The new United now lets you transfer miles between accounts and choose where to earn elite status

Per UA Insider:

Hi Everyone, as most of you know, United Mileage Plus and Continental OnePass will continue to operate separately until we until they’re combined in 2012. As a result, we’ve received requests from members to be able to transfer miles and combine Elite earnings between accounts. Today, we’re pleased to give you, our power-users, a sneak preview of our new self-service tools that do just that.

Specifically, you can:

1. Transfer redeemable miles between your OnePass and Mileage Plus accounts. Give it a spin at or (both take you to the same place).
2. Match Elite status and combine Elite earnings for your OnePass and Mileage Plus accounts. For those of you who have Elite Qualification miles and segments/points in both OnePass and Mileage Plus, you can now combine these earnings to earn Elite status, Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades. Go to or for all the details.

This merger is really coming along! In other words, you can now freely move miles between your OnePass and Mileage Plus accounts. Also, they’ll combine elite qualifying miles between both of your accounts.

The point that confuses me is that they say “if you’re currently an elite member of one program, we’ll match your status in the other.” Does that mean a United 1K can be matched to Continental Platinum, for example? That would certainly help with upgrade priority on Continental flights, so might not be a bad idea. Though I’m not sure if that’s what they actually mean.


  1. “The point that confuses me is that they say “if you’re currently an elite member of one program, we’ll match your status in the other.” ”

    I too am curious about this. If true, I wonder if they’d match top-tier to top-tier. I’m currently a CO plat based out of SFO….would love 1K status instead

  2. Yep. For example, if you’re a CO Plat with 100K+ EQM, you are matched to 1K. Likewise, a Prem Exec with 75K+ EQM will be matched to CO Plat.

  3. So how does it work if you elect to receive UG’s in your OnePass account — CO doesn’t even have CR-1’s, so how could you use them?

    OTOH, if you cross 150k, do you get CO SWU’s? Considering we still can’t use UA SWU’s on CO flights, that’s pretty useful.

  4. So, if one has UA miles hoping to use them on two C class tickets to Europe this summer should I transfer them all to my Continental OnePass account as they don’t engage in StarNet blocking or are there other considerations to bear in mind? Thanks!

  5. @ hobo13 — Hardly “great” partners, but Continental lets you include Emirates and Virgin Atlantic as part of a partner award ticket. While you can’t redeem miles for Emirates first class, it is a pretty decent deal for business class.

    @ Despina — United’s not doing a whole lot of Starnet blocking lately, so I wouldn’t transfer them unless the need arises, given that United has more liberal routing rules on awards at the moment.

  6. Upgrade usage policy per the new FAQ:

    How will combining my elite activity affect my Regional and Systemwide upgrade privileges?

    When you register, you’ll need to designate one account – Mileage Plus or OnePass – where future unlimited Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades earned in 2011 should be deposited. If you already received Systemwide Upgrades for your 2010 activity, you will not be eligible for additional upgrades due to combining your activity.

    At this time, Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades may only be used on the carrier of the issuing program (United for Mileage Plus and Continental for OnePass).

  7. If you qualify for elite status in one program, we’ll match your status in the other.
    For example, if you’re currently a 2011 Mileage Plus® Premier® member, we’ll award you 2011 OnePass® Silver Elite status automatically and send your new card in the mail.

  8. So, the real question —

    Is there any downside to doing the status match now? Why don’t I trust $misek?

  9. So if I transfer 1,000 miles from Continental to United will that count as activity in my United account and extend the date of expiration of the miles?

    I would think so but with these things you are never sure. I guess I can try it out (I haven’t flown UA on a paid ticket in years).

  10. The transfer my miles takes you to a site where they charge you for the transfer!
    I do not think they are setup yet
    Also what happens to the CO Plat with their status match?
    Are they UA 1P, UA 1P+, UA 0P?

  11. Im a CO Plat thru a status match from AA EXP. Just went thru the “combine elite activity” process. Here’s the final screen:

    Your Mileage Plus and OnePass accounts have been registered to combine elite activity during 2011.

    You have also chosen Mileage Plus as your primary account to earn Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades in 2011.

    You’re now eligible to enjoy all these benefits:
    If you qualify for elite status in one program, we’ll match your status in the other.
    For example, if you’re currently a 2011 Mileage Plus® Premier® member, we’ll award you 2011 OnePass® Silver Elite status automatically and send your new card in the mail.
    We’ll combine your 2010 activity to upgrade your elite status in both programs.
    We’ll add the 2010 elite status miles or segments (EQM or EQS) you earned in Mileage Plus to the Elite Qualification Miles or Points (EQM or EQP) you earned in OnePass. For example, if you had 5,000 Mileage Plus EQM and 20,000 OnePass EQM in 2010, we’ll upgrade you to 2011 Mileage Plus Premier and OnePass Silver Elite.
    We’ll combine all your qualifying activity throughout 2011.
    We’ll monitor your elite qualifying activity in both programs, and if your combined activity qualifies you for a higher elite level, we’ll upgrade you automatically.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind as you fly United and Continental in 2011:
    You only need to register once. We’ll monitor your account throughout 2011 and update your elite status or deposit upgrades automatically. Log on to each program’s website to see your elite qualifying activity in that program.
    If you qualify for higher elite status or a match to equivalent elite status, please wait 7-10 days for this information to appear in your online account. Your new card will arrive four to six weeks after we update your status.
    Unlimited Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades earned via combined activity will be deposited in the primary account that you designated. You’ll continue to be eligible for unlimited Domestic Upgrades on United and Elite upgrades on Continental no matter which account number you use.
    You can continue to use either your Mileage Plus or OnePass account number whenever you fly in 2011. To maximize your upgrade priority, airport services and other benefits, use the account number of the airline you’re flying.
    You’ll earn award miles in the account you provide in your reservation. To transfer award miles between your Mileage Plus and OnePass accounts, use the Transfer Miles offer.
    For more information, see our questions and answers section and program terms and conditions.
    As part of the United-Continental merger, your Mileage Plus and OnePass accounts will be combined in 2012 to form a single new frequent flyer program.

    Thank you for your continued loyalty as we work to create the new program. We hope to see you on board soon.

    Best regards,

    Your Mileage Plus and OnePass teams

  12. Does this mean that we can now transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to CO and then to United, which could not be done previously?

  13. Looks like there’s some reason to fly CO as a UA 1k – according to faqs should get Plat once they process things (not instant).

  14. What do folks think the chances are of United CR-1 and SWU instruments to working on CO metal before the end of the year?

  15. The website is indicating that my accounts don’t match — is this happening to other people too? I have no idea why this might be the case.

  16. @AJ, I’m having the same problem. I’m guessing maybe my name is slightly different? One with a middle initial and one without.

    Just a guess.

  17. Also had trouble with it saying my accounts do not match.

    I’ll try calling MP Cust. Service tomorrow.

  18. According to UA MP status match can take up to 10 days. Has anyone seen their status updated yet?

  19. Impressive, the mileage transfer worked right away. I emptied out my CO account (had 55k from credit card bonus in there).

  20. Might be good to not join accounts if you want to delay SWU posting as long as possible.

  21. Called and changed my name (one with middle initial, one without) and was able to register right away.

  22. This is excellent. Worked first time. I am 1k and have AMEX MR. Opened a OnePass account first, then linked to MR, transferred balance of MR points to OP, then transferred to United 🙂

    Very slick we process.

  23. I expected it not to work because I think my name is different in each. OnePass had my middle name and MP did not, but it worked no problem. I did have my middle name as my first at OnePass for awhile but luckily I fixed that a couple months ago.

  24. My wife and I have separate accounts on both Continental and United. Can they all be combined to one–if she has 20,000 on Continental and only 6,000 on UNited, it would be great if those amounts can be added to the 50,000 United and 20,000 Continental I have. 96,000 total miles on United would take us a lot closer to Europe. Answer????

  25. @ jerry — You can only combine miles between your Continental and your United accounts. The names have to match. So you can’t combine you and your wife’s miles, unless you want to pay the standard transfer fee of about one cent per mile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *