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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Travel with Credit Cards » I am a MileagePlus Explorer Business card owner. This month 78,000 miles have expired....

I am a MileagePlus Explorer Business card owner. This month 78,000 miles have expired. Called their customer service and no help at all. Never received any notice of expiration by email or phone. Sooo frustrated right now. Any thoughts on how to get them back?

Answered on | Updated: October 4th, 2018
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Indeed, when miles expire, it is very annoying. In fact, this is very common, a lot of United customers complain about losing their United MileagePlus miles. United also has a nasty habit of not notifying their customers about their miles expiring. Although check your junk mail – the email from them might have ended up there.

However unpleasant it may be, it’s not the end of the world. There’s some chance of getting your miles back, if you act fast. Since you had more than 20,000 miles to expire, you can reinstate them by making a purchase with United and then paying a $100 fee. In this particular case, there are only two qualifying actions. Specifically, you can:

  • take a flight with United
  • successfully apply, get approved and make a purchase with a United MileagePlus credit card that was opened after payment of the registration fee.

It takes some extra payment to get your miles back, and it’s disappointing, as is losing your miles without any warning from United whatsoever.

In days to come, there’s a way for you to avoid such situations. If you want to earn miles for and on United flights, you can do it without any risk of expiration. Just get a general travel credit card and earn miles with it. Most travel credit cards now offer significant bonuses, so the miles will add up fast. There are several types of such cards, some offer increased rewards on selected categories, some offer a decent number of miles on all purchases. In our opinion it’s the second type of cards that is more profitable.

As an example, let’s take the Discover it® Miles. It offers you 1.5 miles on all purchases. While you may think it’s not outstanding, there are other features that actually make this card excel other ones. The card has a bonus offer for new cardmembers: all the miles that you’ve earned are matched at the end of the first year. So if you earned 30,000 miles, you’ll get 60,000 miles. Good already. This bonus offer is given for the first year only.

Premium cards and co-branded cards entice you with rewards and bonuses, but thank most of what you’ve earned is taken back when you pay the annual fee, or worse, the APR. With Discover, you don’t have to worry about that.

The Discover it® Miles card has no annual fee, ever, and there’s a 14-month 0% intro APR period on purchases (when the introductory interest rate is over, the ongoing APR will apply). You may purchase an expensive roundtrip ticket and pay it off even during a year.

But what’s most important, the miles that you earn with Discover never expire, so you can rack up miles for a really long time and them redeem them for travel expenses. By comparison, United miles only last 18 months if there’s no activity on your account.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
Excellent, Good Credit
NEW: Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Excellent Credit
Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

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