Urgent Notice: Your Mileage Plus Miles are Expiring

Urgent Notice: Your Mileage Plus Miles are Expiring



This is the message on the envelope from United Airlines Rewards Processing Center

Don’t panic. This news is not as bad as you think, but is annoying as hell to some of us.


     “Urgent Notice: Your Mileage Plus Miles are expiring. Redeem by April 18, 2009”


The headline grabs your attention. It grabbed mine when I picked up the envelope from my mailbox.  

This Urgent Notice is a marketing gimmick used on letters I have been receiving from United Airlines Rewards Processing Center in 2009.

I have received letters with this Urgent Notice warning a couple of times the past couple of months. The first line is –  

“Our records show that your Mileage Plus miles are about to expire.”

An offer follows to redeem my miles before they expire for magazines.

A letter dated March 4, 2009 from United Airlines Rewards Processing Center tells me my Mileage Plus account record indicates “As of 01/01/09, your miles will expire on 8/31/09 without any activity.”  The bolding is mine.

Actually, I had activity on December 24 and December 31, 2008 on United Airlines.

I’m pretty certain United Airlines’ records indicated as of 01/01/09 my miles will expire on July 31, 2010.

I feel it is a misleading solicitation to get me to spend miles on magazines rather than airline tickets.

What do you think?

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. I don’t want magazines for my expiring miles. Can I donate them somehow for military personnel to travel home from overseas? How do I go about doing that? Thanks

  2. Fisher House Foundation operates “Hero Miles” for the Department of Defense. This is a program accepting frequent flier mile donations to go to wounded military service members from Iraq and Afghanistan wars who need tickets to travel from medical facilities to visit family and to their families needing tickets for hospital visits.

    United Airlines is a participating airline and directions for making miles donations are provided on the website link above.

    United Airlines miles donation link also provides a number of other charities eligible for your miles donations.

  3. If you join you may be able to exchange or swap them for miles in another airline or points in some other loyalty program.

    Or if your miles are expiring because you haven’t had any transactions in your account for a long time, sometimes the small number of miles you receive for joining qualifies as a transaction to keep your miles active. Alternatively you can swap miles in (even one mile may be enough) to keep that account active. I’ve done this with my accounts (I don’t work for

  4. I would like a phone number to talk to someone about redeeming miles OTHER than for magazines. Thank you.

  5. I also feel I DO NOT need or want another magazine, let alone any of these that were offered!! I would like to use my points at motels/hotels. I am unable to fly as to my health now, so feel that this would be more to my advantage. I see to the left a list of several places that are familiar. Thank you

  6. I agree with Mr. Garrido. Also I got another URGENT NOTICEtoday with the exact dates and miles as one that I got in July. I did order a mag at that time but have not received it. I think they are trying to cheat me. I have more than I can read and can’t use anymore for gifts. I will start checking their letters closer from now on.I would like to use some miles for dining or hotel if I had enough.

  7. Please stop sending out these types of letters “Urgent – Our records show thatyour mmileageplua award miles are about to expire.” United your customer deserve better–stop wasting our valuable time.

  8. yup–I just tried, it’s like the website does not exist-don’t care for any of the 40 magazines offered–is fisher house still accepting miles for wounded vets?

  9. I do not want any of these magazines.
    I would consider a really good Quilting Magazine.

    ***** BUT *****
    I prefer that the miles be left alone
    and not expiring EVER.

    J J

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