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Earn even more rewards by adding this one small step to your online shopping routine

Nov. 22, 2021
7 min read
A young family at Christmastime searching the internet on a laptop. Christmas tree and gifts in the background.
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

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?

You can use a shopping portal aggregator to see all the online shopping portals that provide rewards for a particular merchant. (Photo by MStudioImages/Getty Images)

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.

Related: The beginner's guide to airline shopping portals

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.

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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.

Related: Watch a TPG Talks episode on how to use online shopping portals and apps to save money and earn miles from home

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.

When booking directly with Marriott, you may want to compare online shopping portal options with Cashback Monitor. (Screenshot from cashbackmonitor.com)

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.

Related: Which credit card should I use in shopping portals?

Why should I use a shopping portal aggregator?

You may be able to earn more rewards by using a shopping portal aggregator. (Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

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.

Many online shopping portals offer bonus rewards when you shop with Nike. (Screenshot from cashbackmonitor.com)

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.

Related: How one Chrome plug-in can earn you extra points or cash back

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.

Related: How I use cash back — not just points and miles — to hit my travel goals

Bottom line

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 image by Getty 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.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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 Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023