Showing posts with label Online Shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Online Shopping. Show all posts

May 7, 2017

Earn Up to 10,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles

American AAdvantage is out with a new shopping/partner bonus that has the potential to be pretty lucrative.  I received and email about the promotion but my understanding is that it's open to everyone.  You do not need to register and you must complete purchases by 6/15/17.  You can read the full terms of the offer here.

There are four total partners:

  • 1-800 Flowers
  • AAdvantage eShopping Mall ($50 minimum)
  • AAdvantage Dining program ($25 minimum)
  • Vinesse Wine
You can earn up to 10,000 total bonus miles:
  • 2 partners = 2,000 bonus miles
  • 3 partners = 5,000 bonus miles
  • 4 partners = 10,000 bonus miles
Vinesse wines is a non starter for me.  I'll likely end up with more charges than I expected and a lot of bad wine so I am focused on the 5,000 mile bonus.  Here's how I'm thinking about it:
  • I've already completed a transaction with 1-800 flowers for $40 earning including a $15 Amex offer.  I also earned 900 AA miles given the current 30x bonus.
  • I made a $54 purchase at Saks using a gift card through the eShopping Mall earning 250 additional miles
  • There are a couple of Dining program restaurants in our neighborhood so it shouldn't be a problem to earn an additional 75 miles (3x) on a $25 purchase
All in, I will spend ~$100 and earn 6,225 AA miles.  The miles easily wash out the cash outlay, essentially make the flowers, Saks merchandise, and a meal free.  I wouldn't go out of my way to chase this bonus but it seems worth it for an extra 20-30 min over the next month.

May 6, 2017

Are Amex Offers Posting Slower Than Normal?

Amex offers are a great way to extract additional value from Amex cards.  I'm now up to nearly $3K in savings from my stable of Amex cards over the past few years.  Credits have always posted very quickly - within a day or two after meeting the spend requirements.  Emails/mobile notifications would fire immediately.

Well it seems Amex is either making a change to the way things work or they are having IT issues.  Travel With Grant has noticed the same thing and posted a good summary of his experiences a few days ago.

I've qualified for 4 Amex offers in the past couple of weeks (Saks Fifth Avenue, Bouqs, Boxed, and Jonathan Adler).  Only the Boxed and Jonathan Adler credits have posted:

  • Boxed offer on Hilton Amex - posted within 2 days
  • Jonathan Adler offer on Everyday Preferred - posted within 1 day

I'm hoping this is just an IT issue and not Amex posting the credits after the offer expires - that would make it much harder to keep track of.  I'll keep you posted on the other two pending credits.  I

Have you noticed slower credits from Amex on Amex Offers?

April 23, 2017

Double Dip at Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler is one of our favorite home stores.  Everything is super expensive but very much our style.  You can check out the review of our 2016 stay at the Parker Palm Springs (designed by Jonathan Adler) for more context.

I received an email from them offering 20% off any purchase which is a pretty good deal in and of itself since it applies to everything - including furniture pieces that cost thousands of dollars.

A couple of funny things about the offer.  First, there is an expiration (it is ~10 days past) date on the offer but seems to still be working.  Second, when I actually add an item to my cart and apply the offer it seems to be coding as 25% off.

American Express has an Amex offer out for $50 off $250 in spend at Jonathan Adler.  This offer showed up on nearly all of our Amex cards and we were able to add it to 7 of them for a total of $350 off $1250 in spend.

In order to maximize this, you'd need to buy 7 separate gift cards which is annoying but I might just do it.  In theory, you could buy a $1250 item for $588 after combing the promo code with the Amex offer.  It would take a bit of work but you'd be saving nearly $700.

If you are into Jonathan Adler, keep an eye on your email for a promo code and check your Amex offers!

March 26, 2017

AAdvantage Shopping Portal Offering a 10x Bonus

One of the easiest ways to earn extra award miles is to make purchases through an online shopping portal.  American AAdvantage's portal is out with a pretty lucrative bonus that's good through 4/14/17.

Make 3 $50+ purchases and you'll earn 1,500 bonus miles.  That's on top of the miles you'll earn from each online merchant.  Generally the bonuses offered by these portals provide 3 - 5x/dollar spent so 10x is really good.

I'll definitely be taking advantage of this for purchases I would have made anyway.  There are a lot of stores paying out 5x+ so you should be able to earn 15x+ if you split up your purchases.

January 22, 2017

Earn 15x United Miles Per Dollar

For one day only, United's MileagePlus Shopping is offering 15x at a number of stores.

15x is pretty close to 30% off in my book so this is a good to great deal depending on what other discounts/promos you may be able to stack and your needs.

I'm focusing on Neiman Marcus as I was able to add the $50 off $200 Amex Offer to 7 of my/Emily's Amex cards.  I've already used one (on a gift card) and am waiting to validate that I earned miles from the Alaska Mileage Plan 15x bonus last week.  Based on reports and past experience, I suspect I will.

I'm going to go ahead and buy another $200 e-gift card today.  That will definitely trigger the $50 off so no matter what I will be saving $50 on future purchases (clothing, gifts, etc...)  Assuming the 15x comes through, I'll end up with 3,000 miles...when I redeem the gift card in the future, I should be able to triple dip by earning miles/points on the future purchase.

If you were planning to buy something from one of these stores anyway or have an Amex offer on your account, I would definitely take advantage of this deal today.

December 18, 2016

Easy 1,500 Bonus United Miles

One of the easiest ways to earn frequent flier miles is by shopping online.  I am late posting this but all of the major portals (American, Alaska, United) are offering 1,500 bonus miles when you make $200 in purchases through the portal by 12/20.  So you have a couple days left.

7.5x on top of the shopping payout and credit card spend is pretty phenomenal.  I'm sure many of you are still shopping for the holidays and the $200 threshold for 1,500 miles is one of the lowest thresholds I've seen recently.

Keep in mind that discount codes or Amex offers can be stacked with the portal payouts so you can really make out well if you are organized.  I easily hit the portal bonus on my United account and we'll get there on Emily's today.

With an Amex offer thrown in, we'll spend around $380 and earn 4,500 United miles.  Nearly 12x miles earning to dollars spent.  Not bad.

November 5, 2016

United MileagePlus Shopping 5,000 Mile Bonus

United's out with their holiday shopping bonus and it's pretty good.  Not as good as last year, but still pretty good.  As a reminder, many of the large airlines and US hotel programs offer online shopping portals where they award miles/points for shopping online through their portal.  It's pretty simple - go to the portal, search for the online merchant, click-through, and shop as normal.

The bonus (which runs through 11/20) is on top of any miles/points that you'd normally earn through the portal.

The bonus has three tiers ($150, $750, and $1500) and you'll earn 3.33x miles for achieving each threshold.  That is 500, 2500, and 5000 miles for reaching each threshold.  Note that the tiers don't stack so the max you can earn is 5,000 United miles.

$1,500 is a lot of spend across the next two weeks so I'm shooting for the $750 spend threshold.  We're going to get a jump on some early holiday shopping anyway.

We've seen popular merchants (i.e. Sephora, Saks) jump to 15x in recent days so hopefully we'll see that again before the end of the promotion.  Earning 18x+ is pretty close to 35% off.  That's on top of any promo code, Amex offer, or normal credit card spending.

June 19, 2016

1,000 Bonus Miles with United MileagePlus Shopping

United's MileagePlus shopping mall is out with another bonus.  This time, they are offering 1,000 bonus miles for spending $250 between now and 6/30/16.

 They ran a similar promotion in May but there was only a week or so to complete the $250 in spend.  If you're new to earning miles and points by shopping online, you can read the getting started post here.
I'm going to be taking advantage of this promotion as I have a few extra Sephora gift cards to burn.  Sephora is currently paying out at 6x United's portal so for those purchases, I'll be earning 10x points for the purchases leveraging the already discounted gift cards.

May 30, 2016

United Shopping Mall 1,000 Mile Bonus

United's online shopping mall is out with a solid bonus this week.  Spend $250 prior to June 5th and you'll receive 1,000 bonus miles.  That's in addition to the bonused spend through the mall and credit card spend.

