United Airlines finds $64 million lying around – thanks to your expiring miles

Hands up if you have checked your mileage account, only to notice that you forgot to have any activity, and all your miles are gone.

Well, thanks to you, United Airlines just managed to make an extra $64 million.

The bonus bucks were earned thanks to a new accounting method and a huge stash of previously undiscovered expiring miles.

So, yes – air miles are big, big business. So big in fact, that last year, American Airlines managed to “advance sell” Advantage Miles to Citi in exchange for $1.6 billion.

Lesson to be learned here? Always keep a close eye on your miles. It doesn’t matter how many you have in your account, every mile that expires just adds to the bottom line of the airline. Here are some quick tips to add miles without too much hassle:

  • Find a shopping portal that earns you miles (check the airline web site for links)
  • Eat out (and register for a dining rewards program like Rewards Network)
  • Find a mileage promotion from your airlines (many of these involve non-flight activities)
  • Check for mileage discrepancies (did you take any flights without getting miles awarded?)
  • Earn miles when you stay at a hotel