Earn Bonus Miles This Week At The United Shopping Portal

One of the easier ways to earn a modest amount of miles is via the shopping portals of various airlines. I figure if you’re going to buy something anyway, you might as well earn some extra miles. It’s not the most glamorous way to earn miles, but they can add up.

I particularly like to use the shopping portals when there are bonus offers available, such as the one United is currently running. This one, called the May Bonus, awards 500 bonus miles for spending $200 between May 16 and May 26. And of course, that’s in addition to whatever miles you’d normally earn from the individual retailers.

United makes the offer easy to find, as you are accosted with it as soon as you visit the United shopping portal. They also might try to sell you a vacuum cleaner…


The bonus miles you earn is based on the cumulative amount you spend during the period. That means you don’t need to spend $200 with a single retailer to earn the bonus, but rather can spread the shopping around a variety of merchants.

Ben values United miles at 1.4 cents each, which I think is a bit low, but he’s the boss so we’ll go with it. That means you’ll be getting an extra $7 rebate on your $200 purchase, or about 3.5%.

Here are the full terms and conditions:

During the “May Bonus” bonus campaign, which runs from 5/16/17 through 5/26/17 at 11:59:59 pm ET (the “Bonus Period”), Member will earn a one-time bonus of 500 MileagePlus® bonus award miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard MileagePlus® miles earned from shopping online through the MileagePlus® Shopping mall. This one-time bonus award will be determined based on Member’s cumulative qualifying purchases made during the Bonus Period:  Earn 500 miles for qualifying purchases of at least $200 or more. “Qualifying purchases” do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases, and certain products that are not eligible for bonus miles.  Please see the MileagePlus® Shopping mall site for details on product eligibility and other restrictions. Please allow 8-10 weeks after the Bonus Period for bonus award miles to post to your MileagePlus® Shopping account. Void where prohibited by law.

Bottom line

United is offering a 500 mile bonus for spending $200 at their online shopping portal through May 26. While this isn’t terribly exciting, if you were going to do some shopping anyway, it’s a nice bonus. Or if you were deciding between United’s portal and another portal, this could tip the scales.

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer?

(Tip of the hat to Mommy Points)


  1. Thank you Travis for a very informative, well written article concerning points, miles and the journey they can deliver! I do agree that United points perhaps are valued somewhat less in Lucky’s eye’s but I will be taking advantage on the offers.

    It is so refreshing to see someone wrote without a nasty tone or slant, and I very much appreciate that.

  2. @Dan Allen: Fully agree with what you said, particularly your last sentence.
    @Travis: I remember reading a couple years ago that Lucky used to say that he did not do anything without first considering the potential “points/miles” benefits of his action. Since that whenever I want to buy something online, I always check how many miles they give at AAdvantage and MileagePlus shopping portals (sometimes there is a big difference). SkyMiles shopping tends to give you far less points. Anyway, over the past 3 years we amassed around 150,000 miles just by running everything we can through these portals. We always tend to wait until a good deal or bonus comes up. The funny thing is that now my wife also does not buy anything online without checking whether those portals offer miles…….. I do believe that these are the real “FREE” miles, because you would buy those thing anyway.

  3. 500 miles multiplied by 1.4 cents equals $5.60 nowadays? Has math been devalued recently too?

  4. Daniel, that’s awesome that you’ve earned so many points through portals. Thanks for sharing. It is indeed a good way to earn points, so long as you can remember to do it each time. (And I’m definitely not perfect at that!)

    I’m sure you are very appreciative of your wife for not only supporting the game, but actively participating in it. We are very lucky guys.

  5. Dan — Thanks for the kind words. I try my best around here — sometimes it comes through better than others LOL. So really appreciate it.

  6. Lynn — That’s what happens when I try to do math with three kids screaming in the same room. Fixed. Thanks.

  7. @Travis. The funny thing is that by now I have “infected” some of my co-workers as well with this “AAdvantage shopping” craze, they too always check these portals. Just yesterday one of them told me that she booked her first o/w (within US) ticket using those points.
    One more advice to the readers if you do not mind, and I illustrate it with a recent purchase of a Dell desktop which I bought for $601 using my AA card so I got 601 miles. By running it through AAdvantage shopping, got another 1,803 AA miles. THEN (!) I checked the price for a couple of weeks elsewhere, and when on one day Amazon advertised it for $190 LESS, I submitted that claim to PriceRewind, the free benefit from AAdvantage Platinum Select card, and got $190 cash back. I love this game!

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