Earn UA miles by drinking coffee at Starbucks AND earn the Star points too with the MileagePlus X app

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My wife loves coffee.  At our house, coffee is a topic that is not to be taken lightly.  After some years of indoctrination, I now love coffee too.  We met while we both lived in Seattle, so we had no choice, really.  She even was a Starbucks barista when we began dating.  Well the more and more we (my wife) ordered things like a ‘quad venti ristretto coconut milk pumpkin spice latte with 3 pumps of pumpkin spice syrup and whip ‘, the more we figured we’d better use the Starbucks rewards program to get something out of it – not that we weren’t already getting enough back from drinking the coffee of course.  Then last year they devalued their program quite a bit.  We did take a hit, but because we order more expensive drinks it still works for us.  I honestly don’t know why I still see people walk in and order drip coffee or Americanos.  You just get better value elsewhere.So a few days ago I’m playing with my MileagePlusX app and although I had noticed Starbucks there before (earn rate of 2mi/$), I didn’t even think twice to use it, since we’re doing well with our Star Rewards program.  And then it hit me that Starbucks Rewards allows you to register any number of gift cards to your account so you earn points as if you were using your Gold or main Starbucks card!  This is HUGE for some of us!!

This is how it works in a few screenshots:

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It’s so easy, and given that for many of us Starbucks coffee has somehow become a necessity, this is some spending that certainly will come in handy to be UA miles fit!   Remember, you’re still earning the Star points AND you’re now also earning 2 UA miles per dollar spent (if you hold a Chase MileagePlus  credit card and are the primary member, you also earn a 25% bonus over the 2 UA miles per dollar).

Think about it… if you spend $100 in Starbucks a month -and that’s being conservative for many of us- you’d earn your stars along with up to 250 UA miles (incl. the bonus).  That’s 3k miles in a year without any additional spending than what you normally would.

Tip: If you don’t use the Starbucks app at all, note that some Starbucks have arranged to have a booth-style store in certain grocery stores.  More likely than not the category of the Starbucks credit card charges in those type of stores is that of a grocery store, so be sure to use a credit card that has a good earning rate at grocery stores.

In conclusion, use your coffee monthly expenses as a way to earn more United miles.  As it was shared today, on January 12 Chase will decrease the Sapphire Reserve card sign-up bonus to 50k after $4k spend within 3 months of opening the card, compared to the original 100k after $4k spend within 3 months.  For those who won’t be able to acquire that card within the next few days, start considering how to make up the points otherwise.  And coffee is one yummy way to start doing so!



2 thoughts on “Earn UA miles by drinking coffee at Starbucks AND earn the Star points too with the MileagePlus X app

  1. Do you need to use the UA card to get 25% bonus? I thought you can use any credit card. You’ll get 25% so long as you HOLD a UA card

    1. You’re correct. UA site says “Primary cardmembers of a United MileagePlus® Credit Card from Chase will receive a 25% bonus in addition to the miles otherwise awarded by MileagePlus in connection with transactions made through the MileagePlus X app. Bonus not available for authorized users of the account.” Post updated. Thanks!

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