Best Point Earning Credit Cards

Do Not Leave 10,000 Miles On The Table [United Cardholders]

As we approach the end of the year, make sure you do not leave these 10,000 miles on the table as a bonus from your United cards for your spending!

This is it – we are the 11th month of the year and fast closing on the end of 2015. That means there is some housekeeping that needs to be done on various mile and point programs in your portfolio. The action item for today is with your United credit cards.

Do Not Leave 10,000 Miles On The Table [United Cardholders]

10,000 miles

The United credit cards offer 10,000 miles as a bonus for spending – how close are you?

While most people originally apply for a United Airlines credit card for the mileage bonus (currently at 50,000 miles for the business and 30,000 miles for the personal), it does have some value if you choose to retain the card. Some of that value is if you fly on United as you get free bags when you pay for your ticket with your card and you also get additional award availability.

united mileageplus business card link (not a referral link)

united mileageplus explorer card link (not a referral link)

10,000 Bonus United Miles

But, there is another feature of the card that can help you to put some spending on it throughout the year. This is the 10,000 bonus miles when reaching the threshold of $25,000 in spending on the card in a calendar year. If your spending is all done at locations that earn 1 mile per dollar, that translates to 1.4 miles per dollar on all spending if you just spend $25,000.


It is true that Ultimate Rewards transfer to United at 1:1 and it is easy to get 5 points per dollar using your Chase Ink card at office supply stores, but if you are more conservative in your credit card strategy or you like to maximize the card bonuses that you hold, this is one that you should take note of.

Spending Strategy & Bonuses

Now, I do not suggest that you go spend $25,000 on one of these cards in the next few weeks! But, I encourage you to login to your Chase account and see what your spending is on those cards for this calendar year thus far. If one of these cards is a primary card for you, you may find that you are only a few thousand dollars away from hitting that $25,000 threshold! Remember that fees do not count for that spending threshold!

Do not forget that the business card pays 2 miles per dollar on business expenses like the Chase Ink cards as well! That will help you if you use that business card for certain expenses. And finally, if you have an annual fee coming up on one of these cards, I have received statement credit offers and bonus miles in the past. Make sure you call before doing your spending as you may get an offer for 10,000 miles for spending a certain amount of money on the card. Mixing that with the rest of the spending for $25k in a year and you are looking at 20,000 bonus miles!


This post is more about taking stock to see where you are at with spending on your cards. While United miles do not possess as much value as they used to, I still find them very valuable and love to be able to pick up as many of these miles as possible. 10,000 miles is a nice boost – especially if you only have a but more spending to go.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I think I missed my window on this one. Is it possible to do the 25k spending early in the year and get the bonus points before having to pay the annual fee?

  • I think the the best reason to spend $25k on the card is to satisfy he minimum spend requirement for elite status.