How to Maximize the Current United “Months of Miles” Promo

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I posted about a “Months of Miles” offer that many United flyers were targeted for in this post.  There are about four different versions of the offer.  You earn bonus points for every 2, 3, or 4 qualifying transactions in your United account.  The quickest ways to increase your transaction totals is through the use of the United MileagePlus Shopping or the United MileagePlus Dining Program.  One of the beautiful things about this promo is that it is actually a “triple dip”.  You earn points/miles for making the purchases on a rewards credit card, while earning points through the shopping portal or dining program, while earning points through the Months of Miles promotion.  Woo hoo!!  You can actually even have a quadruple dip if you take advantage of the 250 mile back-to-school shopping promo that runs until August 31st.  Read more about that here.

I am personally not  a fan of spending more or buying things solely for the purposes of earning miles, but if you are going to make some purchases anyway, I will help you figure out how to get as many miles as possible for your hard-earned dollars!  There are some very determined people on Flyertalk who have set their earning goal for this promotion at 100,000 miles!  Wow!  My goal is probably more in the 10-15K range, but we’ll see what happens.  In this post, I will talk some about how to make the most of both the shopping and dining programs during the “Months of Miles” promo.

Maximize MileagePlus Shopping:

Your transaction with the shopping portal must total at least $10.00 before tax and shipping in order to qualify for the Months of Miles promotion.  Here are a few of my favorite opportunities in the shopping portal:

Home Depot: You can order $10.00 gift cards with no shipping fee.  You can also choose to have them delivered electronically, though the minimum amount you can purchase via electronical delivery seems to be $25.00.  You will also be earning 2.5 miles per dollar for all of your purchases.

Best Buy: You can get $10.00 e-gift cards with no fee.  You will also earn .75 miles per dollar.

Boden:  I really love Boden clothes for myself and Little C.  Read about Boden in a previous post here.  The smallest gift card you can order here is $25.00, but if you love them as much as I do, it is still worth picking up a few during this promotion period!  You earn 3 miles per dollar at Boden.

Baby Gap: You can pick up $10.00 gift card and have Gap e-mail them to you within a couple of hours.  You can use Baby Gap gift cards at regular Gap and Gap Kids as well.  You will also be earning 2.5 miles per dollar.

Sam’s Club: I didn’t realize that being a non-Sam’s Club member doesn’t really seem to matter that much for the purposes of this promo.  (Thanks to a reader for pointing that out!)  You can purchase $10 Sam’s Club gift cards with a 10% non-member ($1) surcharge.  You can then use the gift cards at Walmart or Walmart.com for things you would have purchased anyways.  Brilliant!   Of course, if you are a member, you can skip the surcharge for an even better deal.

Free Site to Store Shipping: This means that you purchase something online and then pick it up in the store.  Several retailers, including Wal-Mart, offer this option.  It is a great way to avoid shipping charges!  Just be ready to make several trips to the retailer that you select.  Unless there is a store that is convenient to your home that offers this option, this may not work very well for some families.

There are hundreds of additional retailers for you to select from in the shopping portal, but just be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with each retailer carefully.  Some, like Wal-Mart and Walgreens, do not count gift card purchases.

Additionally, some stores, like CVS, charge fees of about $3 for gift card purchases.  It may not sound like much, but it can add up quickly if you plan to make multiple purchases.

Maximize MileagePlus Dining:

The terms and conditions of the Months of Miles promo did not specifically set a minimum amount of money required for each dining transaction.  It said $10 for retail, but dining is not really the same as retail.  At least not in my mind.  According to this FlyerTalk thread, United has responded that there is no minimum purchase amount required for a dining transaction to be eligible for the Months of Miles promotion.  This is huge news!  Hopefully the information provided by United is accurate, because this will really present a great opportunity to maximize this promotion!  Here are some easy ways to make the most out of the no minimum purchase requirement…

Get separate checks: Even if you are eating out with your partner, get separate checks and pay with different cards that are linked to the dining program.  Here is a screen shot from a few weeks ago when my husband and I used different cards linked to my United dining account to pay for lunch.  Both transactions posted just fine for us.  Too bad the Months of Miles wasn’t going on then!  🙂

Order something “to-go”:  Order dessert or something else “to-go”.  You can do this after you have already paid your regular check……perhaps you didn’t realize you needed the Chocolate Lover’s Brownie until you were just about to walk out the door!

Use two cards:  I would feel a little bit like a crazy person asking the restaurant to split the check onto two cards if I were just eating by myself, but it certainly is an option.  Just make sure you have two cards linking to the United MileagePlus dining program with you!

Stop by for a Coke:  There are some sandwich shops on the dining program in my area.  If you have some extra time, make a quick stop to pick up a drink or a bag of chips.

Frequent MileagePlus Dining restaurants:  This one is obvious, but if you are going to eat out anyway, give preference to eligible restaurants.  Tonight The Man wanted a burger and I wanted soup (stupid strep throat!), so he went through a drive-thru for his burger and we picked up my $4.00 soup from an eligible restaurant right down the road.  If this promo wasn’t running, I would have still wanted soup, but may or may not have gone to that specific restaurant.  Search for restaurants not only in your local area, but also for locations in cities you are traveling to during the promo time frame.

