[note: i’m not a points person, so i don’t know all the ins and outs — there may be better ways to maximize your earning!]
i wrote about the MileagePlus X app a while back and noticed in the middle of January Amazon became a partner. if you’re trying to earn United miles this is a great way to get bonus points on your everyday purchases. and yes, as you can see, it’s pretty much how i shop nowadays, so this is great. you get 1 mile per dollar spent (on top of whatever you normally get on your card, these show up as gift certificates, iirc), plus an additional 25% bonus if you use your cobranded Chase card — meaning i get 2.25x using the MP Explorer card.
quickie on how to do it: during the checkout process, you’ll see a box to enter “Gift cards and promotional codes”. fire up the app on your phone, select Amazon as the merchant, enter the total amount of the purchase, and buy your virtual gift card. after authenticating with your MileagePlus password or PIN, you’ll get a gift certificate code you can either use to shop on your device, or type it into that gift card field on your computer and hit Apply, which will bring your total down to $0.
(here’s the fine print:)