Online shopping is one of my favorite ways to earn points and miles. Not only is it more convenient than going to the store, but you can earn thousands of points and miles by buying stuff you were already planning on buying! All you have to do is connect to the store through a shopping portal.
Picking a Shopping Portal to Earn Hotel or Airlines Rewards
I’ve been using Ebates for years and love getting cash back each quarter. However, since I’ve gotten more into travel hacking and collecting points and miles, I prefer to use an airline or hotel shopping portal. The portal I use varies by what program I’m trying to earn points with at the moment. You can use Ev’reward to see how many points or miles per dollar you’ll get from a specific store on each of the different shopping portals. This site isn’t always accurate but it can be useful for quick comparisons. Keep in mind that some points/miles are worth more than others so while it may look like one program has the highest rate, you should account for what their currency is actually worth.
Here’s a list of online shopping portals by reward program:
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Alaska Mileage Plan
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Amtrak Guest Rewards
- British Airways Executive Club
- Choice Privileges
- Delta SkyMiles
- Hilton HHonors
- JetBlue True Blue
- Marriott Rewards
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Free Spirit (Spirit Airlines)
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Elevate
Shopping Portal Promotions
Shopping portals often have promotional rates where you can really rack up the miles. I’ve seen rates on United’s portal as high as 20 points per dollar at Rite Aid. These offers can be tempting. I’ve been known to return recently purchased items and rebuy them when the miles per dollar has increased! However, I never recommend buying something just to get the miles.
Portals also have promotions where if you spend x amount of dollars by a certain date, you’ll get x number of bonus miles. Again, this can be tempting but only buy into it if you already were planning these purchases!
Other Points and Miles Shopping Opportunities
If you have a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can access the Chase shopping portal (Shop through Chase) from your online account. Given the long list of Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners, this is a good option if you are unsure of how you will use these points in the future.
Also, if you plan on shopping at Amazon, you can earn 3 JetBlue TrueBlue points per dollar spent by connecting through your TrueBlue account.
A Few Disclaimers
As I’ve already mentioned, never buy something just to get the points. We’re in the business of being fiscally responsible while getting lots of free travel from our credit card companies so let’s keep it that way!
Most portals note that you cannot use promo codes that you do not find on that specific site. I choose to risk not getting the points and use whatever promo codes I can find. For me, it’s a bigger loss to buy something at a higher price by forgoing a good promo code just to earns some points and miles. I’ve never had an issue with this, but your mileage may vary.
I find that United Airlines has some of the best miles per dollar rates so I tend to favor their shopping portal. It doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as your earning points somewhere! Which shopping portal is your favorite?