Stack at Gap: 19.5x + 40% off

The MileagePlusX app is having a promotion of up to 10 miles per dollar at select merchants through Sunday, June 18th. Additionally, Chase MileagePlus Explorer Cardholders earn 25% more miles when purchasing through the MileagePlusX app, for a total of up to 12.5x. Some merchants may be double-dip-able, and you could stack this with a gift card purchase deal for a triple dip and potential total earnings of 19.5x total miles and Ultimate Rewards along with 40% off with a coupon code.

The Offer

  • Up to 10x at select merchants through United’s MileagePlusX App
  • 25% bonus for MileagePlus Explorer cardholders

Key Terms

  • Expires at midnght CST on June 18, 2017

Stacking it Up

This can be a strong deal at the right stores. For those not familiar with the MileagePlusX app, it is a shopping app that allows you to earn United MileagePlus miles when buying gift cards. The idea behind the app is that you will be standing at a merchant and can buy a gift card for exactly the amount you owe at the cashier — and earn miles on the purchase. While I have used it that way a handful of times at places like Sephora (when my wife makes an impulse purchase buys a cosmetic necessity), it is put to better use buying gift cards to double dip. For example, right now you can get 10x at Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Gap:

You can view a list of online-only merchants, but there are also a lot of in-store “only” merchants. I put “only” in quotes because this app just sells you a gift card — which you could easily use online. I put in a New York City zip code (10010) to see “local merchants” and get the list shown above. As you can see, when you click on one of the merchants, you buy a gift card. Note that some merchants (like Amazon) may only allow purchases in fixed denominations, but many allow you to enter any amount (in this case, between $10-$500):

 

As you can see, I would earn 2,000 miles + 25% more for being a United MileagePlus card holder. You do not need to pay with your MileagePlus card to get the bonus. You can pay with any card — even a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express gift card. In fact, you could take advantage of this deal at Office Max / Office Depot to get the $200 gift card nearly fee-free (if you buy a total of $300 or more in Visa gift cards).

Evidence in our Laboratory is light, but I think you will probably earn portal rewards on this purchase even though you’re  paying by gift card. If you do, the best rates are available at Gap:

It gets a little tricky there. The best payout appears to be 6% at Mr. Rebates or TopCashBack. However, the United MileagePlus portal offers 2X for MileagePlus credit card holders and lists a coupon code for 40% off at Gap (alternatively, AA offers 2x and the code if you’re not a United credit card holder). There are a number of restrictions, despite the website representing it like a sitewide sale. Here are the exclusions for coupon code WARMER:

Offer valid from 6/7/2017 at 12:00 am ET through 6/8/2017 at 11:59 pm ET online only in the US (including Puerto Rico). Offer not valid at Gap Factory Online. Offer not valid on the following Gap merchandise unless ending in .97 or .99: Jeans, Technical Denim, Baby Organics Collection, Shoes, GapBody Underwear, Baby First Favorites, BabyGap Outfit Box, Cashmere, Leather and/or Suede Apparel and Accessories, Maternity Ingrid & Isabel®, Noodle & Boo®, Clarks®, Free City, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Qualifying amount applies to merchandise only, not value of gift cards purchased, packaging, applicable taxes or shipping & handling charges. In-store prices may vary and may differ from online prices. Online promotional codes cannot be used on in-store purchases. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Offer is non-transferable and not valid for cash or cash equivalent. No adjustments on previous purchases. Offer subject to change without notice. Enter promo code at checkout or tap to redeem on mobile when available. Free 5-7 day shipping on all orders: Valid on Gap orders placed online in the U.S. only (including Puerto Rico) from 6/7/2017 at 12:00 AM ET to 6/8/2017 at 11:59 PM ET and shipped to a single U.S. address. Must enter promo code to receive Free Every Day shipping. If you choose another shipping option, additional charges may apply. No adjustments on previous purchases. Offer is non-transferable and not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Offer subject to change. Delivery time subject to change.

You may be able to use that coupon in conjunction with the cash back portals — but YMMV when you use a coupon code that isn’t found on the portal page. It would probably work — but if it doesn’t, the portal probably won’t be helpful in pursuing your payout.

