I’ll show you how it works!
Free United Airlines Miles With the MileagePlus X App
Link: MileagePlus X App
Several Million Mile Secrets team members use the MileagePlus X app to earn extra United Airlines miles when they shop or go out to eat. With the app, you purchase gift cards to use at dozens of merchants. And you can use them for your purchases.
Plus, you’ll earn between .5 and 5+ United Airlines miles on every $1 you spend! If you have a United Airlines credit card, like the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card or United MileagePlus® Club Card, you’ll earn 25% more miles – and they’re instantly applied to your United Airlines loyalty account.
And considering you can purchase gift cards through the app for as little as $5, this is an unbeatable way to keep all your existing miles from expiring!
Step 1. Find Your Merchant
The first time you download the app, you’ll need to log-in with your United Airlines username and password – the same one you use to access the United Airlines website.
The default start screen shows merchants sorted by distance. That’s handy if you’re standing in a store and want to pay right then!
Once you find the store in the app, tap it to continue. Let’s say you’re at Kona Grill and ready to pay your bill. Find Kona Grill in the list and choose “Pay Now.”
You’ll currently earn 5X United Airlines miles – and that’s in addition to any other credit cards rewards you earn! For example, team member Harlan bought a Kona Grill gift card through the MileagePlus X app. He earned 5 United Airlines miles per $1 spent. And an extra 5% in cash back rewards for paying with his Discover It card when restaurants were a quarterly bonus category!
This is an easy way to double dip United Airlines miles with other miles or points you’d earn!
Note: Some merchants do NOT code correctly (like Kohl’s), but most do. I recommend making a small purchase first to make sure it codes in the proper bonus category!
Step 2. Select Your Payment Card
On the next screen, choose the card you want to use. Or enter a new one.
Tap the card to continue.
Step 3. Buy the Gift Card
Next, select or enter the amount for your gift card. Some merchants let you enter any number between a certain minimum and maximum. Others require you to choose from a set number of denominations.
Once you select or enter your total, tap “Pay Now” to see your shiny new gift card!
Step 4. Use Your Gift Card to Pay
Now you’ll have a gift card fully loaded with payment funds. You can use it right away to pay. Or save it for later!
At this point, you can show your card number to pay for a purchase on-the-spot. Or if you’re shopping online, enter the number on the checkout page.
You can also share the card if it’s a gift.
Keep in mind, once you click “Mark Redeemed” you can NOT access the card number again. If you think you’ll make a return, or if you split your purchase into 2+ transactions, do NOT hit this button – this is very important!
You can always access the gift cards you purchased later. As an added precaution, you can take a screenshot of the gift card number. If you’re actually done with the gift card, you can mark it redeemed to avoid confusion.
Step 5. Enjoy the Bonus Miles
That’s it! The extra United Airlines miles appear in your account instantly!
You can earn bonus United Airlines miles with dozens of popular retailers, like AMC Theatres, Gap, and Starbucks. And you can filter the list by distance. Or browse the entire catalog, sorted by merchant type or alphabetically.
Just tap the 3 horizontal lines in the top left corner to explore and sort. It’s worth a look, because some of the stores on the list might surprise you!
Are There Drawbacks?
Extra miles and points are always a good thing. But there are some important limitations to understand when you pay with gift cards.
Some credit cards offer terrific purchase and price protection when you use them to pay. But when you pay with gift cards, you typically won’t get a price adjustment if the price drops. And you won’t get extended warranties like you would with some cards. We’ll have a post on this soon!
So I would NOT recommend using the MileagePlus X app for big purchases, like electronics. But if you’re paying for a meal or inexpensive item, it’s worth it to rack up some extra miles!
Next time you’re shopping or dining, consider opening the MileagePlus X app to see if you can earn free bonus United Airlines miles on your purchase! The miles are instantly added to your account when you purchase store-specific gift cards through the app. And that keeps your existing miles from expiring!
Keep in mind, when you pay with gift cards, you give up credit card protections like extended warranties. You should be fine if you’re eating out or seeing a movie. But I wouldn’t use a gift card to pay for an expensive electronic item, for example.
With most merchants, the United Airlines miles you earn are in addition to other miles or points you earn with your credit card. And you can save them to use for your next big vacation!