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The complete guide to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shopping portal

Sept. 15, 2022
9 min read
Alaska Airlines plane taking off from Los Angeles International Airport
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At 1.8 cents per mile, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles routinely top TPG’s list of most valuable airline miles. Unfortunately, Mileage Plan miles are also among the hardest to earn as Alaska doesn’t partner with any major transferable points currencies other than Marriott Bonvoy.

If you’re trying to top up your account balance and have already exhausted all the easy ways to earn Alaska Airlines miles, you should consider using the carrier’s online shopping portal as well.

Today we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to double or even triple-dip the next time you shop online by leveraging the Alaska Mileage Plan shopping portal.

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Fundamentals of online shopping portals

Online shopping portals are one of the easiest ways to double dip and earn extra miles on purchases you already planned to make. It’s free and easy to use. Simply start your trip at the portal’s website (or install the browser pop-up button, which Mileage Plan Shopping offers), and you’ll earn bonus miles when you shop with eligible retailers.

The exact amount you earn will vary by store. Some offer a fixed number of miles for signing up for a recurring service like a newspaper subscription. Most offer a bonus multiplier (2x per dollar, 3x, etc.) for every dollar spent. Around the holidays, major shopping portals offer bonus points for meeting certain spending thresholds.

For example, I know that when it’s time for me to get a new phone, I will wait until an Apple bonus becomes available. I won’t pay anything more for shopping through a portal, so all the extra miles I earn (in addition to whatever I’ll earn from regular credit card spending) are just icing on the cake.

Related: The beginner’s guide to airline shopping portals

How to get started with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shopping portal

Before using the Alaska Airlines shopping portal, you’ll need to go to www.mileageplanshopping.com and log in with your Mileage Plan account information. If you don’t have a frequent flyer account with Alaska Airlines but are interested in earning Mileage Plan miles, you’ll need to make an account.

Mileage Plan shopping partners with over 850 stores, so if you’re buying something online, there’s a good chance that you can earn bonus miles through this portal.

MILEAGEPLANSHOPPING.COM

You need to start your shopping trip at Mileage Plan Shopping, and after you’ve browsed through the available offers and decided where you want to shop, select the store and click the “shop now” button. This will open up a new tab for that specific merchant. From there, you shop and check out as normal. It’s important to note that if you close out of the tab for any reason, you’ll need to go back and start the entire process again or your miles won’t post correctly.

MILEAGEPLANSHOPPING.COM

Of course, it can take a while to make it a habit to always check for portal offers. That’s why I strongly encourage you to add the browser extension for your favorite portals, so you always get a friendly reminder and don’t leave extra miles on the table.

ALASKA AIRLINES

In addition to bonus miles, shopping portals can help you find extra discounts with the merchants you’re shopping at. So if I go to staples.com and click on the Mileage Plan shopping button (not the banner to activate the portal, but the button on my browser), I can also see the discounts right in my browser.

ALASKA AIRLINES

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Shopping portal tips and reminders

Shopping portal technology has gotten much better over the last couple of years, but you’ll still need to be careful not to accidentally lose your bonus miles by clicking on the wrong button. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If using the plug-in browser button, you must “activate” the points when alerted by the pop-up.
  • If using the shopping portal site, you must click through the link on the site and then make a purchase from the page that pops up. Don’t navigate away and come back later, as the bonus will no longer be activated. This means you can’t close the tab out, but sometimes even switching to other tabs can trip up the portal. My way around this is to shop and browse as much as I want, and then once I’ve added everything to my cart and am ready to check out, I go back and activate the plug-in browser button. That way, I just need to complete the quick checkout process without changing any tabs.
  • You must ensure cookies are enabled in your browser for the retailer’s site. This allows the portal to “track” your purchases and award bonuses accordingly.
  • Only use promotions or promo codes found on the portal; if you use others, the purchase may become ineligible for bonus points/miles.
  • You cannot stack multiple shopping portals together, so don’t bother trying or you may lose out on both sets of bonus points.
  • Consider using a shopping portal aggregator like CashBack Monitor or EVReward. The site allows you to pull up a specific retailer and see the earning rate you’d get across all applicable shopping portals. This includes all of the above types of portals, allowing you to quickly compare earning rates and determine which one offers the best return for the individual merchant you are shopping with.

Related: Earn bonus miles through shopping portal promotions

Best credit cards to use with online shopping portals

Shopping portals don’t change how the transaction is coded, meaning the charge on your credit card statement will still be from “Adidas” whether or not you use the Mileage Plan shopping portal. Many online merchants fall into the category of “everyday spending,” a catchall term used to describe merchants who don’t fit into any common credit card bonus category.

You can check out TPG’s full guide to the best cards for everyday spending. The two that I find myself using the most are The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which earn 2x American Express Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 in purchase per calendar year (then 1x) and 1.5% cash back or 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar respectively.

Of course, you’ll want to keep your eyes out for any merchants that do offer a bonus category such as travel or dining. If you’re making a large technology purchase, you may want to use a card that offers purchase protection even if it doesn’t earn the most bonus points. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express will reimburse you for up to $1,000 in damages per incident (up to $50,000 per year) if your new purchase is accidentally damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.

Related: These are the best credit cards for online shopping

Keep your eyes out for a ‘triple dip’

Earning bonus points from a shopping portal in addition to the miles earned on your credit card is already a huge win. Still, sometimes it’s possible to do even better by stacking an Amex Offer, Chase Offer, SimplyMiles or another rebate.

For example, I once received an Amex Offer on my Blue Business Plus offering $15 back when spending $50 at Winc, for up to three uses. Winc itself offered a new member promo of $20 off your first box of wine, and the Mileage Plan shopping portal was, at the time, offering a bonus of 1,400 miles (worth $25 based on TPG’s valuations) for first-time users.

MILEAGEPLANSHOPPING.COM

I bought $75 worth of wine for only $57 by stacking these deals. Subtract the $15 credit I received from my Amex Offer and the $25 worth of miles I received, and my net cost was only $17, or $3.40 a bottle and over 75% off list price. The Mileage Plan shopping portal played a huge part in this quadruple dip (credit card points, shopping portal, Amex Offer and Winc new member offer), and gave me some well-needed supplies for the upcoming fall weekends.

WINC.COM

Bottom line

As with all rebates and bonus offers, you have to be careful not to fall for the marketing and waste money you didn’t want to spend just to earn more miles. However, if you’ve already decided to make a purchase at any of hundreds of popular retailers, the Mileage Plan shopping portal can be a great way to increase your return.

Given how valuable Alaska miles are and how hard earning them can be, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shopping portal has quickly become one of my favorites.

Featured image by GC Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases