Yesterday, Doctor of Credit reported that the United MPX app has once again begun carrying over merchant codes for the purposes of bonus categories, at least for restaurants and Chase cards. For example, when buying a restaurant gift card with a Chase Sapphire Reserve, people are reporting both receiving the United miles from the app and the 3x restaurant bonus on the CSR. This is a recent change as those purchases stopped coding for bonus categories until the past couple of weeks. Data points indicate that purchases in April did not earn category bonuses, but those MPX purchases from around May 21st onward are once again earning category bonuses. Note that this may not be true on all cards / categories as recent data points are still limited, but this can be a great way to stack for maximum mileage on in-person purchases.
The United MileagePlus X app (most commonly known as MPX) is an app from United that sells various merchant gift cards and awards United Mileage Plus miles for their purchase. The number of miles awarded at each merchant varies, as do minimum purchase requirements. However, you can usually buy a gift card for the exact amount you need while standing at the register for an in-person purchase. For example, I always use the MPX app when we’re at the mall and my wife
decides she wants realizes she needs something from Sephora or when we’re on a road trip and we unexpectedly stop at Panera for lunch. If you’re a United Mileage Plus credit card holder, you even earn a 25% bonus on the miles awarded for the gift card (as shown below).
Of course, you aren’t necessarily limited to in-person purchases. For example, you could buy a Macy’s gift card and use it on Macys.com or a Staples gift card and use it on Staples.com.
Current datapoints limited to restaurants / Chase cards
So far, the data points I’ve seen have been limited to restaurants and Chase cards that earn restaurant bonuses. If you have recently used cards from other issuers or at merchants that would earn other category bonuses to buy gift cards through the MPX app, it might be worth checking to see how they coded. Again, it seems that only purchases from around May 21st onward are earning the category bonuses. I would expect earlier purchases did not trigger category bonuses.
I would not expect MPX purchases to earn airfare credits or airfare category bonuses on Amex cards. That is pretty surely dead.
The ability to stack the United miles with good category bonuses can certainly make for some good opportunities to earn a bundle on your purchases, whether in-person or online. Hopefully, this extends to other categories and cards.
H/T: Doctor of Credit