I don’t get a kickback from United or Chase on this. Just news.
So United has a new mile earning scheme where you download the phone app to your smart phone. Once you install it you log in with your mileage plus account and then it will find nearby retailers that participate. When shopping you type in the total spent at the register into the phone app and have the merchant scan the bar code on your phone to award the miles at 0.5, 1x,2x, 3x or 4x depending on the merchant.
If you have a United Mileage Plus credit card and it will link your United MileagePlus X app you are suppose to earn an extra 25%. Click this photo below to link over the site for me info. See my thoughts below…
This seems like a good idea and promo video shows it working so smoothly. So here are my main concerns:
- Poor Wifi or cell signal at the point of purchase may slow the app or make it useless. I’ve experienced that with Shopkick.
- Merchants or checkers may not know how to process or scan the phone.
- The pain to use the app for small purchases doesn’t seem worth it (well worth it for large items though).
I hope it works well.
I can see myself using it for large purchases at Lowe’s however they only award 1/2 mile per $ where as it I buy it through the United shopping site online and do in-store pick up (Even while standing in the store) I earn 2 miles per $. Not to mention that American pays 3 miles per $. They need to fix this issue and make the miles match the online shopping portal offers. I know they may not be run by the same company behind the scenes but they need to match. Lowe’s is the lowest by the way and I didn’t see Home Depot on the list.
They have a bunch of restaurants like Cheesecake factory, Texas Roadhouse, etc. that have good 3 or 4 mile per $ earning but how does that work. You have to give your phone to the waiter so they can scan it? Seems like trouble but maybe I have trust issues.
I could see this being really good in a couple areas:
- Manufactured spend folks (you know who you are). I assume gift cards will fly out the door at some of these places since you enter the data on your phone manually.
- Amazon is on the list for 1x through online spending through your phone (at least the Android app shows it). Some how this will let you buy gift cards or something. Not sure how it works yet.
- Restaurants for 3x or 4x plus your credit card miles at 1x or 2x plus your dining program miles in a few cases.
Anyway it’s a new part of the miles and points game. Should be interesting. Below is a screen shot of the merchants but this is a list of all of them. Basically the app finds them based on your location so that should help if it works any better than Shopkick which I like (Where it has reception).