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This morning I saw a post from The Points Guy discussing the current United MileagePlus Shoppping promotion that I also outlined here. The United MileagePlus shopping portal is offering up to 4,000 bonus miles based on cumulative purchases you make in their portal from July 21, 2015 through August 12, 2015 in the following tiers.
- 500 bonus miles for cumulative qualifying purchases of at least $125
- 1,750 bonus miles for cumulative qualifying purchases of at least $600
- 4,000 bonus miles for cumulative qualifying purchases of $1,500 or more
However, that’s not new information – the new information that caught my attention in the post was that Sears reportedly will be offering 10x via the United shopping portal from 7/31 – 8/1. I looked in my inbox and on the United MileagePlus Shopping site to try and verify the upcoming increased payouts myself but didn’t see anything. That said, I’m sure that TPG isn’t making this up, so I wanted to highlight this potential mileage earning opportunity so you can plan ahead in case you need back-to-school clothes, electronics, home appliances, etc.
In recent history, Sears e-gift cards earn miles when you purchase them through online shopping portals, and then you can earn miles when you go back through the portal to spend the gift cards and purchase merchandise (not additional gift cards). This is not the case with many retailers, but as shown below, the terms for Sears typically expressly permit the earning of miles on gift cards. At 10x, that means if you purchased $125 in Sears e-gift cards you would earn 1,250 United miles for the purchase, 1,250 if you go back through the portal to spend the gift cards during the promotion, and then 500 bonus miles from the United bonus promo. That would be 3,000 United miles on your $125 purchase, plus whatever miles the rewards credit card you use to make the original purchase earns. Remember that department stores are a Discover 3rd quarter 5% cash back category.
That comes out to 24x United miles per dollar in that example, which is very, very good. If you happened to need a new washing machine, refrigerator, or other larger purchase you can see how earning at a 20x+ miles per dollar rate would add up in a very big hurry. Some folks have also used Sears gift cards in the Sears store to purchase other types of gift cards with some success.
If you do decide to get in on this offer (assuming it comes to pass), be prepared to have to call and verify your gift card order with the Sears Fraud Department at 1-888-396-5299. They also typically reach out to you by phone, but calling them can expedite the process.
Sometimes you need a co-branded United card like the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card to get the highest payouts from the United shopping portal, but hopefully the 10x at Sears will be available to everyone. I’ll update again if/when the promotion is actually live, but just keep this in the back of your mind in case you have a purchase you were about to make that you might want to wait on until the 31st rolls around on Friday.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.