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Turn your gift cards in for United Airlines miles

by on Thu February 16, 2012 • No Comment

United Mileage Plus gift card exchangeUnited Airlines Mileage Plus just announced a new angle on mile earning today…

They are letting you turn in your unwanted gift cards online and receive United MileagePlus miles in exchange.

It’s an interesting proposition…we’ve all received gift cards that are for merchants we have no interest in shopping. Yes, you can try to sell the cards for cash on eBay or other online gift exchanges. Or you can try using the gift cards for something mildly useful from the retailer.

So turning them in for miles — a liquid and useful currency for many of us is intriguing, especially in light of the expiration dates on many gift cards.

How much do you get…

Well on FlyerTalk folks are reporting some OK but not great values. Basically each $1 in gift card value is worth about 3-4 miles, so a $25 card can be worth about 600 – 700 miles. Not great, since you’re effectively ‘buying’ the miles at $0.03 – $0.04 each, assuming you would have found value in the gift card another way.

But if you’re like me, you’re often forgetful with gift cards, and you find miles have real value. So why not turn them in online and get something rather than the hassle of opening other accounts and brokering them elsewhere.

Not the greatest deal in the world, but a nice option.

A few catches…

  • Only $25 or larger gift cards qualify
  • The value in miles per dollar of the gift card varies at all times, and is based on market conditions
  • Only pre-selected retailers’ gift cards are eligible

But let’s give United Mileage Plus some props for being first to try this.

Participating gift cards include…

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • AMC Theatres
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Ann Taylor
  • Banana Republic
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Bob Evans
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Cabela’s
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Crate & Barrel
  • CVS
  • Disney Store
  • DSW
  • Fandango
  • Foot Locker
  • Fred Meyer
  • GameStop
  • Gap
  • Gap Kids
  • Gap Options
  • Home Depot
  • JC Penney
  • Kmart
  • Kohl’s
  • Kroger
  • L.L.Bean
  • Lowe’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • New York & Company
  • Nordstrom
  • Office Depot
  • OfficeMax
  • Old Navy
  • Omaha Steaks
  • PacSun
  • Peet’s Coffee Tea
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Pottery Barn
  • Pottery Barn Kids
  • Pottery Barn Teen
  • REI
  • Regal Entertainment
  • Rite Aid
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sears
  • Sephora
  • Staples
  • Starbucks
  • Sunglass Hut
  • Target
  • The Container Store
  • Ticketmaster
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Walmart
  • Williams-Sonoma

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