Tim Foolery

Home » Travel » Earn More United Miles with MileagePlus X

Earn More United Miles with MileagePlus X

Last November United MileagePlus rolled out MileagePlus X to a select test group of users.  MileagePlus X is a new way to earn miles while shopping and is now available to everyone. We’re all familiar with the use of online shopping portal (you log into to the shopping portal, then click over to your intended shopping website, complete your purchase and earn extra points), this is just like an in-person version of this…theoretically.  Here’s how it works.

  • Download the App (available for iOS and Android)
  • Sign into the App to setup your account and to see what stores are offering bonus points in your area
  • Go to the store and shop as normal
  • During checkout, launch the App and enter the grand total of your purchase
  • Hand your smartphone to the cashier to scan or manually enter in a bar code
  • Points post automatically

So how does this really work?  Basically, at the time of checkout you are purchasing a gift card for the exact amount of your purchase.  I love the idea of free point, but I do have a few concerns.  Since you are essentially making a purchase via a gift card, how are returns handled – I assume if you’d return an item purchased this way, you’d get your money credited back on another gift card — may not be ideal.  What about the additional consumer protections you get from certain credit cards (extended warranty, price match, extended returns and loss replacement)?  My guess is that you are out of luck here.

I’d suggest only using this for items that you wouldn’t return – like at restaurants, movies or services like spa treatments, etc.

I’ll give this a go and see if it makes sense for me and I’ll report back once I have some more data points.  Learn more about it here, on the official site.

Are you excited about this new earning opportunity or do you think it is just another way for United to focus on things that aren’t its core business?  I’m concerned that with all these new ways to earn miles, we’ll see another change in the award redemption chart (more miles needed for travel).

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