Earn rates seem to be fairly low (most stores between 1 and 3 bonus miles) at the moment - much different than the bonuses we usually see during the holidays (5 - 15x).  That said if you are going to spend $250 on stuff this week anyway, you might as well take advantage.  A store offering 2x turns into 6x plus any points you'd receive from credit card spend.

Here are the full rules if you are interested.

April 19, 2016

$25 Off on Gift Cards at

Amex is out with a great new Amex Offer providing $25 savings on a $100 purchase at  The offer runs through 6/19 and is good on gift cards, just not electronic gift cards.  If you go through an online shopping portal, you may be able to earn an additional 2-3x miles or points from the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall.

Note that the offer is targeted and I wasn't targeted on any of my 5 American Express cards.  Emily did receive the offer on all three of her cards and I was able to successfully add it to all three (open up a new tab in your browser, select each card in a different tab, navigate to the offer, and you should be able to add it multiple times. sells a variety of gift cards.  A Visa gift card comes with a $6.99 purchase charge while other gift cards (i.e. Starbucks, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, etc...) come with a $1.99 purchase charge and free shipping.

So you could easily pick up a $100 gift card for $101.99 and then receive a $25 statement credit back from Amex.

I will be maximizing this deal by purchasing three $100 gift cards (non Visa to merchants we'd spend money at anyway) for a total savings of $69 not including the Membership Rewards points and cash back I'll earn for the purchases.

You can check to see if you were targeted online or on the mobile app by clicking on "Offers."

April 9, 2016

How to Earn 5x This Quarter at Costco

Chase has offered some phenomenal deals on their no annual fee Freedom card over the last 6 months.  In Q4, the 5x bonus category was Amazon which provided for some great pre holiday shopping opportunities.  Even better, they provided 10x points for a 6 week period at Amazon.  That is a 20% return (10x the 2 cent value for Chase Ultimate Rewards points) assuming you carry the Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards.  That was an easy 15,000 (10x $1,500) bonus Ultimate Rewards points which could then be transferred to United, BA, or Hyatt (among others).

On the surface, the 5x quarterly bonus at grocery stores, BJ's, and Sam's Club isn't that exciting.  Yes, you can buy gift cards at grocery stores and liquidate them, but that's a lot of work.  Sure, you'll get 5x points on your grocery spend but our quarterly grocery bill for two isn't going to hit the $1,500 quarterly max.

Well, via OMAAT, it seems that will count towards the 5x bonus!  While Costco physical locations do not take credit cards other than American Express, will accept Visa.  This means you can purchase all sorts of items (similar to the Amazon promo) and you'll receive 5x points.  We are in the market for some outdoor furniture and actually has a pretty great selection.  5x points is essentially a 10% rebate on what is already a discounted price.

I haven't tested this personally but plan to make a purchase this weekend.  I'll report back on my own results once the transaction settles.

April 3, 2016

How Shopping Online Can Put Money Back in Your Pocket

Shopping online can yield tens of thousands of bonus miles and points per year.  An extra minute or two tacked onto each purchase isn't much when you think about the value that time can generate.

This isn't the first time I've written about a great mileage earning deal at Sephora or a successful triple/quadruple dip.  These are great anecdotes to share because they illustrate the point (get it) that with a small amount of extra time, you can generate an outsized return on your online shopping spend.  Especially if you redeem the miles and points earned for premium travel.

eBay is pretty consistently selling gift cards at a discount.  A few weeks ago they were selling $110 Sephora gift cards for $100.  Emily is always good for a Sephora purchase and I can usually find some things on the "need this" list as well.

December 19, 2015

An Unexpected Bonus from Amex

Back in September, I wrote about a successful triple dip at Saks leveraging an awesome Amex Offer.   If you're new to Amex Offers, stay tuned...I'm working on a more comprehensive overview as we go into 2016.  I've saved over $1,500 this year along leveraging them across all of my Amex cards.

Anyway, we needed a couple of things for the house and ended up making a purchase of $436 while earning nearly 12,500 United Miles and American Express Membership Rewards.  For whatever reason, that number recently increased to 18,500 as Amex posted the bonus miles to my account twice!

6,000 point bonus twice

I value United miles and Amex MR points at pretty close to $.02 a piece and often get far greater value out of them than $.02.  So in my mind, that's a $370 rebate on a $436 purchase.  Thanks for the holiday gift/bonus/error Amex!!!

December 13, 2015

eBags Price Guarantee Comes Through

I primarily travel with a Briggs & Riley Baseline carry-on that I've had for about 5 years.  Even on a long international trip, I try to bring the carry-on if possible.  The bag is indestructible and I highly recommend it.

Emily is typically packing a bit more (we have a giant Briggs and Riley as well) and so we're usually checking a bag for her.  Somehow I was able to convince her to carry-on to Dubai which is an accomplishment I'm quite proud of.  On the way home, we had accumulated enough stuff done a fair amount of shopping and needed to check bags home.  We ended up with 4 checked bags and several carry-ons which was just too many bags to be lugging 11,000 miles home.

Giant Briggs & Riley lost...then found

So I've been looking for a new "medium sized" bag for future travels.  You can generally find good deals on luggage at Amazon and department stores across the year...and it seems luggage is a great thing to purchase late in the year as well - lots of sales.  I've also purchased several bags from Denver based eBags over the years and have been pleased with their pricing.

I actually found the 25" TravelPro we were interested in purchasing on eBags and Amazon.  The price was nearly $50 cheaper on Amazon (prices have changed several times since my purchase) so I sent in a "price guarantee" to eBags to see if they would match.  A day later I received an email that they would match and provide a 10% discount!

This was actually a quintuple dip:

1)  I purchased the bag for $175 on eBags who provided a $53 credit back to my card for the price match + 10% discount
2)  I put the purchase on my Starwood Preferred Guest Amex which triggered a $10 eBags Amex Offer
3)  I made the purchase through an online shopping portal offering me 10% off the entire purchase
4)  I used past eBags credit (about to expire) to save another $16 on the bag
5)  I earned 5% for a future purchase at eBags which I'll use for holiday shopping

My true out of pocket expense for the bag was about $73 - not bad!

November 10, 2015

Earn 5,000 American AAdvantage Miles

American's shopping portal is now out with a lucrative holiday bonus offer.  Not as good as the United offer but still pretty good if you're into AA miles.  You get a couple of extra days with this offer (through 11/26 vs. 11/24) and the bonus thresholds differ slightly.

Earn AA bonus miles by shopping through 11/26
If you shop through AA's online shopping portal through 11/26, you'll earn:

  • 450 miles after $150 in spend (3x)
  • 2,000 miles after $450 in spend (4.4x)
  • 5,000 miles after $1,200 in spend (4.2x)

The $450 spend threshold is the sweet spot on this offer at 4.4x.  I've already started working towards the 3,000 miles United bonus so will continue to focus there as a I get a head start on my holiday shopping.

November 7, 2015

Big Holiday Bonus from United Shopping

United's MileagePlus Shopping portal is out with a pretty lucrative bonus for the holidays.  As a reminder, all the large airlines and US hotel programs offers online shopping portals where they award miles/points for shopping through their portal.  It's pretty simple - go to the portal, search for the store (i.e. Nordstrom, Best Buy, etc...) and click-through.  Shop as normal.

The bonus (which runs through 11/24) is in addition to the miles you'd earn through the portal.  Here's the earnings structure:

  • 500 bonus miles for $150 in spend (3.33x)
  • 3000 bonus miles for $650 in spend (4.62x)
  • 6000 bonus miles for $1250 in spend (4.8x)

That is a pretty strong bonus.  $1,250 is a lot of spend in a few weeks but I think $650 seems doable especially if you're getting a head start on holiday shopping.  Let's look at a hypothetical example at the $650 spend level:

  • Spend $650 at Nordstrom (currently 6x) and earn 3,900 miles
  • Earn another 650 miles for the spend on your credit card
  • Earn 3,000 bonus award miles

That's a total of 7,550 miles on $650 in spend.  I've seen stores (like Nordstrom) go 12x+ in November to entice people to shop early.  So be patient - possible that you could earn more than 18 miles per dollar spent at some point in the next few weeks.  Keep an eye on your email as I'm sure the other portals will be putting out competing holiday offers soon.

September 26, 2015

A Successful (Saks) Triple Dip

Perry's brought a lot of joy to our lives but she's also destroyed a few things.  The one time we let her on the bed (to play) she clawed a giant hole in our sheet.  Note to self - never do that again.  So we needed new sheets.

Last week, Saks Fifth Avenue sent me a promo code in the mail for $100 off $500 in spend.  Amex added an Amex Offer that provided 6,000 Membership Rewards Points ($120 value to me) for $400 in spend.  United temporarily increased their shopping portal payout at Saks to 15x.

Call it a perfect storm.

I wouldn't ordinarily purchase sheets from Saks but this was too good of a deal to pass up.  We were able to find sheets, pillow cases, and a few towels we've been needing to purchase anyway for a total of $536 with tax and shipping.  Going through the United portal and leveraging my promo code and Amex offer, I received:

  • 6,436 American Express MR points
  • 6,300 United Miles
I value both currencies at around 2 cents and I would actually buy them at that rate if I had an award in mind.  After the coupon, I paid $436 and received $254 in point value back.  That's $182 for some really nice sheets that we had to purchase regardless.

Everyone will value their points differently but for the time it took to execute this trip dip (less than 15 minutes) I'm quite pleased.

April 5, 2015

AAdvantage eShopping Mall Bonus

The Advantage eShopping Mall is offering some pretty great deals at the moment.  If you aren't familiar with online shopping portals, read this post first.  Here's one of the best examples where you can literally quadruple dip on your earnings.

First, spend $155 at eBags (buy that new suitcase you've been eyeing) through the AA eShopping Mall.  You will earn:

  • eBags is now offering 12x AA miles through the portal through 4/11/15.  That is 1,500 AA miles after the discounts below.  You'll also earn 250 bonus miles based on the AA eShopping Mall current promotion
  • American Express Offers is offering a $15 statement credit after spending $75
  • eBags will give you $20 off a purchase of $100 or more
  • eBags will also give you 5% back on this purchase to redeem 

Pretty unbelievable.  For $155 in spend, you will receive $35 off so you'll actually spend $120.  You will also earn 1,750 AA miles which I value at $35.  Plus 5% back from eBags gets you another $6 to use in the future.   That is nearly 50% off your purchase!!!

February 16, 2015

50% Off at Neiman Marcus with Visa Checkout

Neiman Marcus is offering $50 off a purchase of $100 (regular priced merchandise only) when you pay with Visa Checkout.  If you don't already have Visa Checkout, it takes all of 3 minutes to signup. The deal expires tomorrow, 2/17.  To get the deal, select "pay with Visa Checkout" and you'll automatically receive $50 off your order.

Yes, Neiman Marcus is insanely overpriced and most of the stuff they sell is more than $100.  That said, they do have a lot of great travel stuff including Tumi accessories.  You could pick up a travel kit for $95 and add some socks to clear the $100 threshold.

I was able to get a Tumi Alpha Bravo travel kit (last one so no longer available) which retailed for $115 but I scored it for $65.  I also used my ShopRunner account to get free 2-day shipping and went through the Shop with Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall and earned 5x points on the purchase.

This is a pretty good deal if you were already in the market for something that NM sells.

October 25, 2014

How to Train Your Wife

Before we took our first long haul trip (December 2012) together, I couldn't get Emily to do any of her online shopping through miles earning shopping portals.  It just "took too much time" and "wasn't worth it" she told me.

Chase Freedom 5x Quarterly Bonus Categories

This morning she was looking for some shoes at Bloomingdale's and not only was she using her Chase Freedom card to earn 5x points (quarterly bonus) but she was double dipping going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall earning another 5x.  Ultimate Rewards points are worth about $.02 to me so that's 20% off (10 x $.02) the purchase for maybe an extra two minutes of work.

Not sure how she changed her behavior but I have a feeling this is what happened..