United is running a potentially lucrative new promotion: From now until November 20th, if you earn miles from any of United’s partners, United will throw in either 10% or 30% bonus miles depending on whether or not you’ve earned miles from that partner in the past 12 months. The 30% bonus is reserved for those partners that you have not received miles from in the past year.
The good news is that the 30% offer doesn’t appear to be limited to one transaction. Here is the relevant text from the terms:
If a member has not earned MileagePlus award miles with a qualifying partner in the 12 months prior to the start of this offer, then for each qualifying transaction with such partner during the offer period, the member will earn bonus miles in an amount equal to 30% of the base award miles earned with such qualifying partner during the offer period.
The bad news is that United has thought ahead and eliminated the easiest options for gaming the system. They’ve explicitly ruled out the following:
- Airline partners
- United Vacations
- United Cruises
- Mercedes- Benz
- Fidelity (Rats! Fidelity has this 50,000 point offer)
- Hertz 5,000 and 7,500 mile promotions
- All hotel and credit card points-to-mile transfer transactions (Rats again!)
The good news is that they’ve explicitly included a few potentially lucrative partners, such as:
- MyPoints: MyPoints offers 500 miles just for signing up (you can find my referral link here) and 1000 bonus miles for your first online shopping. Plus, I don’t know if this will work, but MyPoints lets you redeem their points for United miles at a rate of 12,000 points to 5,000 miles. I wonder if this conversion will generate a 30% bonus? If so, 12,000 MyPoints points will become 6,500 miles. I have a pretty large stash of MyPoints sitting around from way back when. I’ll give it a try!
- ScoreBig: Earn miles when buying discount event tickets.
- MileagePlus Shopping: This is the United shopping portal. It’s worth signing up for the 30% bonus just for this. You never know when a merchant will offer a fantastic deal through the portal. If so, you might as well be ready to earn 30% more!
- MileagePlus Dining: I don’t see this as a huge win, but if you’re signed up to earn miles from dining anyway, you might as well earn additional bonus miles
- MileagePlus X App: This app lets you earn bonus miles when shopping in-person (there are some online offers too). Again, you might as well earn a bonus!
How do you know if its been 12 months?
Log into your United account and view activity.
What if you have earned from the partner in the last 12 months?
Register other accounts. I immediately registered not just myself, but my wife and son too. I’ve had recent MileagePlus Shopping activity, so I’ll have to use my wife or son’s account to shop online and get the 30% bonus (otherwise I’ll get only 10%).
Register. It can’t hurt. Here’s the link: united.com/waystoearn2015.