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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.

I love getting these "you've earned more points" emails
I love getting these “you’ve earned more points” emails

American Express shut their earning portal down last year, but luckily Chase has a pretty generous portal ( -> 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.

Only two vendors for flights!
Only two vendors for flights!

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.

It pays to shop using a shopping portal. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you noticed any other key retailers missing from the Ultimate Rewards portal? 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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