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Update: Wow, instant response! Chuck from Doctor of Credit let me know this may or may not work. So for now, I think the best thing to do is start slow at your local Staples (like try $5 and see if it works) and go from there, should you decide to try this. Thanks all for any info you want to add!
I was poking around as I am wont to do and assembled an 8X combination that I think will work.
Now, I haven’t done this myself, but it seems totally do-able.
What you’ll need to get started is:
- The MileagePlus X app (which I’ve written about) AND
- If you want 8X points, a Visa or MasterCard that earns 5X at office supply stores
You can also get 5X on top of what you’ll earn from any other card with the exception of a couple of Amex cards.
Or, if you’re trying to meet a minimum spending requirement and want to get an extra 3X at office supply stores, this should work nicely.
In This Post
Stack 3X through MileagePlus X with 5X on another card
Check this out. (Oh, before I start MileagePlus X is an app. You’ll need to install it on your phone.)
When you buy a Staples gift card through Mileage Plus X, you’ll earn 3X United miles.
But the cool thing is when you pay with a Visa OR MasterCard, the category bonus codes appropriately. In this case, office supply stores.
So if you have a Visa or MasterCard that earns 5X at office supply stores, you can get 8X – 5X of your normal points + 3X United miles.
This is based of a data point I found on this FatWallet thread.
According to this, as recently as July 2016, you could use Staples gift cards to purchase other third-party gift cards, including Visa/MasterCard and, it seems, pretty much any other gift card they sell (shoutout to eBay and Southwest – I know a lot of you guys like those categories).
Again, I have not tried this myself. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
Why is this useful?
Purchases made on MileagePlus X code as a purchase. And if you’re buying other gift cards at office supply stores anyway, this is an easy way to stack 3X United miles on top of whatever your’d normally earn.
Depending on how much you spend, it could add up quickly.
My best is advice is to go slow should you try to make the most of this.
Be wary of Amex cards (or not!)
There’s an Amex card that earns 5% cashback at office supply stores. But, when you purchase a gift card through MileagePlus X, it codes as a travel purchase from United (which is handy for getting $200 “on United” if you have the Amex Platinum Card).
But it won’t help you in this case. Just wanted to put that out there.
However, if you have an Amex that earns bonus points on travel, you could stack that nicely!
So who wants to be the guinea pig? :p
I don’t purchase Visa or MasterCard gift cards often as I use my Airbnb business for the bulk of my monthly points-earning. But I know a lot of you do.
This looks like an easy way to rack up 8X at Staples, even if you use a Staples gift card as your payment method for another third-party gift card. Of course, you could also buy actual office supplies too.
I also noticed eBay disappeared from the MileagePlus X app. But this method could be another way to earn more on eBay purchases (and Southwest flights, too!).
Of course, there’s potential for further maximizing – just take it slow, yo.
Has anyone tried this yet? Does it work? Please share your experience.* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.
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