Maximizing Gilt Purchases With New Insider Rewards with Airline & Hotel Bonuses
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
For the past year or so online discount retailer Gilt has been offering different mileage and hotel point bonuses for shopping. Just this week they upped their ante even further with the launch of their own rewards program - Gilt Insider.
Shoppers earn 5 points for every dollar spent, and can boost their earnings by sharing on social media or with their online friends. Points earned can then be redeemed at any time for perks such as early sales access or free online shipping, certain percent-off discounts, plus VIP access to insider only sales. Currently, only one discount or offer can be used at a time - so you can't get 10% off an item and then expect free shipping as well. To sign up and register for the new program, click here.
The members-only online shopping site is renown for its daily changing flash sales of designer brands at discounts of up to 60%, but Gilt is more than just designer clothing. The Gilt "Groupe" includes deals on travel through Jetsetter, home goods, food and wine, and city-specific sales on everything from fitness training sessions and spa treatments to meals and adventure sports.
Insider points are collected for numerous activities on Gilt.com, including purchases, visiting the site (you must be logged in to your account) and connecting to Facebook Timeline.
Members will see a current tally of available Gilt Insider points on their navigation bar on the home screen, which also will take you to the Gilt Insider Dashboard where can see your current tally, and as well as the last 5 actions that collected, or spent, points.
Gilt Insider program has four different tiers - General, Select, Premier and Noir. Once you have achieved enough points to reach a new tier, you will receive a "Welcome Discount" that is good for two weeks - of 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively. Then your status is good for the remainder of this year and through the next calendar year. Unlike some loyalty programs that link activation to shopping, you can keep your Gilt Insider status active by merely visiting the site once - for which you will earn 1 Insider point. Be sure to use your points, though, as they are deleted after 6 months of inactivity. Once you secure membership to an Insider Tier, the status is independent of the balance of points in your account. However, you will lose your status and drop back to “general membership” a full year after any calendar year in which you fail to maintain the minimum tier requirements.
Earning Miles and Points With Gilt- In Addition to Insider Rewards
In June 2012, Gilt partnered with Hilton so that HHonors members earn 2,000 HHonors bonus points for joining Gilt and making a purchase of $50 or more, then earn 6 HHonors points per $1 spent at Gilt during the first six months after they join.
Hot on the heels of that promotion, Gilt announced another sign-up bonus for new members, that time for 1,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points with a first purchase of $50 or more, and 5 TrueBlue points for each additional $1 spent through the first six months of membership.
They also paired with United last December to offer MileagePlus members who join Gilt 1,500 bonus 1500 United award miles with their first purchase of $50 or more, and 5 miles for every $1 spent during the first 6 months of membership.
Naturally, I want to know how this new program can help me build up my air miles and hotel points in light of the Gilt partnerships detailed above. So I asked the team at the Gilt Groupe about it. The Gilt Insider program is independent from hotel/airline miles promotions, so you can double dip if promotions like this come up again. On the downside, you can't go through a shopping portal and bank miles through one of the partners, so sadly no triple dipping. However, all purchases through a portal will also accrue Insider Rewards.
One of the best ways to find out how much you earn through shopping portals is via EVRewards.com. You can see that for every dollar spent with Gilt you will earn 1 United air mile or 2 Hilton HHonor points. For the first 6 months of joining Gilt, it would be more lucrative to go through Gilt's special Hilton partnership than Hilton's own shopping portal. However, I value 5 United miles per dollar spent to be the most lucrative deal and nearly 10% back in value since I value United miles at about 2 cents a piece. In addition to Insider Rewards and using a solid rewards card like the Sapphire Preferred with 1.07 Ultimate Rewards points for all purchases and you're earning a significant amount of value back on all Gilt purchases- which are generally discounted nicely off retail price.