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It seems that every industry these days is focused on investing in mobile technology. I now do most of my banking from my iPhone and aloft hotels is piloting a program where you can get your room key automatically downloaded on your mobile phone so you can skip the front check in desk (sign- me up for that!).

United is now offering 500 free miles (registration link) for signing up with their mobile shopping platform. Once signed up, they’ll send you up to three texts per week with offers that might appeal to you. I just signed up, so I’m not sure what kind of offers they will be, but it appears that there will be opportunities to earn extra United miles for spend on your Visa (note: it does not need to be a Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card – I successfully registered my Sapphire Preferred).

Of course nothing in this world is actually free, so not only do you give them the right to text you offers, but they also get access to your personal shopping information from Visa “..I understand and agree that my Visa card’s transaction history (which may include my flight itinerary information purchased with my Visa card) with United Airlines and other merchants may be used to provide me with offers and messages based on my purchase behavior, and I agree to the broader terms and conditions of participation in the MileagePlus mobile offers program. I acknowledge my name and email address and mobile number will also be collected by MileagePlus and subject to MileagePlus privacy policy (see MileagePlus website).”

So basically they will be able to understand your purchase history and then select offers targeted towards you. Is that worth it for 500 United miles (roughly $10 to me)? Only you can say, but I personally did it because I will just un-enroll once I get my miles in 6-8 weeks.

Free 500 miles for registering!

To opt-out:
(a) send a text message with the words “STOP” to 81825 or “STOP” to any text message you may receive from MileagePlus mobile offers (or such other short code that may be used in the future);
(b) visit https://rtm.visa.com/MileagePlus and unsubscribing your enrolled mobile number

Must have an active Visa card to qualify
My first three texts, with one confirming the 500 miles.

Hat tip TPG reader Umut!

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Offer valid only for MileagePlus® members currently residing in the 50 United States (including Alaska and Hawaii).
  2. To receive the 500 bonus award miles, members must successfully register by entering their MileagePlus member number, eligible Visa card number and mobile number.
  3. Register anytime on or between May 21, 2012 and Oct. 21, 2012.
  4. The registration period will conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2012.
  5. This offer is combinable only with other combinable MileagePlus offers.
  6. A member can register up to three eligible Visa cards per MileagePlus member number but can only earn the 500 bonus award miles one time.
  7. Please allow 6-8 weeks after registration for posting of the 500 bonus award miles. The 500 bonus award miles will be posted to the MileagePlus account entered at time of registration.
  8. Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the MileagePlus program. The MileagePlus program, including accruals, awards and bonus mile offers is subject to change without notice. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, visit mileageplus.com.
  9. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
  10. Visa and United, including their respective subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners.
  11. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, visit mileageplus.com.
  12. Complete terms and conditions for MileagePlus mobile offers can be found here


Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.