Big Earning Potential With United’s “Months of Miles Challenge”

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Big Earning Potential With United’s “Months of Miles Challenge”

Million Mile SecretsBig Earning Potential With United’s “Months of Miles Challenge”Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

 Months Of Miles

Updated September 7, 20011:  There is a change in the terms and conditions which limit the maximum earning to 25,000 bonus miles and also establishes a $10 minimum for ALL transactions (including dining).  It is not clear if the new terms apply only to folks who register on or after September 7 or to everyone who has registered.

Updated September 3, 2011: Even if you can register using the link below, be sure to confirm by calling United because it appears that you have to be targeted for the promotion.  Successfully registering for the promotion using the link below doesn’t mean that United considers you registered for the promotion.

Astute Million Mile Secrets reader, KateFromCA (Thanks, Kate!), emailed me about United’s “Months of Miles Challenge.

Months Of Miles Challenge - United 1
United Months Of Miles Challenge – No Cap On The Miles You Can Earn!

I had read about the promotion on Mommy Points, but didn’t pay too much attention to the promotion since I hadn’t received the targeted email.

However, KateFromCA sent me a link to the Months of Miles Challenge, and I was eligible to earn 1,000 bonus miles after every 3 transactions with United partners!

The terms do say that I have to receive the email to be eligible, but it did let me register, so check the link above to see if you’re eligible.

I tried to register Emily and my mom, but they weren’t eligible.

Registration ends on September 10, but the promotion is valid until November 20, 2011.  So it doesn’t hurt to register now and see if you’re eligible.

United Months Of Miles Challenge
My Offer – 1,000 Bonus Miles For Every Three Transactions

There are 3 potential offers:

  • 1,000 bonus miles after every 2 transactions
  • 1,000 bonus miles after every 3 transactions (my offer)
  • 500 bonus miles after every 4 transactions

KateFromCA pointed out that unlike, say, the US Air Grand Slam, this promotion has NO cap on the maximum number of miles you can earn.

Yes, that’s right.  NO Cap.

Registered MileagePlus members will qualify for the applicable bonus each time they reach the required number of partner transactions. There is no limit to the number of bonus award miles that may be earned during the offer period.

So you can quickly earn a lot of miles

Maximize The Promotion or How To Get Thousands of United Miles

Every 3 transactions with United will earn me 1,000 miles.

And since multiples of 3 transactions earn me 1,000 miles, my goal is to maximize the number of transactions through United’s partners.

Skimming through the FlyerTalk thread on the promotion, I found that the easiest way to do that is by purchasing $10 gift cards from the United shopping mall.  Why $10?  Because there is a $10 minimum purchase (excluding tax) for retail transactions.

Sure, I could drive to a dining partner restaurant and have a $1 coke, but that is too time consuming for me to do regularly.  I prefer earning miles without getting up from the computer!

For example, buying 1 Sam’s Club gift card a day, or 30 $10 gift cards a month will yield me 10,000 United miles because I get 1,000 United miles for every 3 transactions.

I will use the $300 in gift cards at Walmart, so my out-of-pocket outlay would be zero.  But I’ll be 10,000 United miles richer!

Emily and I spend at least $300 a month at Walmart, so we can earn 30,000 United miles over the next 3 months just by ordering Sam’s Club gift cards and using them at Walmart.

If I also buy 1 $10 gift card to Home Depot each day, I will earn another 10,000 United miles in a month.

Repeat and rinse!

I’m sure many of you can also earn lots of miles from this promotion just by buying eligible gift cards for your shopping.

So if you regularly shop at a retailer who awards miles for gift cards, you could:

  • Buy $10 gift cards and use them for purchases you would have made anyway or
  • Liquidate the gift cards through ebay or elsewhere

For example, if you earn 1,000 miles for $30 (3 purchases of a $10 gift card), but you value United miles at 1 cent a mile (so 1,000 miles is worth $10), you would have to be able to sell the gift cards for at least $20($30 – $10 = $20).

I don’t recommend buying gift cards you don’t want just to earn miles.  But if you regularly shop at retailers which award miles for gift cards, you may want to stock up on those gift cards since you could earn a lot of miles!

Also, the Holidays will be here before we know it, and this may be the perfect time to stock up on gifts.

California Readers:  I’m not a lawyer, but I believe that California requires retailers to refund gift cards with $10 or less on it.  So you may be able to buy gift cards online and go to a store for a cash refund.

Again, I’m not a lawyer, nor have I done this, so please research this properly before buying thousands in gift cards!

Many merchants in the United Shopping Mall don’t award miles on gift cards, but I did a quick check and found a few retailers who award miles for gift card purchases.

  • Banana Republic
  • Home Depot
  • Sam’s Club
  • Best Buy

I wasn’t able to check all the retailers, so please let me know if there are other stores which award miles for gift card purchases.

Bottom Line:

This promotion can earn you a lot of United miles if you are targeted for the versions which awards 1,000 bonus miles after 2 or 3 transactions.

If you decide to take part, be sure to confirm that the retailer awards miles for gift card purchases and remember the $10 minimum transaction requirement.

And take screenshots of every purchase you make (just to be safe).

Are you eligible for United’s Month’s of Miles challenge?  How are you going to maximize the promotion?

(Hat tip to KateFromCA!)

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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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I emailed SAMs to inquire if they were simply out of $10 gift cards. The response I received was that they had decided to provide $25 cards online and $10 and $15 cards in store only. .

@Cheryl – Now SAMs Club has increased their minimum gift card to $25. Maybe too many orders for $10 and $15 and they run out of it? The increase speed is too fast. With this increase speed,within couple of days it can run up to $50 soon.

K-Mart allows gift cards as well.

Million Mile Secrets

@Cheryl – Thanks for sharing!

@David Gutierrez
– That’s nice to know. I can always find stuff to buy at Sears or K-Mart!

It seems that SAMs Club has increased their minimum gift card to $15.

Why buy 1 sams club gift card every day? Buy all 30 in a day.I am pretty sure they count as different transactions

Million Mile Secrets

@The Nomad – I wanted to test whether multiple cards post as 1 or separate transactions, before buying a lot of gift cards in one day.

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