United sent out a friendly and useful postcard reminder in the mail:
To save on checked bags, always purchase your tickets with your MileagePlus Explorer Card.
I thought the information on the postcard could be a useful reminder for many and could also save you some money when flying with United.
A nice benefit you receive for paying for a flight with your Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card is getting your first checked bag free as well as one for a companion traveling on the same reservation. You can save up to $100 for each round trip.
For our trip to South Dakota we booked an award flight from NYC using Kim’s United miles. Kim paid the taxes, $20 total with one of her cards.
We made the mistake of not using my United Explorer Card. We figured since Kim’s miles were being used, one of her cards should be used to pay the taxes. I also thought that since I was flying on the itinerary and had my Explorer card linked to my account, our checked luggage would be free.
Boy was I wrong!
When we got to the check-in counter, we were told each checked bag would be $25. I mentioned that I had the United Explorer card and was immediately told the rules. You must pay for your flight using the card to get the free checked bag benefit. This meant that our free award flight + tax was now going to cost us an additional $50 each. Not cool!
I quickly came up with a plan. I’d pay for our baggage fees with my Chase Ritz Carlton card. The card came with a very useful benefit, a $200 annual credit meant to be used for checked bags or other incidental airline fees. This softened the blow.
The lesson to be learned here is be sure to fully understand the benefits of your credit cards. It can definitely save you some money.
Had I realized that I needed to use my Explorer card to qualify for free checked luggage, I could have saved my $100 Ritz Carlton benefit for something else!
Thank you United for the reminder.
Here is an offer to earn some United miles for signing up with Energy Plus.
The offer is of no use to me since my maintenance includes gas and electric.
However, it might be a great way for some of you to earn a bunch of easy miles.
If you have the United MileagePlus credit card there are additional earning opportunities.
- Earn 10,000 MileagePlus award miles after your second month as an Energy Plus customer.
- MileagePlus credit cardmembers earn an additional bonus of 2,500 miles
- Earn award miles every month- 2 miles for every $1 you spend automatically, 3 miles for every $1 you spend if you are a MileagePlus credit cardmember
- Cancel at any time without a fee
While skimming through Twitter on Sunday morning I came across an interesting tweet from United that involved working out and earning miles.
Here is the tweet:
Have you resolved to start a workout routine this year? Join a gym with MileagePlus Fitness and earn 2,000 miles.
I am already a member of a gym but I thought that this offer might be of interest to some.
United is using a third party provider- GlobalFit to “host” MileagePlus Fitness.
MileagePlus Fitness is a fitness discount program that offers United miles for every purchase. The program guarantees the lowest price at more than 10,000 gyms in its nationwide network.
I did a quick search of my area and there were lots of participating gyms nearby including the one I am a member of. Some participating gyms are Ballys, Curves, New York Sports Club, 24 Hour Fitness and many more.
Here are some details about MileagePlus Fitness:
- Earn 2,000 miles
- Lowest price guarantee on all memberships
- 10,000 gyms nationwide
Check out MileagePlus Fitness HERE
Back in December, I posted about a couple of offers to earn miles with American Airlines and Delta for purchasing Bose products.
Here is a new offer to earn United miles.
Purchase Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones (link below) and earn 1500 United MileagePlus award miles.
Bose QuietComfort headphones sell for $299.95. Definitely a bit pricey if you ask me and not on my list of things to buy in the future.
I couldn’t see wearing noise cancelling headphones on a flight when flying with Lucas.
I need to hear what is going on if my little guy is uncomfortable or needs something.
Some Highlights (according to Bose):
- Advanced noise reduction
- Acoustical design for detailed, lifelike music
- Soft- cushioned, around the ear fit
- Additional cable with inline microphone and remote for iPhone/ iPod control
- AAA battery- 35 hours average life
If you’re looking to buy Bose headphones, click HERE to earn some valuable United miles.
I am guessing that we’ve all received gift cards for stores that we do not shop at and would love a way to get rid of them.
There are sites that you can sell the gift cards to (ex.Plastic Jungle) that pay you a percentage of their value. From what I could tell, Plastic Jungle pays back 75% + of face value on your gift cards.
Another option is to exchange your unused gift cards for airline miles.
By using the United MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange you can turn your gift cards into miles.
I received an e-mail last night from United about a bonus offer for the GC exchange.
For a limited time you can earn 40% more award miles when you exchange your gift cards.
Some of the Rules:
- Must be a US resident to participate
- Your MileagePlus account has to open for at least 30 days and have a positive account balance
- Gift cards must have at least $25 balance to do the exchange
- You’ll see the number of miles you will receive for your gift cards before deciding to exchange them.
- You don’t need to mail in your gift cards. The exchange will be done electronically.
- All gift card exchanges are final
- Log in with your United account info
- Select the merchant for the gift card you are looking to sell (over 100 to choose from)
- Enter your gift card info and they will convert the value into award miles
- Receive your miles within 5 business days
- $25 gift card= 940 miles
- $50 gift card= 1,870 miles
- $100 gift card= 3,730 miles
*The estimated miles earned include the limited time bonus.
In my opinion, exchanging your gift cards for miles is more or less another way of buying miles.
I’m not really interested in buying miles and never have done so. However, if you have gift cards collecting dust this might not be a bad way to get a decent return for them.
To nominate employees, you use the United mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
Here is the way it works:
- When you receive excellent customer service, you can nominate an eligible United employee in the Outperform Recognition Program
- You can nominate up to five employees per nomination period through the United app
- If the employee that you nominated is a winner in the random drawing, then you win too.
- Once you open the United app, select MORE from the main screen
- You will then see a list of Travel Services. The fourth option on the list should be Outperform Recognition. Select it.
- You will then be asked to fill in your information- name, flight confirmation, MileagePlus Account & e-mail
- Scroll down a drop more and you will then enter the United employees information- name, last 4 digits of employee number and a story about the great service you received in 120 characters of less
There will be a random drawing which will select 16 winning nominations. Each employee and the customer that nominated them will be winners.
|Drawing order||MileagePlus member prizes||Employee prizes|
|Grand prize||Two roundtrip tickets for United First travel in the U.S. mainland or international travel in United Economy||$50,000|
|1st prize||75,000 award miles||$25,000|
|2nd prize||50,000 award miles||$10,000|
|3rd prize (3)||20,000 award miles||$5,000|
|4th prize (10)||10,000 award miles||$2,500|
- Open to legal residents of countries served by United who are MileagePlus members (there is a lengthy list of countries not eligible)
- Must be 18 years of age by May 31, 2012
- Sweepstakes period ends September 30, 2012
Find out all of the details about The Outperform Recognition Program HERE
- Earn 2,000 miles when you become a paying member of Netflix
- Earn an additional 2,000 miles when paying with a United Mileage Plus credit card
- Offer valid to new Netflix members only (I’ve heard of people getting this kind of bonus multiple times- try at your own risk! If you decide to open a new account, I’d definitely use a different e-mail account)
- Cheapest Netflix plan is $7.99
MyPoints is the pioneer and leader of online shopping rewards. Through simple online purchases from hundreds of retailers within the MyPoints network, members earn rewards Points from every transaction made. Members can redeem their Points for gift cards, travel miles or cash back. MyPoints has grown into the most established membership rewards site where online shopping and rewards incentives are synonymous with great deals and customer loyalty.
I signed up for a MyPoints account and hope that the bonus miles post. I might look a little more into the site and see if they offer better options to some of the other shopping sites like Big Crumbs, FatWallet or the airline eShopping portals. Odds are that I will probably opt out right after I get my bonus.