United Airlines has developed a new app, but it’s not the usual airline fare. The MileagePlus X Mobile App is designed to provide members with a way to conveniently pay for merchandise in stores. Users can also earn up to 24 miles per dollar spent, when combined with their MileagePlus credit card from Chase.
Select MileagePlus members have been invited by United to use their iOS and Android mobile devices to test drive the new app. Once the special preview version of the MileagePlus X mobile app is downloaded on their phones, they can use it to make purchases at participating stores.
Currently 50,000 retailers, restaurants and entertainment centers are participating, including national retailers, like Lowe’s, Sears, Gap and AMC Theaters. A catalog of stores is available for review in the app.
Using the app
Rather than using a credit or debit card to make a purchase, people open the MileagePlus X, and key in the amount of the purchase. The app then creates a digital merchant gift card, which is actually used to make the purchase. The salesperson scans the barcode that appears in the app to complete the purchase.
“The new MileagePlus X app builds on the increasing popularity of mobile purchasing, enabling members to make in-store purchases and earn miles without having to pull out a credit card,” said Praveen Sharma, United’s vice president of loyalty.
At the time of sale, award miles simultaneously appear in the members account.
Stay tuned -still in development
More features will be added to MileagePlus X, including the ability to actually use award miles to make in-store purchases.
MileagePlus X is in addition to the new United Airlines app released in 2013, which allows users to do everything from book flights to check flight status. In 2014 they added a feature allowing users to scan their passports with the app so they can check in for international flights.
The United Airlines app has been downloaded 15 million times. Next year they are slated to launch a new website as well.