MileagePlus X App New Merchants and 500-Mile First Purchase Bonus for United Cardmembers

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The MileagePlus X App earns extra miles on in-store and online shopping. It’s been on my list of things to learn since its 2014 launch, and I still haven’t used it. Now that I see AMC Theaters is 5 miles/dollar, I am kicking myself.

Travel Codex and Out and Out have resource posts. In short, the app generates a digital gift card to use at the participating merchant, so you spend a few extra seconds in line once you know the purchase price to generate the gift card. The merchants change earning levels so don’t get excited about the 2 miles/dollar, that is currently only 0.5 miles/dollar.

MileagePlus X App

United Cardmember Bonus

United credit cardmembers get a 25% point everyday bonus. You don’t need to use the United card to trigger the bonus, you can use any credit card for the purchase.

Now, through October 31, 2017, United credit cardholders get a 500-mile first purchase bonus if they have not previously used the app.

The bonus and offer only apply to the primary cardmember.

New Merchants

The offer announcement list news merchants. I can’t tell how new these are. The logos they show are:

  • AirBNB – 2 miles/dollar
  • Best Buy – 1 mile/dollar
  • Brooks Brothers – 1 mile/dollar
  • Google Play – 1 mile/dollar
  • Home Depot – 1 mile/dollar

Before you run off expecting to manufacture a lot of spend, test out stores and cashiers to see if they will accept a virtual gift card for purchase of gift cards.

Multiple Cards

You can store and juggle multiple credit cards. For card category bonus purchases, merchants usually are processed as if paying direct.

Triple Dip

You can use the MileagePlus X app in conjunction with shopping portals to triple dip along with the credit card rewards.

Extending Mileage Expiration

Miles reportedly post instantly and are a nice way to have mileage activity to avoid expiration. My father’s MileagePlus account needs activity soon and I will sign in as him for a quick purchase.

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Justin Stern
Justin Stern
6 years ago

I’m not so clear as to how one would triple dip with a shopping portal? Do you mean to suggest that one can use the MileagePlus X app to purchase a gift card, and then make an online purchase on a computer using the gift card via the shopping portal?

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  Justin Stern

Exactly. And in-store you can trip with Ebates’ in-store merchants or dining programs, where there is overlap with MileagePlus X merchants.

6 years ago

My husband has a United card, but I don’t, so I installed the app on my phone with his mileage plus account and log in info.. So, at least he is getting the 25% bonus points. I have only used the app a few times, but I’ve had no problem paying with the g.c. number on my phone with his account. Since you aren’t really getting a “card”, just a number to show it to the salesperson or to enter at checkout online, I would just purchase the exact amount you need (including tip if at a restaurant) so that… Read more »

6 years ago

Downloaded app and made first purchase today. While I did receive the 25% cardmember bonus, I did not get a 500 mile “first purchase” bonus. I was going to reach out to United but upon searching, I can’t actually find this promo anywhere. Do you have a link to the offer and/or where was the 500 mile bonus info sourced from?

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  Brad

No landing page, just the email. email does not say it is targeted to me. Only started requirement is to be a United cardmember. You may need to wait for those 500 miles, though. The fine print says, “***To qualify for the one-time bonus, you must be a primary MileagePlus Cardmember during the promotion period. You must be a new MileagePlus X user and will earn the bonus on your first mileage-earning purchase made via the app. First purchase must be completed using MileagePlus X by October 31, 2017. Please allow 6–8 weeks after the completed qualifying activity for bonus… Read more »


[…] Hat tips to One Mile at a Time and Rapid Travel Chai […]

6 years ago

Thanks Stefan. I’ve been meaning to research this too. I read your post and still don’t understand it. Understand it better than I used to, though. More work for me.

Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai
Reply to  P T

The fussy part, and why I haven’t bothered, is standing at the register, typing in the amount, and getting card for the purchase price. If it is a place you regularly shop, it may be easier to buy a larger amount card and just spend it down rather than one each time. I passed the first hurgle – I installed it. Second hurdle, too – I signed in.