Earn 4,000 Bonus United Miles That I Can’t!

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For the last few days I have been reading mentions of “Softcard” in relation to earning bonus miles.  Once I saw the name mentioned enough times, I decided to look into it a bit further.  Some may find redundant similar blog postings annoying, but I find them to sometimes be a gauge for how good a deal might be since life makes things too busy to read every post out there. 

What is Softcard?

softcardSoftcard is a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and it uses NFC (near field communication) for people to make contact-less payments using your smart phone at many retailers.   You have likely seen the payment symbol at registers before.  You must have a compatible phone in order to download and use the Softcard app.

Softcard and American Express Serve (similar to Bluebird) seem to have had a good relationship for a while now with some bonuses for adding and using a Serve card to pay for purchases, but the product is not limited to Serve users.  You can add an eligible American Express, Chase, or Wells Fargo card and use those to pay for purchases and earn rewards.  More on that in a minute…

Where can you pay with Softcard?

In my city, Softcard is accepted at chain stores including Subway, Petco, Whataburger, Walgreeens, McDonalds, and some gas stations.  You can look for participating stores here.

Is this the same as Isis Wallet?

Yes, but when you update the app it should update to the re-branded Softcard.  You can probably guess why they re-branded…

Earn bonus miles with Softcard!

You might be wondering what this has to do with miles and points, and the reason I got interested in Softcard is because you can earn up to 4,000 easy United MileagePlus miles by connecting a United MileagePlus Credit Card to your Softcard account and then making a few purchases.

Earn 2,500 award miles when you connect any United MileagePlus Credit Card from Chase to the Softcard app and make your first transaction through the app. And get 500 more miles every subsequent month you tap to pay with Softcard at least once, until February 28, 2015.

They also give you $1 back per purchase on a linked Serve card, up to $50 per month.  There have been some recent promotions involving Amazon gift cards when you add other cards to your Softcard.  There are working sign-up bonuses for new customers.

Doesn’t work with new iPhones:

I titled the post “Get 4,000 United Miles That I Can’t”, because I have an iPhone 6, which is very handy for Apple Pay, but that doesn’t play nicely (currently) with Softcard.  Some previous iPhone models did work with Softcard is you got a certain case that made them work with the Softcard NFC, but from what I read it seems that they aren’t taking on new Apple customers at this point.

If you have a co-branded United Chase credit card and a phone that will work with Softcard, I would absolutely go for the 4,000 bonus United miles.  You can just buy one a bottles of water at McDonalds each month for the next four months to get 4,000 miles!

If you want to learn more about Softcard, Dan’s Deals seems to offer the most info on the product and related bonuses.

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  1. It also doesn’t work with the Nexus 5, since that is an unlocked device sold directly by Google, and not purchased through a carrier website or retail outlet. I’ve been using NFC-based tap-to-pay functionality on my phone for several years through Google Wallet, and was going to sign up for Softcard just for these bonus miles, but since the carriers are being jerks and won’t allow unlocked phones to use the service, I’m out as well.

    • I have the Nexus 4 and have the same problem. But I’m not sure that it’s the carrier’s fault, it’s more the phone manufacturer. Nexus is made directly by Google who has a service (google wallet) in direct competition with Softcard.. therefore they don’t want you using softcard. Now that Apple has ApplePay, might see more iphones becoming incompatible with Softcard.

      • No, it is the carrier’s fault. They blocked Google Wallet for several years on the devices they were selling because they were developing ISIS (now known as Softcard). They got even more upset when Google when around them to build Google Wallet into the Android OS in a way that they couldn’t continue blocking it. They’ve intentionally limited Softcard to devices they sell, and have made no secret about that. It isn’t about Google blocking Softcard; it’s the carriers blocking devices they didn’t sell because they’ve always been pushing ISIS/Softcard over Google Wallet. On the Google Play website, there’s a link on the Softcard app’s pages (it’s actually a different app download for each carrier) to see compatible devices, and they’re only showing devices they are selling, which are locked to that carrier.

  2. If I already have United MP card added even before the this promotion, am I already enrolled and eligible for first 2500 miles? How to find out?

  3. I’ve made 2 purchases using Softcard, but only remembered to add my Mileageplus number after the first purchase. Any idea how long it takes for the miles to show up? There’s no log of purchases made within the app, unfortunately.

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