United MileagePlus X is an app from United Airlines, which allows you to earn United miles on purchases. They partner with a bunch of merchants, and the app is essentially a cash back portal. However, unlike other portals like Ebates or Top Cash Back, it works via gift cards.
Allow me to explain to those who might not be familiar. You shop as you would, and when it comes time to checkout, you enter the dollar amount into the United MileagePlus X app. You can use any credit card to pay for it, and the app will generate a gift card, which you can then use to pay for your items. By going through the app, you earn a specific number of United miles per dollar spent on a merchant. If you are a Chase United MileagePlus credit card holder, you will earn 25% bonus miles as well.
Airbnb just joined the MileagePlus X portal, and United is offering 3 miles per dollar spent on Airbnb. It works the same way as other merchants: once you are ready to pay for your stay on Airbnb, enter the total amount, and pay with the credit card you have on file with United. The app will then generate a code you can enter back on Airbnb’s website to complete the booking process.
Now, there are many other ways that will net you 3 miles per dollar on travel purchases, even as simple as using a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Some grocery stores also sell Airbnb gift cards, and offer gas credits that translate into higher cash back percentages. However, if you don’t have one of those methods available, this might be a new way to earn miles with Airbnb stays.
Additionally, one of the lesser publicized uses of the app is to bypass the American Express Platinum card annual airline fee credit. Some people have reported that when you checkout using the American Express Platinum card, it codes as a United Airlines purchase. As a result, your airline incidental fee credit can actually be used on almost anything. (Your mileage (!) may vary here, so don’t hold this as fact.) It’s worth nothing, however, that while purchases through the MileagePlus X app seem to be eligible for the airline credit, it does not trigger a category multiplier. So sadly this means we won’t be able to earn 5x points on purchases.