ThePointSoldier reader Michael started using his American Express Platinum card around seven months ago and wanted to know if the card was a good combination to use with the United MileagePlus X app:
“It came out as a travel expense in my Amex Platinum but do you think it is a good practice doing that?”
Michael via Facebook
The American Express Platinum is one of my all time favorite credit cards. I’m also a fan of the upcoming new benefits. But the card is not designed to earn you a ton of points. While it does earn 5x points on airline tickets bought directly from the airline or Amex travel portal (plus hotels starting 30 March 2017), it only earns 1x points everywhere else. That said, it isn’t a very good everyday spender and probably categorized MileagePlus X transactions as travel because, well, it doesn’t really matter because you’ll only earn 1x points on each transaction anyway.
How to maximize MileagePlus X
I don’t normally use my American Express cards with MileagePlus X, but I can guarantee that both Citi and Chase will categorize the gift card purchases made through the app as they are intended (Amex will surely do the same). That means a Starbucks or IHOP gift card bought through MileagePlus X will show as a dining/restaurant expense on your credit card bill and, thus, earn you the appropriate number of points. Basically, use the same credit card you would normally use when making the purchase. This allows you to maximize your credit card points earning potential and earn a number of United miles in the process, all for free.
United MileagePlus X has several promotions throughout the year, so ensure to subscribe to their newsletter. With the current March Madness promo, for instance, you can earn up to 10x miles on gift card purchases with the app. These promotions have the ability to earn you several thousand miles in one transaction alone. I earned over 2000 United miles last Black Friday at Banana Republic on a $250 transaction, in addition to over 300 Ultimate Rewards points because I was using my Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Not bad for a single purchase.
To answer Michael’s question, it is always worth it to use the MileagePlus X app. It’s free, secure, easy to use and an excellent opportunity to “double-dip” on points. I’ve earned almost 7000 United miles in the last 6 months alone just by using the app. That’s just 3000 miles short of a one-way Economy Class Saver Award flight of 700 miles or less. I don’t even fly United Airlines on a regular basis, nor any other Star Alliance carrier, but if the miles are free, why not earn them on the side? You never know when you may have use for them. This is just another example of how easy it can be to prepare for your next getaway and fly for free, or nearly free anyways. But make sure to use the right credit card for the purchase to maximize your points- and miles earning potential.
Please don’t hesitate to send me your questions via e-mail or social media. If I don’t have the answer to your question right away, I will surely do the research on it and get back to you.
Are you using United MileagePlus X? What is your take on this app? Comment below and follow us on social media for updates.