Maximize Your Black Friday Shopping with Online Shopping Portals
If you plan on doing any online shopping today or on Cyber Monday, make sure you are taking advantage of the many online points & miles shopping portals. Almost all of the major airlines and one of our favorite credit cards programs have an online shopping portal, allowing you to earn bonus miles or points for your purchases. These are free points on everyday purchases!
What Exactly are Online Shopping Portals?
Each shopping portal is run by a third party website that offers consumers an incentive for shopping at different retailers affiliated with the portal. In exchange for directing you to a specified retailer, the portal will take a cut of any purchase you make from the retailer, and they’ll give you points or miles as a reward.
You will ultimately benefit by being awarded points/miles, and the retailer gets more traffic because of consumers making purchasing decisions based on shopping portal bonuses. This really is a situation in which everybody wins.
Further, the points and miles you earn through shopping portals are in addition to the points and miles you earn on the credit card used to pay for the transaction. You do not have to use an affiliated airline credit card through the corresponding portal. This allows you to work towards minimum spending requirements for credit card welcome offers, stack category multipliers, or even utilize gift cards for your purchase.
For the majority of the shopping portals, all you need is a frequent flyer/loyalty account number. Once you have determined which portal you would like to shop through, you need to go to the portal website and sign up for an account. From here, you simply click the retailer of your choosing and you will be redirected to the website to complete your purchase.
Which Programs Offer Points & Miles for Online Shopping?
As mentioned above, most of the major airlines have an online shopping portal. Deciding which portal to use depends mostly on your travel goals and the points & miles you are trying to stockpile. Your first stop before making any online purchase should be one of my favorite websites, CashBackMonitor.com. CashBack Monitor will give you an overview of every portal offering a bonus at the retailer of your choosing.
In the example below, I did a quick search for the website BackCountry.com, an online retailer of outdoor gear. As you can see, there are a number of options to earn either cash back, airline miles or my personal favorite, Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal does require you to hold an Ultimate rewards earning credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in order to shop. See below for a listing of some of our favorite shopping portal options.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta SkyMiles
- Hawaiian Airlines
- United Airlines
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
Thrifty Tip: Make sure to see if your shopping portal offers a browser extension like Ebates or Delta SkyMiles shopping. This makes it almost impossible to forget about using the portal while doing your online shopping.
If you are going to be partaking in the craziness that is Black Friday or Cyber Monday, make sure you are using a shopping portal to maximize every dollar you spend. Additionally, check CashBack Monitor to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Each shopping portal will run promotions throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. Because of this, the best portal to use at a certain retailer may change from time to time. For example, I received an email from the Shop through Chase platform on Wednesday informing me of a few retailers that were offering increased portal bonuses through November 30th.
This is why it is always a good idea to start your portal journey at CashBack Monitor, to ensure you are using the portal offering the most value.
My approach to online shopping portals is very simple. If I can buy something online through a portal and avoid a retail brick and mortar store while earning points & miles in the process, it’s a no-brainer. I will always choose the points, and you should too!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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