Earn even more rewards by adding this one small step to your online shopping routine
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From 100,000-point credit card bonuses to lucrative hotel promotions, there are many ways to earn points and miles. You can even earn rewards for your next vacation without leaving the house.
When you’re shopping online, you can easily earn rewards using one of the best credit cards for online shopping. Even better, you can often double-dip on rewards by clicking through an online shopping portal before making online purchases.
Many hotel and airline loyalty programs have online shopping portals. There are also online shopping portals for earning cash-back rewards and transferrable points. But each shopping portal offers rewards at varying rates, and it can be time-consuming to check each of your favorite shopping portals when making an online purchase.
Luckily, several shopping portal aggregators let you compare your options side by side. Today I’ll take a closer look at how to use these aggregators to maximize your rewards when shopping online.
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What is a shopping portal aggregator?
A shopping portal aggregator collects and displays online shopping portals and their current earning rates. You can check these aggregators to find the best earnings rates for purchases on popular websites. Most shopping portal aggregators also highlight some online shopping portal promotions on their homepage.
Which shopping portal aggregator is best?
I generally use Cashback Monitor to compare shopping portal returns before making an online purchase or booking, but some TPG staffers prefer Evreward. The sites are relatively similar, so I recommend trying both sites and seeing which you like best.
If you use the Chrome browser, there are also shopping portal aggregator extensions that you can install. One popular option is Cashback Comparison. These extensions use the URL of the site you are browsing to find and compare online shopping portal rates for the site.
How do I use a shopping portal aggregator website?
To use a shopping portal aggregator website, go to the site and enter the merchant’s name. You can then quickly compare the earning rates you’d get when clicking through various online shopping portals.
Once you’ve decided which online shopping portal to use, click on the portal name. Doing so will take you to the online shopping portal’s website, where you can log in, see the earning rates for this merchant and check the fine print for exclusions. Then, click through to the merchant’s website and complete your purchase.
Why should I use a shopping portal aggregator?
Some consumers prefer to use just one online shopping portal. And it’s easy to install a shopping portal browser extension for your favorite loyalty program and wait for it to remind you to click through the program’s portal when shopping with participating merchants.
But you can earn more rewards by comparing earning rates with an online shopping portal aggregator. After all, each online shopping portal offers different types of rewards at different rates. For instance, when I researched this guide, top options for a Nike purchase included 8% cash-back through Rakuten (or 8x Amex Membership Rewards points if you have an eligible Amex Membership Rewards card), 8x Alaska miles through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shopping portal and 8x American miles through the AAdvantage shopping portal on Nike purchases.
As you can see, some of the rates are currently elevated for a limited-time offer. Further, not all shopping portals partner with every merchant. That’s why I’ve found that it’s far easier to start at a shopping portal aggregator when I’m ready to make an online purchase.
How to decide which online shopping portal to use
Once you’ve used a shopping portal aggregator to compare offers, you’ll need to decide which online shopping portal to use. I often choose the online shopping portal based on my estimated return according to TPG’s valuations. In many cases, this means I use Rakuten to earn Amex points since American Express Membership Rewards points are so valuable. But in some cases, I choose a lower return to build up my balance in a particular loyalty program.
It’s also essential to read the fine print for each merchant before using an online shopping portal. For example, you’ll notice that some portals may earn “up to” a particular rate. In this case, you’ll want to see what types of purchases earn the maximum rate. When booking hotels, note that some online shopping portals provide lesser earnings for elites and no earnings when you book certain rates.
Unless you are focused on earning just one type of reward, it’s wise to use an online shopping portal aggregator to get the best return on your online purchases. After all, online shopping portals allow you to earn bonus points, miles and cash back almost effortlessly on purchases you’d already planned.
You can top off your account balance or earn a few extra rewards toward your next redemption with an online shopping portal. You may even be able to keep your points and miles from expiring by generating activity with some loyalty programs.
Of course, rewards earned through online shopping portals are on top of what you’ll earn from your credit card purchase. So, when you combine online shopping portals with one of the best credit cards for online shopping, you can earn more points and miles by double-dipping. As such, I recommend getting in the habit of using a shopping portal aggregator when shopping online.
Additional reporting by Liz Hund.
Featured photo by Marko Geber/Getty Images.
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