The United MileagePlus Go Prepaid Card


Get MileagePlus Go?  Let’s Take A Look

Travelers love earning free miles and airline points.  Unfortunately for some consumers, the last thing they want to do is sign up for a credit card.  United Airlines provides the MileagePlus Go Card as an attractive alternative to their United Explorer Credit Card.  Airline branded credit cards are generally seen as the best way to earn free travel.  With that said, The MileagePlus Go Prepaid Card provides an alternative option.  Using this card allows customers to earn up to 30,000 miles each year without opening a credit card account.

The United MileagePlus Go Prepaid Card

First, it is important to clarify that this is a prepaid card and is not the same as the United Explorer Credit Card.  This card acts similarly to a debit card.  Funds are added to your card and you can only use money which is available on your account.  Cardholders do not carry a balance with this card.  Instead, cardholders add money to their account and can spend the money they have available on their card.

Cardholders earn miles when they make eligible purchases using their card.  It is very important to emphasize that only purchases ran as “credit” will result in award miles.  This may be confusing because it is not a credit card.  With that said, just like a bank debit card, you can run your transaction by selecting “credit” at checkout.  Customers will earn points based on which plan they select.  The annual plan ($89 per year) earns 1 mile for each $1 spent.  The monthly plan ($5.95 per month) earns 1 mile for every $2 spent.  Cardholders can earn up to 2,500 each month.  Before long, you may find yourself jet-setting around the world for free with all the miles you’ve earned.

Benefits Of The MileagePlus Go Card

There are many features of this prepaid card that make it worthy of consideration.  First and foremost, should be the award miles you will receive for using your card.  If you do not plan to travel with United Airlines then this may not be the card for you.  Fortunately, United flies just about everywhere in the world.  This is one of the reasons a United MileagePlus Account is one of the most popular airline reward programs.  As mentioned above, rewards are based on purchases you make when using your card as “credit”.  In addition to mile rewards customers will also enjoy:

  • No credit check when signing up
  • No late fees or interest payments
  • 5% interest for their account up to $1,000
  • Reload funds whenever necessary
  • Manage your card with the GO mobile app
  • Earn up to 2,500 miles each month

One of the sneaky good features of this card is that you earn quite a bit of interest just for holding funds in your account.  The 5% interest is only available for the first $1,000 in your account.  With this said, there are very accounts that provide this type of return.  If you maintain a $1,000 balance in your account, you would earn $50 each year in interest alone.  This interest would cover most of the annual fee or monthly fee.  For customers who are passionate about making the most of their card, you should be sure to maintain the full $1,000 balance.

Signing Up For The MileagePlus Go Card

If you have decided the MileagePlus Go Card is right for you, sign up can be completed online (  Unlike a credit card, no credit check is required to be approved for the card.  This will make it easier for consumers to get approved who do not have great credit history.  However, you will need to verify your identity before activation can be completed.  To be eligible for this card you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid mail address.  Applicants will complete the online form as shown below.

As you can see, you will need to provide basic contact information.  Customers will enter their name, address, and provide an active email address.  Eligible consumers will also need to provide their MilegePlus Number.  This is used to add miles to your account.  If you do not have a MileagePlus account you can sign up for at no cost and it will be linked to your card.  If you fly with United Airlines, you should already have a MileagePlus Account.  Consumers who are not using the rewards account are missing out on free miles with United Airlines.

Customers will also be able to select their card design.  There are 4 colors to choose from and you can select a horizontal or vertical design for you prepaid card.  You can choose your favorite between a white, green, blue, or yellow card design.

Activating Your MilegePlus Go Card

After sign up, customers will be required to activate their card and verify their identity.  Identity verification requires customers to provide government issued verification (drivers license information or social security information may be required).  In addition to verifying your identity you will also need to confirm you account.  Customers will fill out the following form.

As seen above, you will provide your full card number.  Cardholders will also be required to provide the security code found on the back of their card.  Once you have completed the activation and verification steps you can select the plan you would like to use for your card.  There is an annual plan and a monthly plan available for the card.  The monthly plan is slightly cheaper.  With that said, the annual plan provides double the miles for eligible purchases.  For this reason, I would recommend the annual plan if you intend to keep your card.  After selecting you plan you are ready to add funds to your new card.

Adding Funds To Your MileagePlus Go Card

To get your card use ready you will need to select a way to add funds to your card.  There are multiple options available to cardholders:

  • Set up direct deposit for your MileagePlus Go Card
  • Link a bank account to your MilegePlus Go Card to transfer money
  • Add money using the Netspend Reload Network (over 130,000 location nationwide)

Customers are welcome to use any of the above methods to add money to their card.  The easiest method is direct deposit but you can also control adding funds with one time loading options.  When you use direct deposit your card will regularly be loaded based on the selections you make.

Credit vs Debit Purchases – Make Sure You Earn Your Miles

One of the most important things to keep in mind with this prepaid card is that you must make your purchases as “credit”.  During checkout, you have the option to choose what type of payment you are using.  Debit purchases are not eligible for mile rewards.  Credit purchases will earn rewards based on the plan you have selected.

Your card will have a PIN number associated with it but this should not be used unless necessary.  Instead, selecting credit will require you to provide a signature to confirm your purchase.  Always make purchases as credit with your MileagePlus Go Card and provide a signature to ensure you are earning miles.  The MileagePlus Go Card is available for use anywhere Visa is accepted.

MileagePlus Go Card Fee Schedule Review

There are two plans available for this prepaid card.  Customers can select an annual plan which requires a yearly payment of $89.  Alternatively, you can also select the monthly fee option which is $5.95 each month.  While the monthly option is cheaper per year, the rewards you earn are double with the annual option.  Earning 1 mile for each dollar spent is going to accumulate points much faster than the monthly option.

Your card can be used to withdraw cash directly from your account.  ATM fees are associated with your transaction for cash withdrawals.  There is a $2.50 fee when withdrawing cash at a US ATM.  Foreign ATM transaction will be subject to a $4.95 fee.  Additionally, foreign transaction fees of 3.5% will be applied to your purchases.

Redeeming Your United Airlines Miles

Once you have earned miles they will appear in your MileagePlus Account.  When you log in to your account you will be able to view your existing balance.  When making airline purchases with United you have the option to pay for you purchase or redeem miles.  Customers can easily apply their miles to fly with United.  If you earn the full 30,000 miles available each year this is will cover the cost of many round trip flights.  It is important to point out that mile rates will vary depending on your flight.

Final Thoughts On The MileagePlus Go Card

The United Explorer Card has a big sign up bonus which makes it a better overall option.  With this said, if you are not interested in opening a credit card account, this prepaid option is a great way to earn points.  I would recommend carrying the full $1,000 balance as often as possible to make sure you are earning the 5% interest.  This will go a very long ways towards offsetting the fee associated with this card.  Signing up and verfying you account is simple.  This card will not be for everyone but overall it is one of the best prepaid travel cards around.

Helpful Links:

Mileage Plus Account