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Just in time for Black Friday, United Airlines has launched MileagePlus X, a new app for iOS and Android mobile devices that enables MileagePlus members to earn up to 4 miles per dollar for shopping at participating merchants. Presently targeted to select MileagePlus members by email, the free app will be made more widely available throughout the holiday season.
If you’ve been targeted for the initial preview of MileagePlus X, you can download the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play for Android, then log in with your MileagePlus account info. The MileagePlus X app will automatically sync with any credit cards already stored in your MileagePlus account.
The MileagePlus X search feature helps you find businesses nearby that participate in the program, such as restaurants, Gap, Barnes & Noble, Lowe’s, and Toys “R” Us. Once you’re at check-out at any participating merchant, enter the price of each of your chosen items into the app to instantly generate a gift card barcode that will need to be scanned by a cashier in order to complete your purchase.
Each MileagePlus X purchase will generally earn between 2 and 4 miles per dollar spent, but if you sync MileagePlus X with United co-branded cards like the United MileagePlus Explorer and its business version, or the United MileagePlus Club, you’ll earn a 25% mileage bonus on purchases made through the app.
Like a shopping portal, the bonus miles you earn are in addition to whatever you would normally earn by using your credit card. However, since you’re really purchasing an electronic gift card, and since that purchase is indirect via the app, it’s not yet clear whether using the app will have an affect on bonus spending categories.
This video from United (which features the same cheerful music you’ll hear on United’s in-flight safety videos) explains a bit more about the MileagePlus X program:
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|