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Online shopping portals are a no-brainer. Never, ever shop online by directly going to a retailer (whether that be Neiman Marcus or American Airlines). Always go through a portal so you get extra miles or cash back.
American Express shut their earning portal down last year, but luckily Chase has a pretty generous portal (Ultimaterewards.com -> Earn Faster) that allows you to rack up tons of valuable Ultimate Rewards points at hundreds of retailers. As I’ve written about before, this is a great way to maximize the points you earn on airfare- they used to offer 2 points at Travelocity, so in addition to the 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining from the Sapphire Preferred and the 7% annual dividend, it was like getting 4.28 points per dollar spent. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents a piece, so that’s like getting an additional ~9% back in value.
Sadly, many retailers were pulled from the portal recently, including travel sites Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline. Luckily Expedia and Hotwire are still options at 1 point per dollar spent, but they’re only at 1 point per dollar each. Hotwire has been 2 points per dollar in the past, so let’s hope Chase ups the ante next month! Note: If you’re going to book through Expedia, make sure you triple dip and get their new Expedia+ rewards points as well.
Have you noticed any other key retailers missing from the Ultimate Rewards portal? Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.