1.5 cents per miles in 500-mile increments and a $30 service charge. Sometimes there are reduced price sales. No is no free transfers between family members and UA has no Family Account concept.

The FT UA community generally considers this an expensive method and has suggested alternatives
Such as purchasing parts of the trip from separate accounts.
-- The outbound from one account, the return from another
-- some of the travelers from one account, some of the travelers from another
-- using a mixture of cash and award miles to book the tickets
-- purchase the miles at 2.x cpm and retain the miles in the other account

There are downsides to some of the alternatives, such as requiring multiple PNRs. Leading to increased cancellation fees, some difficults in non-elites inheriting elite benefits (there are some workarounds), irrop handling (make require an agent to straighten out -- usually not a significant issue)
None of the just alternatives violate any UA rules.

The point is it worth looking at the alternatives before doing a transfer.

Also see, Funding awards/upgrades on a common PNR from multiple accounts? - NO, alternatives?

Consolidated: XXXX miles short of award- how to get them quickly? [Merged Threads]

[Consolidated] Does UA offer "family accounts?" - No

Should I be hesitant to book an award or upgrades for family / friends?
Print Wikipost

Short miles for award, What about transferring from another account? Alternatives?

Old Mar 12, 2012, 9:19 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Transfer miles between united accounts for free?

Hi
My wife and I have separate united miles account that we would like to consolidate into one account. United charges $35 per 1K for such transfer (this is such a rip off). Is there some way to transfer miles for free or at a reduced cost? I read somewhere about using a 'middle man' such as points.com or amtrack to transfer miles without having the fee charged?

Any suggestions?
zenmary25 is offline  
Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:17 am
  #2  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,736
Originally Posted by zenmary25
...Is there some way to transfer miles for free or at a reduced cost? ...
no -- not between accounts with different names

Originally Posted by zenmary25
.. I read somewhere about using a 'middle man' such as points.com or amtrack to transfer miles without having the fee charged? ....
UA MP is a blackhole, you can not transfer miles out except to another MP account (for a fee).
Trading sites have their own issues.

An alterntive is to fund activities from both accounts.
Example 2 domestic RTs would be 50,000 but if broken into OW, you could fund 1 OW (12,500) from one account and the rest 37,500 from the other account.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2012, 8:20 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Living near OKC, but my home and heart lie near MDT
Programs: UA
Posts: 19
charge fees for transfer of miles?

Hello all,

It's been a long while (nearly 3 months) since I last logged in, so I might be a bit rusty on things with the 'new' UA, but I have a question.

Whose idea was it to charge $15 per 1k miles for miles transfer between members?

I ask since my dad (another UA member) and I were arranging a miles transfer and he came back in an email saying that the new United 'sucks' and that he wonders why he should have to pay for something that 1) was previously free to his recollection and 2) is something that can be done entirely online without any human interaction whatsoever.

Needless to say this has me a bit miffed as well, but I know enough to know that big companies don't like to make exceptions for things like this, so when did this start/change? (He and I are both GM, in case anyone makes suggestions which imply that we have, y'know, any 'status' in COUA.)

(EDIT: feel free to call me an idiot for either not using the search tool or for suggesting that this is a new feature of post-merger UA, if this has been around a while, I won't mind.)

Last edited by Thufir Hawat; Apr 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm Reason: clarification
Thufir Hawat is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2012, 8:23 pm
  #4  
V9
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD/DCA
Programs: UA 1K/MM, Marriott Pltm, Hyatt Diamond, spg Pltm
Posts: 357
Transferring miles is never free.

The only exception in the industry is the spg points.
V9 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2012, 8:51 pm
  #5  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,736
For reference, transfering miles threads over the years referring to the costs

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-miles-1k.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...n-spouses.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ese-miles.html

transfer can be done entirely online but for a fee
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2012, 2:07 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Programs: UA Plat-2MM, Marriott Life Titanium, Hyatt something
Posts: 1,890
You can book tickets for any person, so if you have enough in each account for something (e.g. book or upgrade one way out of each account), you can do it without transferring. "Transferring" is basically selling you the miles at half the normal price.

