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Exchange Gift Cards For Miles

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Exchange gift cards for miles

 

Did you receive unwanted gift cards for Christmas? Did you know you can exchange gift cards for miles?  Specifically United Airlines miles.

United Airlines MileagePlus has partnered with Plastic Jungle allowing you to turn those unwanted gift cards into miles.

Simply go to: MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange.

And for a limited time you’ll earn 50% more miles when you exchange gift cards for miles.

2 Easy Steps to Exchange Gift Cards for Miles:

  1. Choose the retailer whose gift card you want to exchange from MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange
  2. Enter gift card information

Here’s a step by step pictorial:

Exchange gift cards for miles select merchant

 

1. Choose a retailer from the drop down list.

Exchange gift cards for miles enter gift card information

 

2. Enter gift card information

I stopped here without entering my gift card information.

Should you exchange gift cards for miles?

It’s not that great of a value, but it is possible to work the system.

Exchanging Gift Cards For Miles Method 1:

Method 1 assumes either you were given the gift cards as a gift or you bought the gift cards at face value

It appears that the minimum award rate aka standard redemption rate comes to $0.05 cents per mile.   Here’s how I arrived at that value:

The current limited time promotion offer of 50% bonus miles when you exchange gift cards for miles, this chart shows what you’ll earn for a $25, $50, and $100 gift card.

Exchange gift cards for miles minimum award miles

$25 gift card for 1,000 miles = a cost of $0.025 per mile ($25 ÷ 1,000)
$50 gift card for 2,000 miles = a cost of $0.025 per mile ($50 ÷ 2,000)
$100 gift card for 3,990 miles = a cost of $0.025 per mile ($100 ÷ 3,990)

Since these miles take into account the 50% bonus offer, here’s the cost without the bonus offer:

$25 gift card for 500 miles = a cost of $0.05 per mile ($25 ÷ 500)
$50 gift card for 1,000 miles = a cost of $0.05 per mile ($50 ÷ 1,000)
$100 gift card for 1,995 miles = a cost of $0.05 per mile ($100 ÷ 1,995)

If you take advantage of the 50% bonus promotion, your cost per mile will only be $0.025 using Method 1.

Now’s let’s look at how to maximize this promotion or aka work the system so to speak.

Exchanging Gift Cards For Miles Method 2:

Purchase gift cards via office supply store using Ink.

  • Purchase gift cards at the store to earn 5x Ultimate Reward Points.
  • Purchase gift cards from Office Depot via Ultimate Rewards Mall to earn 10x* Ultimate Rewards Points (5x office supply category bonus + 5x Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus)* current Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus. Note: UR Mall bonuses change periodically.
  • Purchase gift cards from OfficeMax via Ultimate Rewards Mall to earn 8x* Ultimate Rewards Points (5x office supply category bonus + 3x Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus)* current Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus. Note: UR Mall bonuses change periodically.
  • Purchase gift cards from Staples via Ultimate Rewards Mall to earn 7x* Ultimate Rewards Points (5x office supply category bonus + 2x Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus)* current Ultimate Rewards Mall bonus. Note: UR Mall bonuses change periodically.

The award miles redemption rate remains the same, but now you’ve also earned Ultimate Rewards Points on the purchase.

$25 gift card becomes 1,000 MileagePlus miles PLUS 250 Ultimate Rewards Points
$50 gift card becomes 1,000 MileagePlus miles PLUS 500 Ultimate Rewards Points
$100 gift card becomes 1,000 MileagePlus miles PLUS 1000 Ultimate Rewards Points

While I wouldn’t go out and buy gift cards to exchange gift cards for miles, if I happened to have any gift cards lying around from previous purchases, it might be something to consider IF you were short on miles and needed award miles in the next two weeks.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Minimum value to exchange is $15
  • It can take up to 5 business days for your miles to be deposited
  • The retailer list is long but they don’t always correspond to retailers that offer gift cards through office supply stores
  • There is a 7.5% tax so you lose some value on your miles (the tax has been calculated into the mileage redemption rate above)
  • Gift cards with expiration dates are not accepted
  • Exchanges are final

What do you think? Are you going to exchange gift cards for miles?
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Traveling Well For Less

Friday 28th of December 2012

Hi Keryn,

Sorry, thought I had added the link. I went back and revised the post to add the link. Here's the link to the MileagePlus Gift Card Exchange site - https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/cmhst/gcWelcome.html.

Keryn @ walking on travels

Friday 28th of December 2012

What is the web address on United to do the exchange. The links in your post just go to the homepage and I don't see anything?

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