United Airlines offers a unique way to earn air miles. It is similar to using an online shopping portal, kind of, but instead of clicking through from a portal you open the United MileagePlus X App, find the store you want to buy from and then buy an eGift card for that store in the App. You earn miles for that eGift card purchase. United miles earned per $1 spent for stores within the app vary from 0.5 to 5 miles. You then use that eGift card in-store or online at the company’s website as payment.
For example, if I was going to buy something at Amazon, I would buy an Amazon gift card first, then go to the Amazon site to select the item I want to buy and when I go to pay instead of entering my credit card details (or selecting an existing credit card on file) I enter the gift card number/s instead.
You can store multiple credit cards in the United MileagePlus X App, and this makes purchasing the eGift cards easy. You click on the store, click pay now, type in amount for the eGift card, select the credit card you want to pay with then click pay now. The last step is entering your United Airlines password and the transaction is complete. You’re then provided with a gift card number to use as payment.
Here’s why this is a unique air miles earning opportunity:
- No other airline has an App that allows you to earn miles in this way. In fact, the purchase of store gift cards via shopping portals is exempted from earning air miles in most instances, but United’s App is designed to do exactly that.
- A number of the stores that participate with the MileagePlus X App are not available through a shopping portal and this means that using the MileagePlus X App is the only way that you can earn air miles by spending at that particular store.
- If you are shopping online, you can double dip to earn miles if the store is both in the United MileagePlus X app and on a shopping portal. Instead of going directly to the site, you first go through the shopping portal and then pay with the egift card you purchased via the United MileagePlus X App. You earn United miles from the gift card purchase plus you earn miles from whichever airlines portal you went through. If you also paid for the egift card with an airline credit card, then you will also be earning miles for the purchase that way – so triple dipping on miles!!
- You don’t have to shop online to use the MileagePlus X App. You can be in the store, and purchase the gift card at the time you are at the cash register. You just show the cashier your egift card on your phone and they enter the gift card number as payment. This is great for places where you couldn’t shop online anyway such as restaurants and there are quite a few chains that participate, and when you need to purchase something then and there and going home to buy online through a shopping portal is not a convenient option.
For most stores in the App, you can buy the exact dollar amount in eGift card form you need. So, for example if your total purchase including tax comes to $67.43, you can buy a gift card for $67.43. There are a few stores where there are only set amounts allowed, such as with Amazon where you must buy gift cards in set amounts such as $25, $50 $100 etc.
If you also have a United MileagePlus Chase credit card, you earn a bonus 25% more miles with every eGift card purchase. You do not need to use the United MileagePlus Chase credit card within the app to pay to earn this bonus – you get it simply for having the credit card.
I love that this is a unique app, offering something the other airlines just don’t when it comes to earning air miles. If you collect United miles, download the app and give it a go!
You can download the app here: United MileagePlus X App