January 4, 2014

Getting Started: Online Shopping Portals

This the third in a series (posts one and two) of posts on getting started earning, managing, and redeeming points and miles.  Everyone shops online and it’s one of the best ways to earn incremental points and miles.  Most airlines (United, American, Southwest, etc…) have shopping portals that enable you to earn points by clicking through their affiliate links.  Many Chase issued cards also have their own shopping portal through Chase Ultimate Rewards called the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall.

Sample United Shopping Offers

It’s really simple…click through one of the links above, login using your AA/United/Southwest/Chase credentials, find a retailer, click through to their website and shop as you normally would online.  During an especially big promotion earlier this year, we spent a few hundred dollars at eBags when they were offering 35 miles for each dollar spent.  We earned over 10,000 miles in about ten minutes buying Christmas presents and a new suitcase for Emily.  

Holiday Shopping yielded a ton of AA miles

In some cases you can “double dip” to really maximize the points earned.  I’ve been able to go through a shopping portal to buy a gift card earning 4x points.  Then I used that gift card to pay for something I was going to buy anyway through the same portal earning another 4x points.  Everyone has a different “valuation” for how much their miles are worth.  I value most of my airline miles at $.02 each.  So earning an incremental 8 miles per dollar spent is like getting 16% off your purchase for a few minutes of work.

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