How you can easily earn 10,000+ United miles for $15

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Credit card welcome bonuses and daily spend on credit cards are the way most people earn the bulk of their points and miles.

But once you’ve run out of those methods, or just don’t want another credit card to keep track of, there are a few other ways to earn airline miles relatively easily — think online shopping portals or dining programs. One that’s been around for a few months, but has been flying under the radar, is a nifty little deal by making a few small purchases with the United MileagePlus X app.

With it, you can easily earn 10,000+ United miles by spending as little as $10 to $15 dollars. We value United Miles at 1.3 cents each, so 10,000 miles are worth at least $130 — but you can do much better if you use miles for trips in first and business class on United or their Star Alliance partners. Here’s how to go about this deal.

Earn 10,000 bonus miles with United Visa Offers

United is currently running a promotion where you can earn 10,000 bonus miles after making 5 eligible purchases with a United Visa card through the United Visa Rewards program, which is located in United’s MileagePlus X app. The MileagePlus X app offers a variety of ways to earn United miles by aggregating the United shopping portal, the United dining program and other mileage-earning tools.

You’ll earn miles at the following rates based:

  • Complete 1st offer, earn 1,000 miles
  • Complete 2nd offer, earn an additional 1,500 miles
  • Complete 3rd offer, earn an additional 2,000 miles
  • Complete 4th offer, earn an additional 2,500 miles
  • Complete 5th offer, earn an additional 3,000 miles

Each offer also earns you miles for the actual dollar amount spent at each retailer, i.e. earn 10 United miles for every dollar spent at GameStop.

You’ll need to complete the offers by October 31, 2020 to earn the bonus miles.

Step 1

You’ll need to have a United Chase Visa credit card to be eligible for the deal, cards should include products like the United℠ Explorer Card, United Business Card and the United Gateway℠ Card. Having the United℠ Explorer Card also makes you eligible to earn 25% more miles when making gift card purchases through the MPX app, among other travel benefits the card offers.

Step 2

Make sure you have your United card attached to the United MileagePlus X app. Head over to app and scroll down to “United Visa Rewards” and see what offers you have available. For myself, I chose to complete the offers from Sears, GameStop, HSN, Barnes and Noble and Yard House. Note there are more retailers and restaurants available, and it seems like the offers could be targeted based on your location.

Step 3

Here’s where things get a little tricky — if you want to earn the miles but don’t really need to purchase anything from any of the available retailers, you’ll have to do some searching. Find items from each vendor that are priced for more $1, but not much more than that. It’s key that the purchases cost more than $1 since the offers don’t seem to trigger if your purchase is any less than that.

To trigger the offers, you’ll need to make sure you use you’re enrolled United Chase Visa card to make the purchase at the eligible vendor.

I was able to make a series of $2 donations to St. Jude’s Children Hospital and the Make-a-Wish Foundation through Sears, GameStop and HSN.

I made a purchase of $50 at Barnes and Noble for a few books I was already planning on purchasing anyway (there are plenty of ebooks available for less than $3) and then I plan to stop by Yard House and purchase a soda for $3.

Make sure to read the terms and conditions of each offer, as gift cards and other certain purchases may be excluded from earning miles. Also, some offers are available for both online and in-store, while others require online-only purchases. You should see your bonus miles post 6–8 weeks after the promotion is over.

Adding it up

All these purchases will net me another 569 United miles — add 60 more miles for the spend on my United℠ Explorer Card and the 10,000 miles earned for completing all five offers — and that’s a total of 10,629 miles just for spending about $60. Those miles are worth at least $138 to me, likely more since I plan on redeeming them for a business class flight to Europe once the continent reopens for travel. We’ve even been seeing domestic United award flights for as little as 5,000 miles one-way, meaning these 10,000 miles could get you a round-trip flight within the U.S.

If you do a little digging and find low-priced items through each retailer it’s possible to complete all the offers mentioned above for $10 to $15. Also, most of these purchases were made online in just a few minutes, so this deal really shouldn’t take much more time than it does to watch an episode of The Office. Would you pay $15 to get $138 in value? I know I would.

I’m going to use my United miles to fly business class to Europe in United’s Polaris product. (Image courtesy of United Airlines)

Bottom line

If you do have a United credit card, then this is an easy 10,000+ miles that can be used towards future travels. And for those who don’t have one, check out our post on the best way to earn United miles and the best United credit cards.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

Brendan Dorsey is an editor at Million Mile Secrets. He loves all things travel, points, miles and credit cards. He's worked for TIME and The Points Guy and has appeared on MSN, Yahoo Finance, Readers Digest, USA Today, and more.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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