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

by on October 10, 2013 · 199 comments

in Shopping, Thursday Giveaway

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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, 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!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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{ 199 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Karolian October 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Just plain old SPG Amex, 1 point per dollar spent.

Ben October 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Not swinging for the fences here… buy amazon gift card at staples with an Ink card

lamonster October 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

For all online shopping I tend to check at a bare minimum the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and TopCashBack before I buy anything. Having a way to earn a few extra points or cash back on every purchase is always helpful.

bydh October 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I usually just check into the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal right before I check out at any online store.

Leslie Mellard Pineyro October 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I check with the Points Guy of course and follow his insightful lead like a lemur!

Kevin P October 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I always go to first when shopping. my favorite combo is using the AA portal to get to and buying gift cards with my Chase Ink! 2 miles per $ on AA and 5x the UR points from Chase.

Jason October 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I always check the Ultimate Rewards shopping site or United MileagePlus shopping site before making a purchase. Even some obscure, specialty stores qualify for great rewards.

Jeff M October 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I always look for ways of stacking bonuses on the things I going to buy anyways such as the jeans I recently bought from Kohls for 109 and racked in

2200 AA miles
1860 UR Points

by going through the AA portal last month when they were offering 2000pts for a $50 or more purchase to buy a $100 e-gift card to kohl’s on my Ink Bold. Then buying my jeans through the UR Mall with the gift card and Sapphire for another bonus

All told I got 40x for a few more clicks.

Ernest S. October 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I check evrewards whenever I order anything online (except Amazon). For Amazon, I usually get a $100 gift card from Staples using my Chase Ink card. That way I maximize points and keep myself from overspending at Amazon!

Tyler Brown October 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm via the Southwest portal and purchase with a Sapphire/Ink card….2x points on SW and 5x point on UR. Since UR transfer 1:1 to Southwest, it’s essentially 7pts/dollar with Southwest!

Chip October 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I always try to hit evrewards, but i don’t always remember. I also find that sometimes evrewards doesn’t show awards from American Airlines, so I check their shopping portal as well.

MSV October 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I go through swagbucks for online shopping and they often offer bonus points which redeem for Amazon gift cards.

David October 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Use There are tons of other tips, but the BEST tip is to use every time!

Ahmed October 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I first buy gift cards by perusing to find the best value, then double dip via a portal and use the GC. Most recently did this on the Bloomingdale’s 12x offer. Got the card for 7% off and then the 12% on top.

Octavian October 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Check Chases Ultimatre Reward rental car prices, they usually are the lowest

Marlene October 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm

My favorite for reliability is Ebates, but I definitely always check first in order to maximize savings!

Tom October 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Just never pay cash or paypal

Joe S October 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Ultimate Rewards portal. Always.

Sarah C October 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I always check

Guest October 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

don’t forget sign up for the Shop Your Way Rewards also that Sears has. Once you sign up, there are usually good digital coupons on the site to use. Also Ultra Plus Laundry Detergent w/ Stain Fighter, 125 Loads is on sale for half price right now ($7.99). Sign up for Max trial and 2 day shipping of these heavy boxes is free!

Kim October 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I love shopping at Kohl’s and getting 10 points (through Chase UR mall) + 5 points (3rd and 4th quarter of 2013). Sometimes, I buy GCs from Kohl’s through UR mall to maximize points earnings. But, plain 15 points per dollar spent is amazing enough!

Jordan October 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Always check reward portals first, but be sure to check for accuracy if 2 options seem close

AC October 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I always check Ultimated Reward portal before I shop!

Saianel October 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

My best tip is gift certificates through AA shopping portal… You get 11 points / dollar offers your $25 gift certificates for just $10… They also offers promo codes to save even more… Currently, the promo code is GENIUS and you get $25 for just $4!

I save A LOT of money eating out using the site AND I get 11 points / dollar!

How much better can it get?!

Matthew Ender October 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

ShopDiscover has some great value, 5% cashback minimum at most online retailers, with some earning up to 20%. Pair that with their Q4 5% category of Online Spending and you’re looking at a minimum of 10% cashback for 99% of your online shopping needs.

