Need more options for what to do with expiring airline miles? I already get more magazines than I can read each month, and never have enough for a flight or for “purchasing” items in the mileage stores. So when I got another letter from United saying I had 10,000 miles about to go the way of the buffalo, I was excited to see that I can “spend” my United miles on free eBooks or audio books!
The MileagePlus Digital Media Store recently began offering current, popular titles including Hilary Clinton’s Hard Choices, and the latest from Stephen King, Robert Galbreath (aka JK Rowling), and Malcolm Gladwell. They offer titles from broad categories including fiction, nonfiction, travel, mystery, and children’s/young adult fiction.
Continue reading for details on getting free eBooks with United Airlines miles:
“Prices” for top eBooks appeared to be roughly 1,500-3,000 miles per book. Audiobooks seem to be consistently higher, ranging from 3,000-12,000 miles per book, even for the same book. For example, top download The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is priced at 2,035 miles for the eBook and 11,085 miles for the audiobook, while Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes had a smaller divergence (2,170 eBook vs. 2,955 audiobook). While perusing the site, prices were slightly higher but came down when I logged in with my MileagePlus account.
eBooks come in the Adobe EPUB format, which means you can read them on Adobe Digital Reader or OverDrive, available on most anything except for (unfortunately) a standard Kindle (though you can download the OverDrive app to Kindle Fire devices to read EPUB format books). But when you create and download through your (free) Adobe ID, you can sync books across up to six devices. So you could read with your tablet or laptop in bed, and then pick up where you left off on your phone the next day. Audiobooks come in an .odm file format, playable on the OverDrive Media app/program on all the same devices.
Though I haven’t come across other airlines offering this option for unused miles (let us know in the comments if you know of any!), you can go to United’s airline partners page to find other airlines who you can use your MileagePlus number on to collect United miles. That way, even if you fly infrequently enough that you can’t earn a free ticket, your miles will consolidate to be used for alternate purposes like these eBooks.