Posted by Chuck on October 27, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on October 27th, 2016 | by Chuck

46

Does MPX Carry Over the Merchant Coding for Rewards?

The MPX app from United is convenient way to rack up bonus United miles for purchases you’re making regardless. You’ll net an extra 1-5 miles per dollar (sometimes more) by paying with a gift card bought via the app instead of paying direct.

The question often arises whether the category bonus from the credit card will carry over on an MPX purchase.

I conducted a bunch of experiments to learn more, and here are the results.

Chase

Update: Seems Chase is now coding MPX as generic purchase, and it stopped earning any category bonuses.

  • CSP Starbucks  – earned 2x as restaurant

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-3-00-29-pm

  • INK, Office Max – earned 5x as office
  • INK, Staples – earned 5x as office (There are conflicting reports about this on Reddit here and here; my recent experience is that it worked; I’d guess that it used to not work and now does work.)

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-8-59-56-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-2-56-18-pm

  • Hyatt, Papa John’s – earned 2x (heard from  a friend)
  • CSR, Red Robin – earned 3x as restaurant (heard from a friend)
  • CSR, Domino’s – earned 3x as restaurant (heard from a friend)
  • Freedom, Panera – earns 5x for rotating restaurant category

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-30-55-pm

Citi

  • Prestige $10 Starbucks gift card – earned double points for dining

thankyou_-_my_account_-_points_summary

Amex

Amex lags a month with issuing rewards, so I won’t know for another few weeks whether these worked (I don’t think they will). I’ll update when the results come in.

  • Platinum personal, Staples – pending (waiting to see if it gets 5x for Airfare)
  • Business Gold, Staples – pending (waiting see if it gets 2x for Airfare)
  • SimplyCash, Staples – a friend confirms this did not earn 5%

Discover

  • Discover, Kohl’s – didn’t work.
  • Discover, Amazon – didn’t work
  • Discover, Sears – worked

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-1-49-55-pm

Barclay

  • Sallie Mae, Amazon – does not earn 5% (pic)

Final Thoughts

As a rule of thumb, it appears that MPX accurately captures the category coding, but won’t get the store coding. So generally, you’ll get the bonus category for dining or department stores and similar, but you won’t get the coding of a specific store (e.g. Discover or Sallie Mae for Amazon). There are exceptions, such as Kohl’s, which is usually considered a department store, yet MPX doesn’t consider it as such.

It’s impressive that MPX gets the category coding correct, something we don’t typically see. I’ll update the Amex and Discover experiments when the results come in, and please add your own data points in the comments!



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Daniel
Daniel

Panera bread does NOT code for dining for Chase.

Jordan
Jordan

I’ve had good luck with MPX and Amex. Showing up as airefaire and getting 3x with Amex Gold Business plus 5 United miles. Not bad.

Jordan
Jordan

*with Officemax gift cards

XP1
XP1

You can check qualifying Discover transactions before statement close.

https://www.discovercard.com/cardmembersvcs/promotions/app/myoffers/home

Click “See Offer Details and Transactions”.
See the transactions under “Qualified Transactions”.

Darv
Darv

Anybody had issues with MPX on Android 7.0? I just loaded it for the first time on my phone last weekend. I can get all the way to placing the order and submitting, for Amazon, but it says to contact the MPX address at united.com. I sent a message last Sunday, have not heard back. I’m trying to get the $200 credit from Amex for incidentals on Platinum card. Thanks for any feedback.

Mendel
Mendel

I used MPX for the yearly $100 credit on my amex gold and bought $100 gift card on Amazon
Amex wouldnt credit me saying i DIDNT SPEND IT ON TRAVEL.

Mahmoud
Mahmoud

I use MPX to redeem my Amex $100 Credit and it work with no problems

Mendel
Mendel

what did u buy?

AB
AB

Panera did get me 5X with Freedom via the app during the restaurant quarter. Also during movies time it gets 5X at AMC. I can email you proof of you’d like.

David
David

Sallie Mae card from Barclays does not give 5x bonus through MPX Amazon.

http://imgur.com/YXiUaVd

Swiggie
Swiggie

You show Citi AT&T getting 3x at Staples. Was that in-store? I don’t think this store is typically a 3x category for the card.

puja
puja

Amex platinum purchase of amazon giftcard at MPX did not give me 5x MR points……$25 amazon card gave only 25 MR points….

Pete
Pete

I believe the Freedom’s 5X deparment store category this year is based on store coding and not category coding. The fine print sure makes it look like the bonus is only available at the specifically listed stores, as opposed to most other Freedom categories where the list if stores is referenced as an example.

That would explain why the pass through for Khols doesnt work.

Div
Div

On my CSR for the first time it gave me 3x UR points on Panera, but afterwards it gave me only 1x points on Panera.

Div
Div

I am going to try some other gift cards through MPX and see if it still gives 3x UR or not?
Any idea of which category from MPX gives 3x UR points?

Gaurav
Gaurav

There’s no way to buy VGCs at Staples this way right since you get a staples gift card and they can’t be used for gift card purchases?

Charlie
Charlie

Uber GC codes as local commuter transport on Chase Freedom and therefore for 5x “Bonus 1Q 5% cat: Local Commuter Transport.” I made the purchase on Feb 23.

Gaurav
Gaurav

Nice, thanks for the data point. So you earned 1 United mile and the 5 UR?

Charlie
Charlie

Yes!

az
az

My PRG shows 3X on any MPX purchase, so amazon GC will earn 3X MR + 0.5X miles * 1.25.

David T
David T

Curious where you see this on Amex website? Before I saw this article, I was trying to see if it works work for plat and I don’t see any bonus points. :'(

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