A select group of United Airlines Mileage Plus members are testing out MileagePlus X, a new mobile app (different from the existing United mobile app) that lets them use their smartphones at participating stores and restaurants in the real world – not just online – to earn bonuses miles on top of those already earned on certain credit cards.
Here’s how it works: once you download the app, you add in your Mileage Plus account information and the credit cards associated with it. Then, when you’re out at a participating restaurant or store (that the app will help you find) you can use the app to purchase an electronic gift card that you then use to pay your bill – and collect extra bonus miles on top of those your affiliated cards already offer.
Will other airlines do the same? I bet yes… and soon.