1,000 Free United Miles…Once the Site Works Again

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If you were online reading about miles and points last night you probably saw some posts about 1,000 free United miles from a company called BCKSTGR.  You can get 400 miles for linking your bckstgr.com account and United number, and an additional 200 miles each for registering your Twitter, Facebook, and FourSquare accounts.  These miles post automatically to your MileagePlus account, which is pretty great.

You will also be able to earn miles for various social media activities on an ongoing basis.  For example, you can check-in to South Branch in Chicago on Facebook and post a picture of your favorite cocktail for 75 miles.  If you want, you can also tweet #KingCafeChicago or post “Check Out King Cafe for Lunch” on Facebook for 50 and 100 miles (respectively).  The site seems to imply you can do this daily through 1/11/13 (though who knows if they are ready for the number of miles hungry people who may do this!).

I was too busy to try to register until pretty late last night, and once I did the site had crashed from all the traffic.  I tried again early this morning and the site is back up, but when I try to register it tells me that my United MileagePlus number and pin number aren’t recognized.  Others seem to be having this same issue.

For better or worse, I often trade some info, or agree to some spam in exchange for free miles and points, but giving my United pin number was something that didn’t make me feel all warm and cozy inside.  So, if you are opposed to sharing your pin number then skip this one….or change it on United.com to something different than your usual, then register for this, then change it back to your normal pin (if you are like me and don’t want a new pin).  Also, the site does not seem to be fully functioning this morning, so I would wait and try again later on today.  Hopefully it will be back up to full speed soon.

Thanks to Points Hoarder for sharing this news.

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  1. Once you link your account and receive the 400 miles, can’t you change your PIN on the United site to remove the security risk?

    • Jon, I would assume that would work. I hate the idea of changing my pin, but good plan if you are okay changing your pin number.

  2. just did a quick search on #kingcafechicago on twitter, quite a few posts that appear to be points related ha. If a company is looking for exposure via social media, it seems to make sense to tie activity to miles/points since most of use seem to do just about anything for free points haha

  3. Thanks for the update. On a different point, do you have a direct reconsideration phone number for US Bank? I got my first ‘waiting for decision’ response to an application yesterday. I would like to call them. Please email if possible.

  4. Another option is to first change your PIN to a temporary one, sign up with BCKSTGR, and then change your PIN back to what it was originally.

  5. Sam, yeah, I have mixed feeling on posting about somewhere I have never been, but if you are using a dummy account that few people see anyway, I guess that makes it “better”? Many of us will do almost anything for free miles!
    Jon and Blaine, that is a good plan! Will add to the post.

  6. I wonder if it is really “broken”, or if they are using this to get people to sign up for these sites, and jump thru these social media hoops, without finally giving out the miles? I’m not going to even think about trying to sign up until I get consistent reports that people are getting their miles awarded. So if anyone does have eventual success with this, please let us all know in this comment space. Thanks…

    • Robert, there were lots of success stories of miles posting immediately last night. Just hasn’t worked correctly since then as far as I know.

  7. @Robert Hanson, as many people have already stated around the frequent flier community, the miles post almost immediately. They did to my account as well.

  8. What is more concerning from a security standpoint is that even after changing your United PIN, the layout of the BCKSTGR site indicates that it will be possible to redeeem United miles at their site, so one has to trust that this third party site will remain secure over an indefinite time frame.

  9. Thanks a lot for this update, I’ve been trying off and on since last night, and both my wife’s account and mine either get the “invalid pin” or “something bad has happened” sorts of messages. Sometimes I’ve even gotten to the next screen (where I believe personal info should be pre-populated from my United account), but instead all the fields were blank and it acted as if I was trying to create a new MileagePlus account. I agree, even if/when I do finally get in, it does feel pretty weird that it asks for my United PIN as well.

  10. It won’t let me link my Faceboo & Twitter. Also, people had reported that the points post almost instantly, and I haven’t had that luck…

  11. Yes, I know that it worked early on. Perhaps priming the pump? Like a 3 card monty scam artist letting the first few people “win” so that the rest will jump in expecting to win as well. I’m still waiting to hear that a sizeable number of people have had recent success with this. I’ve yet to hear that. If this post is now “history” and folks just don’t bother to post about how it is working again, I guess I’ll just miss out on 1K miles.

  12. I have had mixed results of this site, but the majority of my experience has been great. Coming from the IT community, I can tell you that most of the problems I have seen or read about are simply growing pains of a small company. (Add servers!!)

    In terms of the invalid PIN and MP# appearances, those are most likely on UAL’s side as they are VERY protective of their member account info. In fact, UAL does not even let third party sites store ANY of your info. Go to My Account in BCKSTGR and notice that a lot of the fields are masked. When signing up, BCKSTGR servers simply ping the UAL servers and say “is this person real?” I would also highly discourage you to change PIN simply for this because the communication between UAL and BCKSTGR may not update immediately when vital account info is changed. If you still feel uncomfortable, change it afterwards.

    Anybody who is skeptical of the legitimacy of the site/ security should ask themselves how its possible that this site correctly pulled your MP balance when linking accounts as well as is able to reward you miles that post to both BCKSTGR as well as MP website. Unless these guys are major hackers, there is no way they can fake these transactions. As I was an early user of BCKSTGR (signed up early Nov) as well as a MP Visa cardholder, I can attest these miles show up on mileage statements.

  13. The 600 miles (400 signing up, 200 FB) show on my BCKSTGR profile, but aren’t on my United MP account. I just signed up for BCKSTGR today. I’ll wait the 24 hours, but others have posted that the miles post immediately.

  14. Just did it (created a new foursquare account because I didn’t have one) and it worked perfectly and easily. Miles posted immediately. Easy 1000 miles. Then went and changed by UA pin.

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