New Way to Earn Bonus United Miles in MileagePlus X App

Jul 31, 2019

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United’s MileagePlus X app is easily one of the best ways to stock up on airline miles while making everyday purchases for home, travel and entertainment. We’ve previously written extensively about how to utilize the app, but just today we discovered that the app has made earning bonus United miles even easier. You can now earn points by launching other merchant apps or websites from within the MPX app, on Android as well as on iOS.

As of this post, the partner brands and earning rates for launching an app within an app (how very 2019 of us all) are as follows:

  • Sam’s Club — 1–8 miles/dollar
  • Hotels.com — 4–9 miles/dollar
  • Groupon — 4–11 miles/dollar
  • Grubhub — 1–10 miles/dollar
  • Walmart — 2–6 miles/dollar
  • Walmart Grocery — 450 miles
  • Booking.com — 6 miles/dollar
  • The Home Depot — 1–7 miles/dollar
  • Hotwire — 3 miles/dollar
  • Overstock.com — 7 miles/dollar
  • Houzz — 11 miles/dollar
  • QVC — 2–5 miles/dollar
  • 1800 Flowers — 3 miles/dollar
  • Vivid Seats — 3 miles/dollar
  • SeatGeek — 7 miles/dollar
  • Warby Parker — 18 miles/dollar
  • Hulu — 900 miles
  • Casper — 5 miles/dollar

At the highest range of that earning potential — 18 United miles per dollar spent — this means you’re getting a fantastic return of 23.4 cents per dollar spent on those slick new frames from Warby Parker, for example, based on TPG’s latest valuation of 1.3 cents per United mile.

Or on fixed-value earning options such as Hulu or Walmart Grocery, this means you could earn $11.70 worth of United miles on Hulu’s lowest-priced subscription plan of $5.99/month or $5.85 in United mileage value from the $30 minimum requirement for a Walmart Grocery purchase — not a bad deal at all.

How It Works

Each brand has its own fine print on eligibility. Some apps, like Hulu, will open up a browser window within the MPX app itself. Others, like Hotels.com, will direct you to either install or open the merchant app within the MPX app. You’ll receive a push notification when the merchant connection is successful:

Below, we’ve highlighted a few noteworthy merchants:

Hotels.com

For Hotels.com, only purchases made through the Hotels.com app within the MPX app will count toward bonus United miles. You’ll earn 4 miles/dollar on bookings that earn Hotels.com Rewards, which are worth one free night for every 10 nights you book, and 9 miles/dollar on bookings that don’t earn Hotels.com Rewards.

Keep in mind that with Hotels.com Rewards program and Capital One’s partnership with Hotels.com, you can effectively earn up to a 24% rebate on all Hotels.com bookings. So if you have a Capital One credit card, you’ll want to do a little math to see if the extra 5 miles/dollar through MileagePlus X is more worth your time than the 20% Hotels.com Rewards and Capital One combination. Otherwise, this is a good option.

Groupon

The online deals merchant offers three tiers of bonus earning categories: 11 miles/dollar on local services such as spa treatments and food; 6 miles/dollar on getaways and travel deals; and 4 miles/dollar on goods such as iPhone chargers or headphones.

Clicking on “continue to merchant app” will launch the Groupon app within MPX, which automatically tracks the purchase. The terms specify that United miles will not be earned on taxes or delivery fees, nor can mileage earnings be stacked with promotions, coupons or payments made using Groupon Bucks — the merchant’s version of store credit.

Grubhub

If you have never used GrubHub before, this could be just what it takes to get you to take the plunge. New members get a whopping 10 miles/dollar on their first GrubHub purchase, while existing customers only get 1 mile/dollar. So make that first order good, and maybe have all your friends give you their orders and Venmo you afterward.

Miles are not awarded for delivery fees, tips or gift card purchases — but, of course, you should tip your delivery guy anyway, because they work hard to spare you from having to put on real pants for dinner.

Hulu

The merchant terms specify that miles can only be earned on new Hulu subscriptions; gift cards and free trials don’t count toward the 900-mile bonus. Since Hulu doesn’t have an app, a pop-up assures you that the MileagePlus X app will track your purchase on Hulu.com, as long as you complete the transaction within the browser window that pops up.

Once you’re signed up, you can change the credit card you use to pay for your subscription each month if you need to do so. It might be a good idea to consult our guide on the Best Credit Cards for Subscription Services to know which one to use.

Walmart Grocery

This merchant will be particularly welcome to new parents, busy families, homebound consumers and others who rely on grocery delivery services to get by. Miles can only be earned on purchases made through the Walmart Grocery app or website; purchases from Walmart.com or the main Walmart app will not earn United miles under the Walmart Grocery program. (There is, however, a separate merchant profile in the MPX app for Walmart itself, which earns 2–6 miles/dollar.)

The app doesn’t specify whether or not the $7.95 delivery fee for Walmart Grocery counts toward mileage earnings, but it’s probably safe to assume from the fine print on other merchants that delivery fees do not earn United miles under this new program.

Do I Still Get My 25% Bonus?

For standard MileagePlus X app purchases, users earn a 25% bonus for having a United credit card, such as the United Explorer Card, attached to their profile. They don’t have to pay for the purchase using the United card; just having it linked to the traveler’s MileagePlus profile within the app is sufficient.

I was curious to see whether or not the 25% United Visa bonus applies to in-app merchant purchases, so I made two Groupon purchases within the MileagePlus X app. For one, I used PayPal as my payment method and for the other, I used a credit card that’s linked to both my Groupon account as well as my MileagePlus X account.

Offhand, my assumption is that I won’t get the 25% boost, since the purchase technically goes directly through the merchant partner and isn’t processed by United. However, transactions take 48 hours to post, so my purchases haven’t yet appeared in my Rewards History profile on the MPX app. I’ll report back once they post.

How to Use the MileagePlus X App

As a refresher, the United MileagePlus X app is a fantastic way to maximizing United mileage earnings on everyday purchases. Check out this guide if you’ve never heard of it before and want a little hands-on instruction. Keep in mind that you’re typically buying electronic gift cards with whichever retailer you choose, which means you won’t be able to take advantage of credit card purchase protection if your product is defective. But this isn’t a big deal if you’re purchasing something like food or movie tickets, or household items like toilet paper.

 

You can download the iOS app from the App Store or the Android app from Google Play.

 

Featured image by @criene via Twenty20

United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer card recently got some enhancements like 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and on hotel stays and a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Fee credit (up to $100). The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited time offer! Earn up to 65,000 Bonus Miles.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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