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How to Rack Up United Miles With the MileagePlus X App

Dec. 12, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel
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Want an easy way to earn some more United MileagePlus miles? Consider using the United MileagePlus X app, which allows users to earn United miles when shopping or dining at select merchants. The app is available on iOS and Android devices. If you have a credit card from United, you can earn 25% more miles on your purchases through the app.

Below, we explain all the different ways the MileagePlus X app can help you maximize your United miles.

How to earn miles

The app offers several different ways to earn miles, such as purchasing eGift cards, dining at MileagePlus participating restaurants, shopping via the United MileagePlus shopping portal and making purchases through a select list of featured apps.

Purchasing MileagePlus eGift cards

You can purchase these eGift cards directly from the app. The search functionality allows you to search for eGift cards by online stores or by catalog. A glance at the selected merchants shown below indicates that you could earn between 0.5 miles to 5 miles per $1 spent.

For example, you could buy a $200 Nordstrom eGift card, which would earn 200 United miles. If you have a linked United card, like the United℠ Explorer Card, you would earn a total of 250 miles, which includes the 25% bonus earned because of the card.

» Learn more: United Explorer: Richer rewards, perks you’ll actually use

MileagePlus Dining

If you happen to be visiting a restaurant that participates in the United MileagePlus dining program, you could pick up some extra United miles.

As seen in the screenshot above, the app shows which local restaurants are part of the dining program.

To participate in the United dining program, you need to first register for an account. United is now offering a 2,500-mile bonus when you register for the program and dine within 30 days.

Dining rewards earnings vary based on your membership level in the MileagePlus dining program:

  • Basic members: 1 miles per $2 spent.
  • Select members: 3 miles per $1 spent.
  • VIP members: 5 miles per $1 spent.

Your membership level is determined based on whether you’ve opted in to receive emails from MileagePlus Dining and the frequency of dining at associated restaurants. Although the selection of restaurants varies by city, it’s always a good bet to check which restaurants are participating in the program.

To maximize your earnings on dining, use a credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which earns 2 Ultimate Rewards® points per $1, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which earns 3 Ultimate Rewards® points per $1. There are also several other credit cards out there that help maximize rewards on dining.

» Learn more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review: A first-class premium travel card

MileagePlus Shopping

The MileagePlus X app also features a tab of all the offers available on the United MileagePlus Shopping portal. The United shopping portal allows you to earn United miles by simply clicking on a merchant through the portal and completing a purchase. To shop through the shopping portal, you need to log in with your United MileagePlus username and password. If you don’t have an account with United, you can enroll here.

When we checked, the shopping portal was offering these two bonuses (note that these change often):

  • Earn 500 bonus miles after spending $125 in two weeks.
  • Earn 1,000 United miles after spending $150 within the next two weeks.

So how do you actually earn the miles?

The screenshot above lists the merchants that are offering extra United points for simply clicking through the app. Clicking on a merchant on the app will send you directly to the United MileagePlus Shopping portal, where you can complete the purchase from there. Shopping via an airline’s shopping portal is one of the easiest ways to earn extra airline miles.

Tip: it’s always best to check which airline/hotel/cash-back shopping portal is providing the best offer. To do so, check out CashbackMonitor, which shows all the reward offers currently available for each merchant.

Featured Apps

The Featured Apps tab is another neat component of the MileagePlus X app.

The merchants shown above are a selection of websites and apps through which shoppers can earn United miles when making a purchase.

For example, if you made a hotel booking through Hotels.com, you could earn 2 to 6 United miles per $1 spent.

Here, the earning rate varies based on whether you’d like to earn Hotels.com rewards or not. Through Featured Apps, the earning rate provided can actually be better than the one offered through the United Shopping Portal, which is currently offering only 1 United mile per $1 on Hotels.com purchases.

To maximize the miles earned, use a credit card that earns category specific bonuses on travel purchases.

United credit cards for 25% more miles

If you have a United co-branded card, you could earn an extra 25% United miles on all your purchases. The following cards qualify:

» Learn more: Benefits of United Airlines credit cards

The bottom line

There are plenty of ways to earn extra miles beyond the traditional means of credit card welcome bonuses and flying. The MileagePlus X app is an excellent example of how you could earn extra United miles on your everyday spending. If you start incorporating shopping portals, dining programs and dedicated apps (such as MileagePlus X), you could be on your way to easily growing your miles and points balances.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Use ‘virtual malls’ to rack up airline miles on your next hotel
Find the best travel credit card for you
Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies

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