And one day this is where it could come to bite you. UA prohibits the bartering of awards and redeeming for friends is a legitimate flag for their audit department. It would be a very generous friend redeeming flights for thir friends with absolutely no recompense... whether that's the friend picking up the hotel bill, or the retrun flight, or other expenses on the trip.With my UA miles I've redeemed awards for a number of friends and family zero issues it's just fine. No need to transfer anything just redeem the award (or sponsor an upgrade). It works really well.. and of course they often have promos to buy miles and the like.. but it's a different history and mindset over there.