Do you plan to take advantage of the United “Months of Miles” promotion (assuming you were targeted)?  How do you plan to make the most of the promotion?  How many miles do you think you can earn during the promotion period?

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  1. Here is a hint I found from a Flyertalk member. He said he was able to register for the MP 1000 bonus for a dine over $50. Normally this would be for new users but it was on my account also. So I clicked the link and am registered. So last night we went to our favorite restaurant and spent $52. Didn’t split the check because I wanted to earn this bonus! So waiting for the 1000 bonus..plus my VIP earnings..plus this counts as one of my 4 for 500.

    I already have 2 other orders from the shopping mall so this is my third order. Was planning to order an office chair from Office Depot to grab the 250 bonus….however the chair I decided to purchase was $149.99. I found out that earlier in the month that chair was on special for $80!! And I missed out. So I can’t bring myself to pay $149 right now. Just have to watch for it to go on sale again!

  2. @Kelly, that is great! Good tip! I just tried and it told me that I had already registered for that promotion (which is true). Super glad you were able to quadruple dip there!

  3. I’m not sure how long you have been a member of the dining program or if you know all of the terms and conditions but from my experience if you dine at the same restaurant more than one time on the same day you will only get credit for one dine, even if you use different credit cards for each dine. Of course if you use a credit card that is linked to somebody else’s account then each account will get a credit but multiple dines at one restaurant on one account is not accepted. Keep this in mind when dining out.

    • Hi Ian, I have been doing dining programs off and on for several years….though much more frequently in the last several months. I have had a different experience than you, as it has let me have more than one dine per day (ie split the check and pay on separate cards linked to the same dining program and same account) at the same restaurant, and credit was given for both dines. I have not been able to find terms and conditions within the dining program that disallow that, but if you find some let me know. I do remember reading somewhere that you should make the transactions different amounts from each other, but I can’t remember the source on that one. I also can’t find anything in the “Months of Miles” terms and conditions that says you can’t have more than one transaction from the same partner in one day. Please let me know if you find differently, and I can update the post accordingly. I went ahead and added a screen shot from my United dining account that shows a recent example of two dines at the same place, on the same day posting. Thanks for reading!

  4. So I could pop by 2 participating restaurants in my area (buy a coke), everyday from tomorrow until the end of the promo (20-Nov => approx 90 days), and accrue 90,000 points. (scenario based on 1000 points for every 2 transactions eligibility which my wife scored).

    Assuming a coke costs $2 at each place, I’m in for $360.

    Is this legit?

    • If there is indeed no dining minimum, then it sounds legit to me! if you want to be extra careful, you could email United and ask them to verify there is no dining minimum. I think there may be lots of Cokes and miles in your future!

  5. This promotion seems to good what am I missing? I use shopping malls every week and coke for two dollars makes this promotion earning ability unlimited will link my card and gf card to account also.

    • If you are missing something, so am I. For those that got the 2/1000 or 3/1000 promo, it can really add up very quickly. The only caveat is this is going on the assumption that the answer received by a Flyertalk member from United stating there is no dining minimum was accurate. I believe it to be accurate as there is no dining specific minimum in the terms and conditions, but if you want it in writing I would shoot United an email (and hope they give you the same answer)!

  6. Can you order a bunch of seperate orders for the home depot gift cards? will that give you one point each for each order?

    • In theory, that should work! Each order should be a separate transaction. There is nothing in the terms and conditions that states otherwise (that I saw)!

    • DGuy, it depends entirely on the merchant. Some, like Walmart, specifically list that gift cards are excluded. Others, like Home Depot, have gift cards as included. It all depends on the merchant. They just like to keep us on our toes!

    • That’s great! I don’t have a Sam’s Club membership, so I figured I couldn’t take advantage of that deal. Looks like they just charge a 10% fee if you don’t have a membership, so $10 gift card costs $11 shipped. I will add that to the post, thanks!

  7. Makes sense to buy Sams Club membership for $40 and buy $2000 in $10 increments. You can refund the membership anytime. Big families spent a lot in Walmart 🙂

  8. Hi, I am excited about this promo. I am reading this under the dining program: Mileage Plus® Miles awarded up to the maximum spending of $1000 per month, 1 visit(s) per month….

    Does this mean that each restuarant can only be uesd once per month for this purpose?

  9. al613, sounds like a great plan if you have the $2000 to spend. Good thinking!

    Ali, the restaurants in my area all have a no maximum number of visits rule, but perhaps some in your area have a one visit max. Are you seeing this as a T&C for a specific restaurant, or are you seeing it somewhere else? If it is on a specific restaurant, try looking at other restaurants to see if they have unlimited visits.

  10. IF they do respond in the affirmative that there indeed is no minimum spend limit for dining can you just go into the store and buy 100 cokes on 100 different transactions in one day? Does it have to be on different days at different resteraunts? Can it all be done at one place, on one day?

    • I have never had a problem having multiple transactions at the same store on the same day. Granted, I have only had 2-3, not hundreds. I do also use a different card linked to the account for each transaction to be safe, but I have never read that to be a requirement. I did have a reader say that multiple transactions at the same restaurant didn’t work for him, but I have never had that problem. I would try it out first with a few and see if it works for you. It should! Let us know.

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