Yesterday I brought up the United MileagePlus X app that allows you to purchase goods at local retailers and earn United Airline miles. While not all retailers are a part of the app, it does earn quite a few miles with many bigger stores. This allows you to earn miles where previously it was more difficult to do so around town, definitely a worthwhile app to own.
Problem at the time was that I wasn't sure how the purchases posted to your credit card account. Well I've had a chance to check it out, and track down the purchase category. I used my Amex Everyday Preferred card to grab bonus miles on the purchase for what I expected to be a non-bonus category. Well it looks like the purchase just might be a bonus category purchase after all.
Since you buy through the United MileagePlus X app, the credit card merchants (Amex in this case) treat the purchase like it was made from United itself. This means that the category shows like a United purchase would; travel. Automatically this means these purchases would qualify for some of the largest bonus categories you can find on credit cards. Using your Citi Prestige card might even pull the 3x points for being an airline purchase. At the very least using your Citi Premier card would grab 3x points for the travel category.
Keep in mind that I've only been able to test this with an Amex card. Citi or Chase may file this under a different category.
This does bring up a dilemma though. If I start making many purchases through the app, that may reduce my everyday spending that I put on my Amex card. The Amex Everyday Preferred card requires 30 purchases a month to meet the 50% extra bonus points. If I spend through the app on a travel bonus card, then it may reduce the money spent on the Amex card and reduce the points earned there. While in the end it will certainly equal more points, it could also reduce diversification of points and miles.
It will be something to keep an eye on and adust as we go. What could prove interesting here is that this app may be a way to give major bonus category points to purchases that would otherwise not qualify for bonuses. I'll keep you updated as i work more with the app.