MileagePlus Shopping: up to 1,000 UA bonus miles campaign

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United’s MileagePlus Shopping is a valuable tool to earn bonus UA miles on purchases, and currently there’s a campaign that offers up to 1k bonus miles through 2/14/2017.

Here’s how it works, as stipulated by the bonus campaign’s terms & conditions:

Member will earn a one-time bonus of up to 1,000 MileagePlus® bonus award miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard MileagePlus miles earned from shopping online through the MileagePlus® Shopping mall. This one-time bonus award will be determined using one of the following tiers, based on Member’s cumulative qualifying purchases made during the Bonus Period:  Tier 1 bonus: 500 miles for qualifying purchases of at least $125; or Tier 2 bonus: 1,000 miles for qualifying purchases of at least $250 or more.

Here’s a screenshot of the full terms of the campaign.

When I saw this offer, I immediately wondered whether one individual could receive this bonus more than once.  Unfortunately, it’s clearly a one-time bonus, so it’ll do you no good to stagger purchases in buckets of $125 or $250.  So how to get more value out of this offer?  Hopefully your family members all have a MileagePlus account and you take all the accounts into consideration for your travels.  In that case you may then stagger your purchases into the $125 and $250, earning your family the bonus more than once, thus getting more value for your buck.

Let’s look at an example:

MileagePlus qualifying merchant FTD earns you 25 miles/$.  Let’s say that you and your spouse will end up spending $375 in flowers.  If you do this all in one transaction you’d be earning 9,375 miles + 1,000 bonus.  But if you break it up, with separate household accounts , then you could do 3 transactions of $125, which would each look like this: (3,125 + 500 bonus) x 3 = 9,375 + 1,500 bonus.  In this case you’d earn 1,000 bonus UA miles over what you would’ve earned otherwise!

In conclusion, although it may seem like 500 or 1,000 UA bonus miles is not much, keep in mind that miles add up quickly.  If you find ways to maximize your miles/points earnings in everything you do, you’ll see how your miles balance increases very rapidly and to your amazement.  Happy shopping everyone!

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