Everyone is hating on United right now, but let’s not boycott ways to easily-earn United miles and instantly prevent them from expiring.
While I am religious about picking up extra miles every time I shop online by checking CashBackMonitor.com to see what portals I can earn the most miles/points at the merchant I’m placing my order from, it’s also nice to earn more on regular in-person transactions, too.
Following a similar concept to how we can earn more miles online, United introduced a new way to earn miles on the go with the introduction of a new app called MileagePlusX a while back.
- First, you’ll need to download the MileagePlusX app on your phone.
- Log in using your MileagePlus account information, and the app will sync with your account and all payment cards stored in your united.com profile. If you have a United MileagePlus credit card, you’ll get a 25% bonus on the miles you earn on purchases made through the app.
- You can find participating merchants nearby based on your location.
- When it’s time to make your purchase, simply enter the total price of your purchase and an electronic gift card in that amount will be generated. Show the app (gift card) to the cashier to complete the purchase.
While the app is already a few years old and has been widely covered and blogged about, I never really put much thought into using it myself, mostly because I was too lazy to add an extra step into my in-person transactions. Plus, using the app essentially requires you instantly purchase a gift card, which voids any credit card benefits such as purchase and return protection, so I was wary about the extra miles being “worth” fortifying those perks for.
Yesterday I used the app for the very first time in the most risk-free setting I could think of – while I was dining at a restaurant that just happened to be participating.
I simply entered the amount of the bill, chose a credit card that I had saved on file with United already, and a gift card was instantly generated.
I handed the gift card to my server and he processed the bill by manually entering the numbers.
Aside from the fact that my miles posted to my account instantly, perhaps the best part of it all was the curiosity my server had surrounding this app.
“What airline are you earning miles from?”, he asked.
“United”, I respond.
He leaves me with this: “Well I guess I better get ready to drag you out of here.”
What are thought about the MileagePlusX app? I can’t believe I didn’t start using it sooner! Feel free to share your experiences too.