I think a full stack would look like this:

Step 1) Buy a $200 Visa Gift Card at Office Max or Depot with a credit card that earns 5x at an office supply store (pay ~$207 with activation fee or ~$202 proportionally if you buy at least $300 for the instant rebate), earn more than 1,000 points on the ~$200 at 5x

Step 2) Buy a $200 Banana Republic (or Old Navy or Gap) GC through MileagePlusX, earn 2,500 United Miles

Step 3) Go through a shopping portal — let’s say United MileagePlus Shopping — for an additional 400 miles when you buy $200 worth of merchandise with your gift card.

In the end, you’ll have $200 worth of stuff and more than 3,900 miles/points for just over $200 out of pocket. I recognize that not all miles and points are created equally, but that’s a total of 19.5x between United and Ultimate Rewards (or your chosen 5x rewards on the Visa gift cards). If you’re buying merchandise that is eligible for 40% off, you could fill your cart with about $333 worth of full-price merchandise and it would come down to about $200 — and you’d earn a lot of rewards.

Of course, there are other stores with increased MileagePlusX payouts — including some popular restaurant chains. Check out the MileagePlusX app for Android here or iPhone here.

Final Word

This is a very good stack if you’re able to make the steps work. Even without a double or triple dip, 10x is a pretty good rate of return at several of the included stores/restaurants. Other stores are available at 2x-8x, check the app for details. Remember that the increased offers expire June 18th, but the 40% off coupon code expires sooner. Best of luck with your rewards if you take part in this stack!

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. I was surprised to see Sears offering 6 miles per dollar (normally 3 miles, also Kmart was still offering 3 miles per dollar .. found this interesting since they’re the same gift card pretty much)

    Was looking at buying a new fridge with them the other day.. so 6 UA miles per dollar and then 4 BA avios per dollar spent.. pretty acceptable rebate 🙂

    If you have any upcoming sears purchases get your gift cards now! 6 miles per dollar is pretty sweet!

  2. NIX this comment (unless I did something wrong in my transacting , but i think not—please let mw know if i did… ): “In fact, you could take advantage of this deal at Office Max / Office Depot to get the $200 gift card nearly fee-free (if you buy a total of $300 or more in Visa gift cards).”

    I tried to buy VGC at Office Depot just now and they would not use the Mileage Plus Number and PIN number generated by the MP application. Unfortunately for me I am now sitting on Office Depot Gift Cards in my Mileage Plus application!

    • Hi JD,

      I’m sorry — it seems like you misunderstood a step in there. You use the MileagePlusX app in step #2 to buy the Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy gift card. In Step #1, you’re just using a card that earns a category bonus at an office supply store. There was no step where you would buy Office Max/Depot gift cards. To maybe make it clearer:

      1) Use a credit card (like the Ink Cash for example) to buy Visa Gift Cards at Office Max. Let’s say you use the Ink Cash — you earn 5x at Office Supply stores with that. If you bought one $200 Visa gift card, you would pay $206.95 with the activation fee and earn 1035 Ultimate Rewards. (This week there is a $10 instant rebate if you buy $300 or more though — so it might be worth buying $300 in cards as the instant rebate means you’ll pay less in fees and earn 1500+ in rewards. See the Quick Deal linked in the post). Note that you do not buy any Office Max / Depot gift cards.

      Step 2) This is the step where you use MileagePlusX. You use the app to buy $200 in Gap gift cards using the Visa Gift Card you bought at Office Max. You will earn 10x United Miles (2,000) + a 25% bonus if you are a MileagePlus credit card holder (2,500 United miles total).

      Step 3) Use the Gap gift card to buy merchandise at Gap. Go through the United shopping portal for 2x and use the coupon code to get 40% off.

      Unfortunately, I think you added a Step with Step 1 and bought Office Max gift cards in the MileagePlusX app. I believe what you ran into is that Office Max won’t let you buy Visa Gift Cards with Office Max gift cards. Unfortunately, as you said, you’re now sitting on those gift cards if you bought Office Max / Office Depot gift cards in the app. You might be able to sell them online (you can look up rates at GiftCardGranny or GiftCardWiki), but you’re going to lose something on them (looks like you can get about $170 for a $200 Office Depot gift card or a little less if it’s Office Max). I’m not sure which resellers (if any) accept e-Gift cards.

      I’m sorry if it came across unclear — buying the Visa Gift Cards didn’t involve the app – it was just a way to stack additional rewards on the $200 purchase.

      • I thought I had responded to this when you originally replied. Maybe it was via email? Anyway—thanks again for taking time to clarify the steps and how i went wrong. It was my bad. Thanks! JD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *