If you aren't using shopping portals before making purchases online, you are leaving tons of cash – or points and miles – on the table.
Shopping portals are an easy way to earn cash, points, or miles for almost every purchase you make online. It's as simple as remembering to click through one of many portals in order to earn those points rather than going straight to the store's site. The challenge is knowing which of the dozens of shopping portals is going to get you the best bang for your buck.
Enter CashBack Monitor.
CashBack Monitor is an invaluable resource because it can guide you to the best shopping portal for each and every purchase. Just type in the retailer you're buying from, and it will show you which shopping portals are offering the best bonuses. Just click through, start shopping, and earn more back.
We'll walk through everything you need to know about using CashBack Monitor before making your next online purchase. Visit the CashBack Monitor website here.
What is CashBack Monitor?
Keeping track of current shopping portal bonuses could be a full-time job.
But CashBack Monitor aggregates data from travel airline and credit card shopping portals and cashback portals alike and updates them in almost real-time with the current offers. It's one of the best ways to maximize your spending before you make your purchase.
From here, you can click through the portal of your choosing on the way to making your online purchase. The service is completely free and should be the first place you visit before making any purchase online.
Literally thousands of retailers participate in cashback or shopping portal programs. And if you aren't using them, you are leaving valuable points or miles (or cashback) on the table.
How Does CashBack Monitor Work?
Let me give you an example of just how CashBack Monitor works. I need to make a purchase at Macy's. But before I head to the Macy's website, I first head out to CashBack Monitor to figure out where I can get the best deal for making a purchase.
Once I get to the website, I can search for the specific retailer in the upper left corner of the page. You will also see in the very top left hand corner when the data was last refreshed. And typically, the data is never more than a few hours old.
After pulling up Macy's on the CashBack Monitor website, you can see the vast amount of options below. If I want to prioritize earning cashback, I can earn up to 8% back on every dollar I spend with Top Cashback, or even 6% back with Rakuten (formerly Ebates). In fact, with Rakuten, I even have the option of earning 6x American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar spent since I carry a credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points.
Each store will have a number of different columns displaying different types of cash back and travel rewards options. The lists will be sorted with programs offering the highest bonus at the top.
You will see that it is possible to earn 6x Chase Ultimate Rewards points by using the Shop Through Chase portal, or miles with just about every domestic airline. I can even earn points with a few hotel chains for shopping at Macy's if I choose to do so.
Once I've decided which program to go with, I can simply click through the link on CashBack Monitor and it will take me to the appropriate screen with either the cashback or shopping portal of my choice. It's important to note that you will need to first create an account with any of the cashback or shopping portals before you can use them.
Because I hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I have access to the Shop Through Chase portal. And because I often prioritize earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points over other points and miles currencies, I have decided to use this portal to make my Macy's purchase.
Once I click through the link on CashBack Monitor, I can then log into my Chase account and click the link which will redirect me to Macy's website.
As long as I don't close the browser window before completing my purchase, I will earn an additional 6x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on every dollar I spend at Macy's. This is in addition to the points I will earn on whatever credit card I use to make the purchase. In fact, you don't even need to use the card associated with the shopping portal to earn the bonus. You are free to use whatever card you choose.
How Do I Sign Up For an Online Shopping Portal Account?
To have an airline shopping portal account, all you need is a frequent flyer account which is free to create. Once you have determined which portal you would like to shop through, all you need to do is go to the portal website and sign up for a free account. However, your login info will be different than your actual airline frequent flyer account.
And if you are using Google Chrome as your web browser, you will be able to add a chrome extension to alert you when you are shopping on a page that offers an airline portal shopping bonus. See how this works with Delta's SkyMiles shopping portal.
You can sign up for a shopping portal account with all the major airlines below.
And if you plan on using the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal you will need to hold an Ultimate Rewards earning credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in order to shop and earn bonus points.
View the Best Rate History
Another great option available within CashBack Monitor is the ability to view the best rate history. Because of the variability of the portal offerings, even with the CashBack Monitor tool, it can be hard to know if the current offer is a good one, or if waiting will give you the opportunity to earn more points.
And once you are on the retailer's CashBack Monitor page, you can click the “View Best Rate History button” to help shed some light.
It will show you the best recent offerings in each category. And after looking at the Credit Card Points Best Rate history below, I see that 6x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at Macy's appears to be about as good as it gets.
Many of the portals will run promotional deals to earn more points at specific retailers from time to time. Make sure to keep an eye on these offerings to maximize your points and miles earning potential.
Use the CashBack Monitor BookMarklet
Another cool feature offered by CashBack Monitor is the BookMarklet tool. By simply visiting this link and dragging the specified link into your web browser's favorites bar, you will be able to quickly and easily pull up the CashBack Monitor page from the store you are visiting.
This might eliminate a few clicks if you end up on a website before you first visit CashBack Monitor.
Points and miles earned from shopping portals are some of the easiest rewards you will ever earn. It's a great way to earn something extra from shopping you are going to do anyway.
And there isn't a better option than CashBack Monitor to track and keep you up to date on which portal is offering the best deal for your specific purchase. The best part? It is completely free to use. Don't leave free points and miles on the table.