United has just released a new app that allows one to earn miles on everyday purchases at selected retailers.
Install is simple (as are most things with iOS). Download the app, enter your United MileagePlus number and pin, and you're able to start earning miles on everyday purchases.
Retailers nearby the office here include: TGI Friday's, Sunglass Hut, Banana Republic, Old Navy, AMC Theaters, Bass Pro Shops, Nike, Express, Papa John's, Panera Bread, and Landry's Seafood.
The app works by linking to the cards you have on file with your United account (if you don't have one saved, then you'll need to save one to start earning miles on the app). After you've linked your credit card, then you'll click on the retailer and enter the amount to pay. The app then charges your credit card and gives you a code that is scanned by the establishment.
Basically, you're buying a gift card through the app. Unused amounts are saved in the app - so you can use them later if you purchase more. It doesn't appear there are any expiration dates on the amounts purchased.
I've made a purchase through Papa John's and AMC Theaters right after downloading the app. It was easy and painless.
Pro Tips noted in the "Helpful App Tips" part of the app:
Triple your mileage by (1) using your primary MileagePlus credit card from Chase (2) use the MileagePlus X app (3) and you get a 25% cardholder bonus.
Quadruple your mileage by following the above and (4) making a purchase online via mileageplusshopping.com