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Shopping portals are an easy way to earn bonus points or miles on your everyday online purchases. Usually, shopping portals pull out the big bonuses and offers for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as well as other prime shopping periods like Mother’s Day or back-to-school season. This year there seems to be a new trend, as some shopping portals are offering bonuses that last from now until just before Thanksgiving.
What are Shopping Portals?
Shopping portals act as middlemen, inviting customers to shop at specific retailers by offering a extra points, miles, or cash back. Usually they’re run by third party e-commerce websites. The retailers pay the portals some amount of any purchases you make (say 7%) in exchange for sending business their way. In turn, the portals give you an incentive to spend more by offering miles and points that they purchase from loyalty programs at a steep discount.
Generally everyone wins: the retailer gets more business; the shopping portal makes money for nudging the transaction along; the airlines, hotels, and other loyalty programs make money from the points and miles they sell (that they hope never get redeemed); and the savvy shopper gets an extra return on every dollar spent.
The TPG team will make sure to keep you updated on more bonuses to come this holiday season, especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Until then, cash in early with some of these pre-Thanksgiving bonus offers.
Delta: Earn 750 bonus miles for every $175 you spend through the Delta Shopping Portal, up to 2,250 bonus miles. The bonus amounts are as follows:
- Spend $175, get 750 bonus miles
- Spend $350, get 1,500 bonus miles
- Spend $525, get 2,250 bonus miles
This offer is valid until November 26, 2014. It also excludes purchase from FTD.com. Here are some of the featured vendors offering extra miles per dollar spent:
- Snapfish, 6 miles/$
- Saks Fifth Avenue, 4 miles/$
- Clinique, 6 miles/$
- Restaurants.com 6 miles/$
- Nordstorm, 10 miles/$ (through November 11, 2014)
Southwest: Earn 300 bonus Southwest Rapid Rewards points for every $175 you spend through the Southwest Airlines Shopping Portal, up to 1,200 points. The bonus amounts are as follows:
- Spend $175, get 300 bonus points
- Spend $350, get 600 bonus points
- Spend $525, get 900 bonus points
- Spend $700, get 1,200 bonus points
This promotion runs through November 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm ET. Returns, shipping, taxes, gift card purchases, and certain products are not eligible for bonus points. Here are some featured vendors offering extra points per dollar spent:
- Nine West, 6 points/$
- Brooks Brothers, 8 points/$
- Sunglass Hut, 6 points/$
Alaska: Earn 700 Alaska miles for every $100 you spend through the Mileage Plan Shopping Portal, up to 2,100 miles. The bonus amounts are as follows:
- Spend $100, get 700 miles
- Spend $200, get 1,400 miles
- Spend $300, get 2,100 miles
The offer is valid until November 21, 2014. Here are some featured vendors offering extra miles per dollar spent:
- Puma, 6 miles/$
- Red Envelope, 8 miles/$
- Global Wine Cellars, 6 miles/$
American and United have been offering TARGETED bonuses via email to certain customers, such as a 500 mile bonus after spending $75 through their shopping portals. Those promotions are valid through November 15, 2014, so check your email to see if you’ve been targeted for either of them.
Shopping Portal Tips
- You can use whatever credit card you want when shopping through a portal– you don’t have to use one affiliated with the loyalty program in question. For example, the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal is currently offering 3 miles per dollar spent at Office Depot or OfficeMax, but you could still use your Chase Ink Plus or Ink Bold to also make use of the 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar those cards earn at office supply stores.
- If you’re going to shop at a specific store and want to see which shopping portal offers the best bonus, visit EVReward.com. EVReward is the Kayak of online shopping portals, as it aggregates searches from various portals to make it easier for you to choose the most rewarding option. Simply type in the store where you want to shop and browse through the different bonus rates.
- Many portals will exclude the purchase of gift cards from accruing points/miles, however the systems often don’t detect gift cards and you can still get the bonus. On top of that, sometimes you can even then use those gift cards after clicking through the portal and potentially earn miles on purchases paid for by those gift cards – a classic double dip.
Please share other shopping portal bonuses or strong bonus rates in the comments below!
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Know before you go.
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