Steven October 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I always check the Ultimate Rewards portal before I shop!

Simon October 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Ultimate Rewards portal. Each and everytime.

Gabriel October 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I check Cashbackholic so I can compare mile opportunities with cash back. Sometimes cash back wins

Chris October 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Check all my online purchases through to maximize the bonus.

railingk October 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Cashback Monitor is a no frills site which seems to be more up to date on bonuses than EVreward.

John Perri October 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I use ebates and topcashback. I check both and select the one with the higher cash back.

MarcMon October 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Always compare shopping portals to make sure you are not missing out on any bonus points

Nguyen October 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Use Chase Ink Plus/Bold to buy merchandise gift cards at Office Depot, or OfficeMax, or Staples to earn 5x, and then use those gift cards to purchase through Chase Ultimate Reward Mall for extra points. Thanks.

Benjamin Szweda October 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

AA’s portal seems to offer best deals lately. Using my AA Citi card I get even more points.

Rick October 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I generally try to match up the Chase Freedom category bonus to the Ultimate Rewards mall for all those extra UR points.

Rich October 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Chase ultimate rewards portal to by gift cards , then use them through the portal at the store they are for

Jeff Gardner October 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Dont forget to sign up for Shop Your Way Rewards on sears .Also if you buy stuff on sears.Check walmart,target, kohls,bestbuy and they pricematch it.Sears is pretty good about it and you can use their online form to pricematch.Buy sears gift card from staples using chase bold,use it on aa.2+5+12 = 19 points.I think plink is too time consuming and I have a day time job.

Trevor W. October 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I always check the Ultimate Rewards portal before making an online purchase. The miles pile up!

Robert P October 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to purchase gift cards, and then use them through the portal at the store they are for.

Terry October 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Actually my tip is do not try to risk your purchase through some unreliable shopping portal. Sometimes, A might offer 5X pts/miles or 5% CB while Chase (for example) only offers 2 pts on each dollar you spend. Make sure A is a reliable site to earn extra pts/miles/CB. Normally, I just select the portal that I can trust. Although I might not get the maximized return, I don’t need to worry if I can get the rewards on time at right amount. Just my 2 cents.

Ron October 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Read the Frequent Miler blog daily.

Mike October 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Will be primarily using CashBack Monitor from here on out based on Frequent Miler’s recommendation.

undertoe6 October 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm


Lisa K October 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I check to check out the highest payout.

Peter October 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Read Mommypoints blog, she always has the full list of the shopping portals that have the most points! :)

Eric October 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

You arrive home and have to move the multiple packages from J.Crew, Pottery Barn and Sur La Table to get into front door. Which to ask?

1. “Honey, how much did you spend?”

2. “Honey, did you remember to use CashBack Monitor?”

I’m still happily married after 13 years thanks to the ability to ask the second question. There are other benefits to portals besides cash and miles.

MakiEsq October 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Probably the Staples/Ink Card purchase of gift cards, redeeming them through appropriate portals – offering the greatest earn rate.

philly October 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm

use http://www.evrewards and a few great bloggers for all the best deals.

Jimg October 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Definitely use EVRewards before purchasing anything online.

J West October 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I always check before purchasing anything online.

Angela October 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Always compare shopping portals as you never know which one may have better bonuses

Sheng October 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Check before making a purchase. Sometimes it’s not always accurate. Don’t use 10x through Ultimate Rewards. It never worked for me. I sent out secured message to Chase to argue for points. They said I did click their link but the transaction doesn’t count. Not just once, every time they said the same thing. A little disappointed. Anyway, Freedom gives 5x on That’s some comfort.

Sandeep B October 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

always combine cashback portal with category bonus credit cards!

glen October 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Check all my online purchases through to maximize the bonus.

Randy October 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

It never hurts to ask family or close friends if they need for you to pick up something while you’re shopping a portal. Cut them in on part of the rewards thought.

asar October 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Use cashbackmonitor for monitoring the cashback/points deals before shopping at any site.

Kevin October 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I subscribe to the Frequent Miler newsletter to stay up to date on the best offers available.

socalgecko October 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I follow a laundry list of blogs and that’s really been my most valuable strategy so far.

Colin October 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I always check There’s other sites and I’m sure it’s not perfect but having one place to check is simple enough that I remember to check for every purchase!

snakedoc1 October 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Use to check prices before making any purchases.

steve October 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I use cashbackholic for a more comprehensive list of online shopping portals

Jason October 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I usually check with a few bloggers first to see what the best deals are before i pull the trigger.

tshark42 October 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I always check before I make an online purchase. It is not 100% accurate since pay rates change constantly, but its one of the better sights out there and it does help me try to maximize my purchase.

Susan October 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I follow the blogs… and check in at Frequent Miler frequently

greg z October 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Always check evreward and frequent milers labratory

Heather L. Cannady October 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I use the Ultimate Rewards Portal and go to Staples to buy Home Depot E-Gift cards and then back through UR Portal to the Home Depot site and use the same cards to buy home improvement items I need.

Heather L. Cannady October 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I check to compare portals, but then check the blogs (like the amazing The Points Guy) to make sure I am getting the best deal.

CR October 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

i maximize miles by purchasing Xmas gifts starting in August, which allows me uduse the best offers by combining bank/credit card offers with airlines offers i get thru emails and blogs. takes sime planning, but helps also to spread ourt the spending

Rob P October 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

CashBackMonitor is good for finding the best portal. Also some portals log you out after a while and you won’t get points…don’t linger.

Dan October 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I keep it simple – just use

Chris October 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Always compare portals for the better deal

Uri October 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I use evreward but also check the credit card discounts that visa sometimes has.

Bret October 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Follow the blogs and check

Dina October 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I use cashbackoholic and evreward to check because cashback is better for cashback sites and evrewards is better for mileage sites.

Jay October 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I try to remember to check evreward when I make purchases online

John Ruda October 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I just recently went through the MileagePlus shopping portal to earn 12 miles per $1 at JC Penney as well as the 500 miles bonus for their MileagePlus recent promo for a $50+ purchase at any portal merchant. I paid with my Chase Freedom to get the 5% back as well.

Gabriel P October 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Buy amazon/Sears gift cards and sell them to all my amazon sears shopping friends!

Jacob October 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm frequently ha great sales on magazines with portal bonuses of up to 25x.

Alexis L October 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I always check before making a purchase, and then I check a few blogs, such as yours and mommy points, to see if there are any good bonus offers running when I’m making a large purchase.

BOSHappyflyer October 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I always check out evrewards first! Always nice to top up or to extend expiration. If nothing seems appealing I go through ebates for cash back. :)

Chris October 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Cashbackmonitor and evreward are the sites I check.

howaaman October 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I like to check evreward for the best site, and I try to find a coupon code to decrease my spend!

Scuta October 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

My default is ultimate rewards but I check cashbackholic!

Pamela October 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I use evreward to find the best deal, but I’m still new to this, so trying to figure out and learn new things from people like those on this blog.

Ryan October 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Check evreward! Love that site.

nrdk October 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm

cashback monitor is by far the most accurate, been using it for a long time

ASW October 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I was lucky enough to receive last month’s AAdvantage targeted offer for 2000 miles for a $35 cumulative spend before September 30th. Bought some things I actually needed and am now waiting for the miles to post.

Stephen Lioy October 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm

No matter who you shop with, make sure to take screenshots in case the points don’t post automatically and you have to follow-up!

Dee October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I love Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to Staples for gift cards with my Chase Ink, then back to Ultimate Rewards portal to buy what I need. Just bought $1100 water heater + installation at Sears a few weeks ago. Got something like 13 URs/$1 + Sears Shop Your Way discount and points.

Why couldn’t the water heater have waited 3 weeks to crash?

Anita bah October 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm

I used ultimate reward portal to buy my wash

Biggles209 October 10, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I have had mixed luck with online shopping mall purchases tracking correctly – and if they don’t track, you’re in for a lot of work to get the points to post. My tip is to use a new Chrome incognito window for every transaction. Start with the target site, log in (this ensures that if another tab is opened to handle the log in it will not complicate the actual purchase tracking), and make sure the shopping cart is empty, Then go to the mall site in this first tab, log in, and click through to the target site.Add the goods to the cart, and check out. If anything unusual happens, close the browser window and start over. So far, this has worked 100% for me.

Mehdi October 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm

ultimate rewards or

Anita October 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Washer dryer set with rebates on top of ultimate rewards so I charge fill amount on my chase then get rebates from lowes
Stupid phone cut my initial comment off

Charlotte (TYR) October 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Check evrewards before I buy and ALWAYS take screen shots. Amazing how sometimes they want to pretend that you did not purchase anything!

Carl Cheng October 11, 2013 at 12:06 am

As an avid gamer, it took me awhile to figure out the best way to get miles with it. The best way, along with a lot of other items, is to combine the Chase Ink cards with the Ultimate Rewards Mall and buy e-gift certificates from Staples to get 7 or 8 miles per dollar (depending on how many miles Staples is offering at the moment).

Ramsey October 11, 2013 at 12:08 am

I check Amex Sync for any deals on my Amex card.

MYRflyer October 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

I hardly ever buy products online or offline because I’m cheap! But when I do, is my first stop, second would be ultimate rewards portal. Please pick me, I could use that 250gc for a new lawnmower at Sears :^) MYRflyer @ FT

Tom October 11, 2013 at 12:28 am

Buying Amazon gift cards at Staples with my Ink card!

elteetrav October 11, 2013 at 1:39 am

I use evrewards to check shopping portal bonuses before making any online purchase. In addition, even for small ticket items that I buy often, I check online sources to see if it makes sense to switch my purchases to an internet store that’s got a great bonus. In many cases, with free shipping, I save money and a trip to the store, as well as racking up the points.

Em October 11, 2013 at 2:08 am

I go through ultimate rewards portal to my shopping site.

apf105 October 11, 2013 at 2:36 am

Savings tip #1 – Hide credit cards from wife (kidding..sort of). #2 Use gift cards bought at discount,,, and/or plink.

Mark October 11, 2013 at 3:37 am

Buying gas cards at Ralph and redeem 20cent discount at Shell

Yaokai Jiang October 11, 2013 at 5:01 am

I think cashbackholic is always pretty reliable.

Mandy October 11, 2013 at 5:33 am

The best tip I seem to use over and over again is to keep up with purchases you make through online portals and contact the portal if they don’t credit you with the points or money. More often than not, they will credit you if you e-mail your receipt information.

BobChi October 11, 2013 at 6:18 am

Always combine purchases if possible to meet a threshhold for avoiding shipping charges. Add in something you don’t need yet, but will certainly buy eventually.

Mark R. October 11, 2013 at 6:54 am

Dining for miles is a nobrainer,

Derf October 11, 2013 at 7:18 am

I always use before any purchase online.

Nathan October 11, 2013 at 7:58 am

Cashbackholic is a terrific resource!

Mileman41 October 11, 2013 at 8:06 am

EVReward is great…but for UR Portal, always make sure you are using the card that gets you the most points if there are differences between, say the Freedom and Sapphire portals.

Nick O (PIT) October 11, 2013 at 8:13 am

To maximize my online shopping, I always pay attention to and other websites running specials. I’m able to get things cheaper than at my local Walmart and go through an online portal, at least doubling my points.

Elizabeth S. October 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

I check I am reluctant to purchase big ticket items with gift cards as I want to take advantage of the extended warranty and purchase protection from using my AMEX or VISA signature cards.

Brent October 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

Good old fashioned way of manually searching sites for the best offer.

Brian Gallagher October 11, 2013 at 9:06 am

I look at what is offered on
I also have all of my credit cards linked to my Upromise account- so I’m saving $$ for my kids college funds!
(but, we don’t have kids yet)

Ryan October 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

always check before making a purchase!

Thomas Day October 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

Just search the net for anything and everything, and come to for extra tips.

Brad October 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

I use big crumbs to get cash back in addition to the points.

Kestie October 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

I keep a list of the everyday household items that periodically need to be replenished for my family members (e.g., tshirts, socks, personal items, drugstore items, sports gear). When I see a good deal like the current one for Sears, I check the list and buy something that I know one of us will need in the future–and take advantage of the extra points.

Nicole October 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

I’ve shopped through the Citi shopping portal for various cash back deals. I’m starting to experiment with buying gift cards with Chase Ink cards for other normal purchases, as well!

iwantmoremiles October 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

I use Award Wallet. It auto sneds me to portal to get extra cahsback or Chase points.

Espan October 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

evreward is my go-to when starting to search for best price/returns

Sam October 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

I use my UMP Card through the United portal because they often offer a few more cents/dollar by using that particular card.

Elyse October 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

I have a few different rewards programs that I like to accrue points for different reasons so I love using to tailor each online purchase to my current need. For example, I’m currently planning a Round the World trip on Skyteam for my honeymoon and I’d previously been focusing all of my earnings on Skymiles to reach the 280,000 miles needed for a Business Class ticket, but since reaching that mark I am now focusing all of my earnings on Marriott points for my hotels for the trip since they get a much better value for points on a lot of properties in Asia than anywhere else!

Sam October 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

And BoA has a deal now for 10% cash back on Sears, so if you value your Chase points at <2 cpp or want to save part of the $1500 max for later, you might want to look into using your BoA card. Make sure you select the deal first, though!

michael October 11, 2013 at 9:34 am

always compare cash back website. evrewards,cashbackholic and cashback monitor

VC October 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

Buying items from Bed Bath and Beyond through a portal (I love Ultimate Rewards and my trusty Chase card) but choosing in Store Pickup. Then using one of the many 20% (or higher) discount flyers they send out and paying with Bed Bath and Beyond Gift cards (that I just picked up at my local Office store with my Chase Biz card for 5 points a piece). The original card used in the Portal is really just to hold the item at the store. So with this you score the Portal points, you get to utilize the discount, and score points from a gift card. Plus you get your item right then and not wait on it in the mail.

TerryH October 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

Always take a minute to check for coupons that can be stacked on your purchase.

fd2020 October 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

Always like Amazon GCs!

Jackie Kroll October 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

I love using Ebates when I shop online. They provide you with cash back bonuses for shopping at hundreds of different websites, and they provide any available coupon codes. Then you can stack credit card promos on top of those!

RobL October 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

The one site I use constantly for excellent cash back on all kinds of things including hotels is Upromise. Especially when combined with their Mastercard, I’m making 10+% on a lot of my business expenses.

Scott G October 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

With our 4 month old we seem to be going through diapers, wipes, and other essentials pretty quickly. Buying amazon GC at Staples with my Ink card for 5x UR’s makes online shopping at amazon that much more lucrative…..and babies are EXPENSIVE!

freedisneyworldtrip October 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

I made evreward my home page to always remind me to use that website when internet shopping and to remind my significant other

Randy October 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

Evreward is my go-to site before purchasing anything online, as it’s always updated with the current bonuses across all portals, so you’ll know which one will maximize your spend. Also, purchasing gift cards for a merchant through the portal of an Office Supply store, then returning through a portal to the actual merchant to buy is a great way to triple dip!

james October 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

I load all my credit cards into AAdvantage dining and then submit restaurants i visit a lot to them and make sure they add them to their dining rewards system, i’ve been earning loads of points from doing this and i find they add most places i suggest. I switch my cards between American and United so if i need more points in one area i can dine out more to meet my goal, and use the associated points earning card for paying the bill.

jlgctm October 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

When Living Social has a great local deal and a promo code offer, I use EV Rewards to find the site with the highest rebate, confirm that I can use the promo code and still get the rebate, use my Chase Sapphire card for the points (plus yearly bonus), and then send the share link to my friends. If three of them buy it, mine’s free.

jlgctm October 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

You can save even more if you sign up for Amazon Mom: you get 20% off all your diapers, wipes, and some other baby things, as well as 20% off your subscribe and save items, as long as you have five delivered the same date each time. Plus they send you a lot of baby-related deals. (Also check out their online coupons because you can use them with your subscribe and save items, saving you even more than the 20%.)

Rona October 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

I use evrewards to point me in the right direction when I need something. This summer I took advantage of a best Western promotion of stay 2 times and get a night free and evreward sent me to to do this for an extra 5 % rebate. For items in department stores, I use evreward to let me know whether Macys or another store is offering a rebate, and I combine that with one of my airline portals that is offering a special multiple points promotion or I combine in with my quarterly freedom card purchases to get exponential points.

Jeremy October 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

Read the terms for how to cash out your money when joining a new portal. 20x cash back is no good if you need a minimum of $50 to get your money.

Brennan October 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Buying Amazon GCs at Office Depot with Ink!

GiantFromPhilly October 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

Many good tips in this comment thread – my tip is a little different: Don’t ever go through the portals to “browse” – this is how the card companies make their money – they “manufacture spend” from you that you wouldn’t otherwise have done. This game is better cold and calculated than done on impulse!

mami2jcn October 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

20% off at Amazon with Amazon Mom is the best deal I’ve found.

Thomas Rennier October 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I don’t know the half of what people are talking about on here. I usually go through the Ultimate Rewards Portal for everything since I value their flexible points. I get Peet’s Coffee, all my dog’s medicine & treats, flowers for special occasions, etc…

Brandon October 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I love to double dip in these promos by utilizing two programs for the same purchase :)

Seth October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I use EV Rewards as a springboard, buy Amazon gift cards at Staple or Office Depot with my Ink card, I link my credit cards to Upromise (love, love this site), and my friend pointed me to the Amazon Mom 20% discount – and Amazon’s site explains that you can be any type of caregiver for a child to be eligible. Bottom line: I’m 100% points-crazy, and I’m just getting started. I basically open my eyes in the morning and the first thing that pops into my head isn’t my 4-year old daughter or 6-year old son. I focus on points and miles, and the foam of excitement starts pouring from my mouth. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have to be the diligent little points desperado I am and check out Plink.

Armando86 October 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I enjoy using the United Shopping portal- As a cardholder, the point offers are usually better. Additionally, I have it synced with Plink for further awards!

Cynthia October 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I love stacking sales on top of credit card promos on top of shopping portal promos–and then using store pickup to avoid shipping rates. Early in the year I made over my walk-in closet using Elfa from the Container Store. I took advantage of their yearly 30% sale. The in-store designers helped me design my big closet and then I went home and went through Upromise to purchase my Elfa closet using my brand new Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I snagged the Sapphire sign-up bonus plus the points for the sale, I got $140 back from Upromise, and since I picked it up in store there was no shipping.

For smaller purchases from Container Store I will also do them online the same way and use the Store Pickup, and now they will actually bring your purchase out to your car when you call ahead a few minutes before getting there. A great time saver! And if you have have kids or pets in the car that you can’t leave this new service is awesome!

OK, I’ll stop now with my Container Store advertisement! lol

E.S. October 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I know it’s redundant, but is the best starting point for double-dipping rewards!

Giddy For Points October 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I buy flowers from FTD and currently get 30 AA miles/$ plus I use Plink plus I have a FTD gold membership which gives me free shipping!

sumit singhal October 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm

i always follow the ultimate rewards mall to earn those extra points.

Pamela October 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I like to use evreward, but I am still pretty new to points, so I’m going to enjoy reading other people’s tips.

Michael October 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm

The Ultimate Rewards shopping portal for extra points.

Penny October 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I ‘m new to frequent flyers, so I’m starting out slowly by ordering from Home depot with in store delivery for our DIY projects around the house. I’m also using cards that still require minimum spend for the sign on bonuses. There have been several good offers for bonus points for initial purchases through AA and Alaska and on SW for signing up for their promotional emails, so thus far it’s been great! One question though, does anyone know why there’s an initial $1 additional charge for using the portals that seems to disappear? Many thanks.

Chanel @ La Viajera Morena October 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I love EVReward and Cashback Monitor. I have also found DansDeals to be a great site to find great savings. Finally, I use Feedly to keep track of numerous points and miles blogs to learn about new tips, tricks, and ways to maximize my dollars.

FlavCity October 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Shopping OfficeMax and using your Chase Ink card. Nothing is sweeter than 5 times the points per dollar spent, and we all remember the glory days of when you could buy vanilla reload cards there. Fond memories indeed!

Helen S October 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I introduced my sisters to shopping portals. One purchased a lawnmower offering 5x points plus free delivery (the bricks-and-mortar version of the same store would have charged $59 for delivery, and of course no extra points). The other sister drove around hunting for vacuum cleaner bags. After wasting time and gas, she checked online and found the bags with 3x points and free shipping. Hooray for portals! They save time and money, and they deliver extra points.

Uri Hadelsberg October 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The Ultimate Rewards shopping portal for extra points.

Joe P October 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Paying attention to the coupon codes through Retailmenot and trying to bundle coupon codes is the best thing to do before using a portal to collect the bonus points galore.

dude26 October 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm

EVReward is my first stop usually for my cashback needs.

Sean October 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

My tip regarding shopping portals is to use in-store pickup! For example, Home Depot in-store pick up is amazing because I can never find what I need at Home Depot anyway.

mjtaxpro October 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Haven’t used any shopping portals yet. My tip would be to START by subscribing to I’ve learned so much, thanks

Geri Jeter October 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I love the Hilton Honors portal for its ease of use and for the vast selection of merchants. My favorite way to use it is when shopping at Nordstrom, where I have a card. Several times a year, Nordstrom offers a 3X point day on purchases, which often coincides with a sale on products I regularly use. Often, this syncs up with a Hilton Honors multiple points period for shopping at Nordstrom. So — I stock up on stuff I actually use on sale, get the beaucoup triple points at Nordstrom, and the multiple points at Hilton. Way cool.

Holly B October 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I usually shop through the MyPoints or Upromise portals, then use coupon codes when shopping online. I also check to see if any of my credit card are offering extra cash back for shopping in certain categories.

Fanfoot October 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

In recent tests by FrequentMiler, was more accurate than evrewards.

Hans October 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Always begin my online shopping with stopping at

Kristi October 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Buy amazon gift cards at Office Depot with my Ink cards to ensure 5x on all my countless Amazon purchases.

David Miller October 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I use the firefox extension Coupons at Checkout to let me know automatically if there’s any coupons for the site I’m shopping on.

tscateh October 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Read this blog!!!

oxo October 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Two tips!
1) I’m sure some would (still) be surprised that you can still earn UR points through the Ultimate Rewards mall without using a Chase card! That was a huge “reveleation” to me, even though ymmv.
2) Always check the AMEX offers in each of my cards with them and activate them. Their returns in the form of statement credits are very generous and you still get to earn points for all the money you save!

Peter5 October 12, 2013 at 5:53 am

buying Southwest e-gift cards through Staples online accessed via Ultimate Rewards!

Daniel October 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

My online shopping tip is to sign up for affiliate marketing programs and then save money by having your spouse order through your affiliate links earning you a commission aka. Savings on your purchase.

Journey 4 Happy October 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

Churning 10% off gift cards at KMart

andy2343 October 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

Don’t forget to search for the items you’re going to buy through the shopping portal. It will let you compare which stores are going to offer the most points, and some stores that you wouldn’t even think of will come up, like, which I had never even heard of, but will regularly be offering anywhere from 3-5x points on items, whereas Wallgreens might just be 1x.

Storybook Fashion October 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

I always go to to see who offers the best deal before I start any online shopping.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar October 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

I’m pretty new to the game, but when purchasing out tickets for three of us to visit family for Christmas this year, I bought Southwest gift cards at Office Depot with my new Chase Ink Bold card. It was when they were offering a 60,000 points sign up bonus, so that purchase put me over the minimum spend for my 60,000 Ultimate Reward points and I also got 5x bonus points on my gift cards. I had to buy $1000 in denominations of $100 and $50 gift cards. It took 30 minutes, and we had to do three different transactions because we shut the register down twice, but it all worked out in the end!

JD D October 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

Check to find best portal for your purchase

Tammi Velez October 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

Our local grocery store has a gas station with the lowest prices. They offer fuelperks when you buy things in the store. I buy gift cards to places like Panera Bread, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, World Market, and 100′s of other places with my rewards card, and end up getting free gas for things I already buy anyway.

SSM October 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I always start at, but also take advantage of CapOne’s FreeMonee gifts to a number of online retailers, which helps alleviate some cost on portal sites

gary danbeck October 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Anticipating major purchases such as Canon lens from Dell allows major $$$ purchases to be combined with promo offers. Could really use 26K USAir miles, etc. Many thanks!

Jay October 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I buy a lot of things from Amazon so the best tip have have found is buying Amazon gift cards from office stores with my Ink card to maximize my bonus miles!

boxedlunch October 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Shopping toolbars on my parents’ computers…

Tatyana October 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I start with and

Mikhail October 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm

For Amazon shopping: GC from Office Max with Ink card

Duane October 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I check cashbackwatch and evreward before buying online.

Tabathia October 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

I always shop through ebates so that I can earn cash back and subscribe to stores so that I can stack their online codes for more savings

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Steve October 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Buy gift cards to Amazon (or your other frequent shopping targets) at Office Depot with the Chase Ink

Chris October 13, 2013 at 12:19 am

Keep a list of items you need so that when the promos come up, you are ready to jump.

R. October 13, 2013 at 1:23 am

I usually check

Calflygirl October 13, 2013 at 2:54 am

Buying GCs with Ink and then using them to purchase through portals

Tim Huss October 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hands down, it is!! When I travel I always check this site to buy certificates for the restaurants in the area that we are traveling to. These certificates are offered at a discount. Throughout the month you can get discount codes which reduce the certificate price even further. I even use this locally.

Deneetro October 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I check Evreward, then double check the United Mileage Plus Mall since I have the United Explorer card, and sometimes the miles are higher when you have the card.

Jason October 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I love using my Chase Ink card and going through the Ultimate rewards portal to make purchases at office supply stores!

Jason October 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Ebates is a great site if you want cash back. It has hundreds of online stores offering between 1% and 10% back.

LR October 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Order online with nearby stores that have in store pick up – it lets me still use the shopping portals for miles, and picking up the items is often faster than shipping (sometimes same day) and the pick up can even be faster than trying to find the items in the store. I do this for some stores that are on my walk home anyways (REI being a favorite).

K Johnson October 14, 2013 at 5:51 am

I use coupon code web sites for everything from food delivery to big-ticket items and combine that with the credit card/shopping portal sites to maximize my online shopping.

Ray October 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I use to maximize points. And found out about it right here through the Points Guy!

Dayna October 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Purchasing my dog food via the AA shopping portal really gives me the best bang for my buck. There are many websites that will ship the dog food for free and I just sit back and rack in the miles because my dogs go through a LOT of dog food!

mk October 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I use EVReward and the US Airways shopping portal!

Dave October 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

always jump on the big point bonuses! they add up quick.

Evan October 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Buying Best Buy gift cards on the United shopping portal, and earning United miles and Best Buy points. Then using the Best Buy gift cards to buy iTunes gift cards, and then selling them on eBay for more than I paid for them. Free points and miles!

DocLorrie Poteet October 17, 2013 at 9:12 am

Don’t forget to stuff items inside of your boots and shoes. Doing so helps keep them from getting squished and gives you more room in your suitcase

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