Maximize Valentine’s Day Purchases with Shopping Portals

Feb 5, 2016

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you plan on purchasing flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for that special someone, make sure to maximize your spending by going through a shopping portal.

Utilize shopping portals for Valentine’s Day gifts, like chocolate! (Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash)

Why Use a Portal?

For the uninitiated, shopping portals are sites that offer loyalty program members bonus miles or points for each dollar spent with specific retail partners. To earn those bonuses, you must register your loyalty account (e.g., frequent flyer, hotel or credit card) with the online shopping portal. Then, when you click through to a retailer on the portal, it puts a cookie on your computer that tracks your purchase and earns you bonus points or miles.

Portals are an especially easy way to double-dip: Click through the portal to make your purchase and get a mileage bonus, and use a travel rewards card to earn even more points or miles (keep reading for tips on which card to use). For example, you could earn one Membership Rewards point for charging the Valentine’s Day purchase to your Amex Platinum plus 30 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at FTD thanks to the AAdvantage eShopping portal bonus. Not bad for a simple flower purchase!

EVReward is a helpful site for finding the best portal bonuses.
EVReward is a helpful site for finding the best portal bonuses.

Taking advantage of portals is especially useful during times like Valentine’s Day, when the offers can reach up to the 35 miles per dollar spent. To make your Valentine’s Day shopping extra simple, I’ve pulled out of the best deals below. If you’re unsure which portal is offering the best deal and participate in various loyalty programs, you can always check EVReward to see the different rewards offered across different programs.

Also note that, while many retailers offer coupon codes that can lower the total cost of your purchase, you should only use codes listed on your portal of choice. If you use a code that isn’t listed on the shopping portal, you may be ineligible for bonus points through the portal.

Most of the major airlines and hotel programs offer shopping portals — the major ones are listed below along with their special Valentine’s Day offers.

Valentine’s Day Deals 

AAdvantage eShopping (1 mile = 1.7 cents)

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 4.59.05 PM

  • From You Flowers: 12 miles per dollar
  • 30 miles per dollar
  • 11 miles per dollar
  • Shari’s Berries: 9 miles per dollar
  • SendFlowers: 15 miles per dollar
  • 1-800 Flowers: 9 miles per dollar

Chase Ultimate Rewards (1 point = 2.1 cents)

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 5.07.28 PM

  • 10 points per dollar
  • Lord & Taylor: 5 points per dollar
  • Pro Flowers: 10 points per dollar
  • 6 points per dollar
  • Teleflora: 6 points per dollar

Delta SkyMiles Shopping (1 mile = 1.2 cents)

Offers vday

  • 35 miles per dollar
  • Macy’s: 4 miles per dollar
  • Nordstrom: 4 miles per dollar
  • Personal Creations: 5 miles per dollar
  • Sephora: 6 miles per dollar

Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping (1 point = 1.5 cents)

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  • 1-800 Flowers: 7 points per dollar
  • Cardstore: 5 points per dollar
  • Fannie May: 6 points per dollar
  • Saks Off 5th: 4 points per dollar
  • Spa & Wellness Gift Cards: 4 points per dollar
  • 4 points per dollar

United MileagePlus Shopping (1 mile = 1.5 cents)

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 5.13.35 PM

  • Fredrick’s of Hollywood: 3 miles per dollar
  • 30 miles per dollar
  • It’s Sugar: 3 miles per dollar
  • Personal Creations: 4 miles per dollar
  • Shari’s Berries: 8 miles per dollar
  • Things Remembered: 4 miles per dollar

Deciding Which Card to Use

When your spending falls under a bonus category like travel or dining, it’s easy to decide which card to use: one that give you bonus points! But for non-bonus-category spending, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which card is best. If you’re trying to stock up on points or miles with a specific loyalty program, you can always use a co-branded card, and if you’re working toward a specific card’s sign-up bonus, it probably makes sense to use that card for your purchase.

Assuming you aren’t working toward a credit card sign-up bonus or trying to accumulate rewards with a specific program, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a great option. The card earns just 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on non-Starwood purchases, but at 2.5 cents apiece, Starpoints are the most valuable points currency in TPG’s book. TPG even recommends this card as the best option for non-category spending. In addition to earning you valuable Starpoints, as an Amex card it offers great purchase protection, customer service and extended warranty coverage. It’s always nice to know you’re protected when making an important purchase.

Another great option for non-bonus spending is the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card. You earn Membership Rewards points on all purchases (including 3 points per dollar spent at supermarkets), and you get a 50% bonus when you hit 30 transactions in a month, so even for non-bonus spending you can earn 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. This is a great way to rack up points while taking advantage of the solid purchase protection Amex offers.

Bottom Line

If you plan on doing any Valentine’s Day shopping (or really any shopping at all, ever) do it through a portal so you can get those extra points and miles. A $50 flower purchase could earn you almost 2,000 Delta SkyMiles, or a $200 Lord & Taylor purchase could earn you 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And those are just two examples of how spending a few extra seconds to go through a portal can increase your return many times over.

Happy Valentine’s Day — and happy shopping!

Featured image via Shutterstock.

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