United offering $15 back for inflight PayPal purchases

Feb 13, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. 

If you happen to be flying United in February or March, you can get $15 cash back simply by paying for any inflight purchase using PayPal’s QR code function. This translates into free premium drinks and snacks on board.

To get this offer, you’ll need to download the PayPal app and obtain your QR code ahead of time if you don’t wish to pay for internet on board the plane. A data connection is not required to pay as long as the QR code is downloaded to your phone.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox.

How to set up PayPal QR payments

(Image courtesy of PayPal)

In the PayPal app, set up your payment preference for paying with QR codes in the wallet tab. You’ll then be able to select a payment card for QR code purchases. If you have a Chase United card, you may even be able to trigger an additional 25% cash back.

When inflight service reaches your row, you’ll be able to choose to pay with a QR code even if your phone is in airplane mode. Just tap this option on your phone, choose the inflight purchase option and have the flight attendant scan the code. It’s that simple.

The deal

Paypal United collab. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Paypal United collab. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The offer is valid for inflight purchases on United flights through March 31, 2022, however, it is limited to a total of 16,666 rewards so it could expire before this date. You’ll get a $15 cash back reward for your first eligible purchase and there is a limit of one reward per account. While the terms don’t indicate a minimum purchase to activate this offer, we believe the purchase will only trigger a reward for the amount you spend up to $15.

Searching United’s inflight menu, you can get a snack box for $8, beef jerky for $5 or a cocktail for $9-10. Mix and match to maximize the $15 reward on your next United flight.

The way that sign reads suggests to us that if you have a Chase United card linked, it could also trigger 25% back.

Related: A review of the Chase United Explorer card

(Image courtesy of PayPal)

Bottom line

(Photo courtesy of Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

While there’s no such thing as a free lunch, this is as close as it comes. If you have a smartphone and you are flying United in the near future, try out this $15 reward promotion by paying for inflight purchases with the PayPal QR code functionality.

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.