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The major gift giving might have come and gone with Christmas Day, but for those of you looking for the real deals out there – or just the procrastinators amongst us – the days between Christmas and New Year’s present some of the best shopping deals around, so don’t forget to check out these sites not only to maximize your shopping portal points bonuses, but also to find the biggest rebates and discounts on your holiday shopping.
REBATES AND DISCOUNTS
There are also two sites that offer cash back rebates when you click through to a merchant from them.
If you’re interested in going this route, here are some quick instructions for you:
1. Create a BigCrumbs or Ebates account.
2. Once logged in, search for your retailer of choice, and if the rebate is tempting, click on it to be redirected to its site.
3. Shop as usual and when you check out, pay with your credit card, and then look out for a cash back credit on your statement.
That’s in addition to any discounts retailers are offering through various coupon or promo codes – so be sure to check your email and regular mail, and you can double dip on your savings.
ONLINE SHOPPING PORTALS
Many of the major airline and hotel programs as well as Ultimate Rewards from Chase have online shopping portals. Online shopping portals are sites where these programs work with partner retailers – including many of the big familiar names like Target, Best Buy, Gap, Walmart, etc. – to offer loyalty program members multiple points or miles per dollar they spend there.
To earn those bonuses, you must register your frequent flyer/hotel points/credit card account with the online shopping portal and then when you click through to a retailer, it puts a cookie on your computer that can track your purchase and earn you the bonus points. Pretty simple as long as you make sure to click through the online shopping portal before shopping online.
One of the other great things is that you can pretty much use any credit card you want to make the purchase, so even if you’re going through the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal, you don’t have to use a Citi/AA card, you can use your Delta Amex and earn both the bonus American miles and whatever Delta miles you would normally earn on the purchase.
Before you go through the portals one by one looking for merchants, though, I’d first suggest visiting a site called EVReward.com where you can search by retailer (since many of us shop according to what we need to buy instead of just by the points or miles we need to earn) and compare the bonuses each online shopping portal is offering. It will also list promos like free shipping, coupon codes, and the rebates the sites like Ebates are currently offering. It’s an extremely handy site.
Here is a list of online shopping portals:
Air Canada: Aeroplan EStore
Amtrak: Amtrak Guest Rewards
British Airways: BA Miles Estore
Chase: Ultimate Rewards Shopping
Choice Rewards: Choice Privileges Mall
Citi: Thank You Shopping
Frontier: Early Returns Mall
Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines eMarket
Hilton HHonors: Hilton HHonors Shop to Earn Mall
Marriott Rewards: Shop My Way
Southwest: Rapid Rewards Shopping
US Airways: Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
Virgin Atlantic: ShopsAway
Just note that many portals will exclude the purchase of gift cards from accruing points/miles, however the systems often do not detect gift cards and you can still get the bonus points. On top of that, when it comes time to use those gift cards, you can go back through the online shopping portals and potentially earn miles on your purchase using the gift cards. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a classic double dip.