Note that booking an award trip as separate one ways means no free stopovers, and a larger fee if you change/cancel.
LAX UA 1K is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2012, 12:37 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA GS MM, Marriott Life Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Southwest Alist pref, various others of little note
Posts: 2,767
Originally Posted by Thufir Hawat
Hello all,

It's been a long while (nearly 3 months) since I last logged in, so I might be a bit rusty on things with the 'new' UA, but I have a question.

Whose idea was it to charge $15 per 1k miles for miles transfer between members?

I ask since my dad (another UA member) and I were arranging a miles transfer and he came back in an email saying that the new United 'sucks' and that he wonders why he should have to pay for something that 1) was previously free to his recollection and 2) is something that can be done entirely online without any human interaction whatsoever.

Needless to say this has me a bit miffed as well, but I know enough to know that big companies don't like to make exceptions for things like this, so when did this start/change? (He and I are both GM, in case anyone makes suggestions which imply that we have, y'know, any 'status' in COUA.)

(EDIT: feel free to call me an idiot for either not using the search tool or for suggesting that this is a new feature of post-merger UA, if this has been around a while, I won't mind.)
As noted by others, it's almost universal that a fee is charged to transfer miles. Why do they do it? Because they can and it makes money. The ones I find really absurd are the charges that are basically as much as it costs to buy the miles, or as much as the miles are worth. Might as well save your miles and buy your friend/relative/etc a ticket.
Boghopper is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2012, 12:39 pm
  #8  
Moderator Hilton Honors, Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: Honors Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Exec Elite
Posts: 36,097
Originally Posted by V9
The only exception in the industry is the spg points.
And HA miles.
cblaisd is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2012, 12:56 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Western NY
Programs: MANY
Posts: 244
There has always been a fee for transferring airline miles from one account to another.

Yes, it is expensive. The only time it would make sense is when only a (small) portion is needed to buy a ticket.

Options to get around include booking multiple one-way award. But then you lose stopover. Also it could be more expensive if travel schedule has to be changed down the road.
double_black77 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2012, 1:58 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Sacramento, CA, US
Posts: 2,234
I was pleased to take advantage of this option recently, transferring 15000 miles from my GF's account to mine for $225. That allowed me to use those 15000 miles to match 50000 miles that I had to get a 65000-mile award from SFO to HKG and SIN for her. With taxes of $95, this meant that we acquired this ticket for $315 rather than $1600.
Reindeerflame is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2012, 9:20 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum
Posts: 2
Mileage Plus Transfer

New to frequent traveling/Mileage Plus (4 months) and recently bought a couple of tickets for my girlfriend on United. Was surprised to see you are charged $15 per 1,000 miles if I wanted to transfer her miles to me.

Are there any ways around this (such as transferring to another program)? Would like to get the miles as she won't travel enough to redeem on her own.
cbev86 is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2012, 9:24 pm
  #12  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,736
Welcome to FT!, cbev86
Originally Posted by cbev86
.... Are there any ways around this (such as transferring to another program)? ...
sorry, no
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2012, 9:39 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Charleston, SC, USA
Programs: Avis Pref+, Hyatt Explorist, Marriott Life Gold, Honors Silver, IHG Plat via MC.
Posts: 6,786
If U or she gets a Chase Sapphire credit card, the bonus points for getting it &or the points earned for spending on it can be sent fee-free to anybody's your own or your Authorized User's UA account. U could deposit enough to her account to boost it to be enough for a 1-way award ticket which can be for anyone.

Last edited by Brendan; Jan 26, 2022 at 9:15 pm Reason: Chase Sapphire changed the rules circa 2014--15!
Brendan is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2012, 9:46 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Brendan
If U or she gets a Chase Sapphire credit card, the bonus points for getting it &or the points earned for spending on it can be sent fee-free to anybody's UA account. U could deposit enough to her account to boost it to be enough for a 1-way award ticket which can be for anyone.
Good idea. I already have Sapphire but will transfer her points to redeem for the next flight.
cbev86 is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2012, 5:45 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Charleston, SC, USA
Programs: Avis Pref+, Hyatt Explorist, Marriott Life Gold, Honors Silver, IHG Plat via MC.
Posts: 6,786
Cbev86, you're welcome! So glad I could help!

Last edited by Brendan; Jan 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm
Brendan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.