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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?