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United is giving away one billion miles – is it worth your time?

by on Thu July 21, 2016 • 4 Comments


United MileagePlus is giving away a billion miles soon, and hoping you’ll use your Chase United MileagePlus credit card more often to increase the number of entries that make you eligible for the giveaway.

How much can you win?

No one is getting one billion miles in one lump sum.

Instead, The Billion Mile Giveaway will consist of…

  • 100 winners of one million miles each
  • 10,000 winners of 25,000 miles each
  • 130,000 winners of 5,000 miles each

Automatic entry.

If you’re a United MileagePlus Chase credit card holder you’ll be automatically entered every time you use your card to make a purchase during the giveaway, which lasts from 12 noon ET on August 1, 2016 until September 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET.

There’s no limit to how often you’re entered, and any regular purchase will get you entered. Things like cash advances, late fees, or PIN transactions won’t qualify.

You don’t have to be a cardholder to win.

There will be a way to manually enter the giveaway online at and there will be no limit on how often you can enter. That site isn’t yet up and running, so we can’t see exactly what you need to do to enter, but the rules say every entry you make must be manually key stroked.

There will be help with the taxes.

United is valuing miles at 2 cents each for prize winners, so the one million miles has a value of $20,000, and paying taxes on that wouldn’t be much of a deal at all.

To help, the 100 grand prize winners of one million miles will each receive a $7,500 check.

So, your total taxable prize value will be $27,500, but you’ll have an extra $7,500 in your pocket to help offset the tax bill. For most people that will end up being a good deal, with you effectively buying the miles for a fraction of a penny each.

The smaller prizes are too small to trigger issues, and you can only win one prize.

When will you find out?

The drawing for winners will be held on October 14 and winners will be notified shortly thereafter.

Is it worth your time?

The letdown here for people who really care about miles is that the entry is automatic for all cardholders.

So instead of requiring you register for the contest manually, which would limit the pool of potential winners to people who are really interested in the miles, millions of Chase United credit card holders will be entered simply by virtue of using their cards like they normally do.

That means lots of people who aren’t even aware of the giveaway might end up winning.

So we wouldn’t go out of the way to bump up your transactions for this contest, but if you’re on the fence with another card for spending in an unbonused category, it’s a reason to put it on top for a couple months. Remember the United MileagePlus Explorer Card also gives you a 10,000 mile bonus when you spend $25,000 in a calendar year, no giveaway required for that.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

4 thoughts on United is giving away one billion miles – is it worth your time?

  1. mary

    I requested the list of winners. Why haven’t I heard back? I emailed like it said to by October 15 have they done the drawing?

    1. Kevin

      I got this note back on Nov 2nd after requesting the winner list twice according to their fine print:

      “Hello Kevin,

      The drawing and validation process is underway for the Grand Prize Winners. As per the Official Rules, the list of Grand Prize Winners will be sent when the drawing has been conducted and the winners verified.

      Thank you for your interest.
      The United MileagePlus Team “


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