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