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Lifetime Miles

I logged into United.com this morning and saw my lifetimes miles total – 500,024. I am half-way to become a Million Miler! For United MileagePlus, One Million Miles is a significant milestone (no pun intended). It gives you and a significant other Gold Status for life! No matter how many miles you fly in a year henceforth!Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 10.15.14 AM.png

Most airlines and some hotel programs have a Lifetime Miles reward. It is their way of rewarding customers who have been loyal over an extended period of time. For airlines, it is typically at a Million Miles. How they measure a Million Miles may differ. For United only miles flown on United, United Express and Copa operated flights count. Partner flights, even if code shared or flown on a United ticket, do not count!. For American Airlines, on the other hand, all miles, even miles earned via the credit card, used to count count towards the Lifetime Mile status (AA dropped this policy in 2012 and now only flight miles flown count)! If that had been the case for United, given all the Star Alliance flights I have taken and all the miles I have earned via other sources – Credit Card included – I would have already been a Million Miler. There are also rewards at the Two Million Mile and Three Million mile marks for United.

a plane on the runwayLifetime miles for hotels vary significantly by hotel program. Some hotels, like Hilton do not even have a lifetime status program. For Marriott, lifetime status starts at 250 qualified nights (I am at a distant 61 nights).

Anyone achieved lifetime status on any program? Are the rewards worth anything? Do share by leaving a comment below.

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  1. AA no longer counts all miles from all sources. It used to be that way. Now it is BIS miles only

  2. “For American Airlines, on the other hand, all miles, even miles earned via the credit card, count towards the Lifetime Mile status!” this is not correct. AA changed this 1/1/12 to only miles flown.

  3. This is awesome! One of my travel goals is to be lifetime elite with a few airlines and hotels! Keep it up!

    Just one small thing, AA changed the way they calculate million miler status – since Dec 2011 only BIS miles earned on AAdvantage participating carriers (whatever that means exactly) are eligible. The only exception is if you got the Citi Executive AAdvantage card before Dec 2011, in which case miles earned on that card would also count towards MM status until Dec 2012. But for the miles you earned before the new rules kicked in in Dec 2011, every mile you earned whether through flying, credit card, shopping portals or any other method, will still count.

  4. “For American Airlines, on the other hand, all miles, even miles earned via the credit card, count towards the Lifetime Mile status!”

    Your American Airlines info is terribly out of date.

  5. Amsrican no longer counts credit card miles or anything except base miles. They do count base miles earned on any eligible AAdvantage program participating airline.

  6. Thanks all for catching the AA change. I have corrected the post. Too bad. I was hoping AA would have kept it policy, but it was too good to last…

  7. UA also has lifetime GS at 4MM. And, last year when the UA and CO programs merged, all the historical UA point on partners were added to the lifetime numbers.

  8. Actually, with the UACO merger, lifetime miles were recalculated to include all flights credit to both accounts.

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