Tip: Use a shopping portal aggregator to maximize online purchases
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest deals and information on shopping portals. It was originally published on Feb. 4, 2017.
Shopping portals can be a valuable way to gain extra points and miles when shopping online. By making purchases you were already planning to make, you can earn additional miles with the airline of your choice, whether it's United's MileagePlus Shopping, American's AAdvantage eShopping or countless others.
But these portals can have varying rates at which you can earn rewards. For instance, you may be able to shop through the United portal at Nike.com and earn 2 miles per dollar spent, whereas in the American portal you would earn 5 miles per dollar spent and at Delta you would earn 3 miles per dollar. It can be frustrating and time consuming to hop between each portal to figure out which is currently offering the best rate, especially because the portals usually vary their earn rates and constantly run promotions where you can earn bonus miles.
Related: The beginners guide to airline shopping portals
To save time and get the best bang for your buck, you can use a shopping portal aggregator like Evreward.com or CashbackMonitor.com to search for the store you want, and it'll show you the most up-to-date earning rates for cash back, points and miles. Once you find your preferred portal, just click the link and it'll take you to the portal's website where you can then click through to the store and earn your miles (just make sure you've created and linked an account with your preferred loyalty program).
To make things easier in the future, downloading the button for your preferred loyalty program can be a helpful reminder to use the portal when online shopping.
Related: How holiday shopping could lead to a free vacation
As a general rule of thumb, it's usually best to collect points and miles towards a specific loyalty program as it will increase your chances of reaching an award faster. However, if you're working towards a redemption in say two or three programs then comparing the earnings with an aggregator can be especially useful.
Shopping portals allow you to almost effortlessly earn bonus points and miles while doing something you already planned. Utilizing this tactic can help you keep an account active and your miles from expiring. Better yet — when you combine shopping portals with a rewarding credit card, you can actually double up on your earnings. Who knew online shopping could be so rewarding?