Thursday Giveaway $250 Gift Card And The Winner of 26,000 US Airways Miles

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Last week, American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping was offering a limited-time bonus of 12X miles per $1 at Bloomingdales, and in this post, I wrote about how you could maximize the offer by stacking it with the Chase Freedom‘s 5X quarterly bonus spending categories – which include department stores such as Bloomie’s – right now.

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 9.26.16 AMWhile that offer has expired, AAdvantage eShopping is now offering 12X miles per $1 at Sears, another of the Freedom’s qualifying department stores, now through October 12. That means if you click through the American portal and use your Freedom card to pay for the purchase, you’ll earn 5 X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on top of the 12 American miles for a total of 17 points/miles plus an extra $5 off if you use the code SEARS2013 at checkout.

Then if you also sign up for Plink, and register Sears as one of your merchants then link your Freedom card to your account, you can earn 300 points (worth 1 cent apiece) per $50 in Sears gift cards you purchase if you have time for this extra step.

The Freedom's category spending bonus is at department stores.
The Freedom’s category spending bonus is at department stores.

I value American miles at about 1.9 cents apiece and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece since if you have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards – the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus – they become much more valuable since you can transfer them to any of the program’s 10 transfer partners including United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. Check out this post for how to maximize the Freedom/Sapphire Preferred/Ink combination’s points-earning potential and just be sure you have activated your Chase Freedom for the category bonuses. That means for every dollar you spend, you’re getting about 33% back in value!

Then when you actually go to use your Sears gift cards, you can actually click back through AAdvantage eShopping and earn another 12X miles per dollar you spend even using your gift cards if you do so while this promo is still live.

Yes, there are a lot of steps, but if you take the time to go through the portals and use the card that maximizes your points earning at a particular merchant, you can earn tons of bonus points not only when specials like this Sears bonus comes along, but with your everyday online shopping. That’s why I always say shopping portals are one of the most lucrative ways to rack up points and miles on your everyday spending.

So for this week’s Thursday Giveaway, I’ll be purchasing a $250 Sears gift card (and earning 1,250 Ultimate Rewards points and 3,000 American miles!) for one lucky winner.

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your best tip for maximizing online shopping – whether it’s a particular site you visit to find the best bonuses like EVReward.com, a specific shopping portal that always seems to offer the best deals, or other creative ways of stacking bonuses to earn even more miles and points on every dollar you spend.

Just be sure to comment by 5:00pm ET on Monday, October 14 and we’ll announce the winner here next week.

And if you’re interested in stacking some bonuses with your Freedom card, some of the other department stores offering bonuses at this time include:

Bloomingdales: 5X Ultimate Rewards, 3X American and Choice Privileges, 2X Delta, Hilton, Southwest, United, US Airways

Kohl’s: 10X Ultimate Rewards, 2X American, Hilton, Southwest, 3X Marriott

Macy’s: 5X Ultimate Rewards, 3X American and Choice Privileges, 2X Delta, Hilton, Southwest, United, US Airways

Nordstrom: 5X Ultimate Rewards, 7X Amtrak and Choice, 4X American and Marriott, 3X Hilton and Southwest, 2X Delta, Frontier, United and US Airways

Sears: 5X Ultimate Rewards, 8X Southwest, 3X Amtrak, Choice, Delta, United, US Airways

And the Winner of the 26,000 US Airways Miles Is…

Last week's Thursday Giveaway was inspired by the Share Miles promotion.
Last week’s Thursday Giveaway was inspired by the Share Miles promotion.

For last week’s Thursday Giveaway, I decided to reward one lucky reader with 26,000 US Airways Mies, in celebration of the 100% US Airways Share Miles bonus. The point of the contest was to tell me how you have helped someone in the past with miles and points, or how someone has helped you.

Last week’s winner was Ryan Zalewski who commented:

Flew my brother back from Europe on Delta last November to surprise my parents for Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, the coach awards were pricing as high level (130k), but there was a business elite low level award at 100k. So I actually saved money and got my brother over here in style!

Not only did Ryan share his miles, but he showed a lot of savvy doing so and scored his brother a business class seat for fewer miles than an economy award would have cost. Congrats Ryan! We’ll be in touch soon, and thanks for everyone for their great entries. Good luck on this week’s contest!

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