Don’t want to miss out on earning bonus points? There’s an extension for that

Jul 19, 2020

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Shopping portals are such an important aspect of the points and miles hobby. While you can learn all about them in our TPG Beginner’s Guide, we realize it’s easy to forget about this method of double-dipping on your online purchases.

If you haven’t built up the habit of clicking through a shopping portal — and don’t want to have to worry about remembering — technology is happy to come to the rescue. There are a number of extensions that you can add to your Chrome or Firefox browser to remind you anytime you’re shopping on a website where you can earn bonus points, miles or cash back.

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In fact, there’s another option that was just added this week. One of my favorite shopping portals, TopCashback, just added a new Chrome and Firefox extension. So, let’s take this opportunity to round up some of the best browser extensions that are available now:

Airline shopping portals

If you’re looking for the highest payout at a particular time, going through an aggregator (more on those later) will help you find the best option. However, if you’re looking to earn miles toward a particular redemption or a perk such as the Southwest Companion Pass, you might want to be loyal to just one airline’s shopping portal.

Now is an especially good time to shop through airline shopping portals because many have launched holiday shopping bonuses.

  • Alaska Airlines (Chrome extension): Alaska Airlines has one of the most valuable airline currencies and incredible partners, making it a great choice for going all-in on accumulating bonus miles.
  • American Airlines (Chrome extension): The AA portal generally offers some solid earning rates, particularly during promotions.
  • Delta Air Lines (Chrome extension): In addition to being one of the least-valuable major airline miles currencies, Delta SkyMiles Shopping seems to have consistently lower rates than the other airline portals. So, I’d only recommend if you really need extra Delta miles.
  • JetBlue (Chrome Extension): ShopTrue Notify is JetBlue’s own browser extension available on Chrome and Safari. It will automatically notify you if you are on a site where you can earn TrueBlue points.
  • Southwest (Chrome extension): This was one of the first airlines to launch a shopping portal browser extension back in October 2017. And yes, bonus points earned through the shopping portal go toward Companion Pass qualification.
  • United Airlines (Chrome extension): United launched its browser extension in March 2018 and has since racked up an impressive 44,000 users.
(Photo by Carlina Teteris/Getty Images)
Online shopping portals with Chrome extensions make it easier to rack up points and miles on all of your purchases. (Photo by Carlina Teteris/Getty Images)

Cash-back portals

While you can get a lot of value from airline miles, cash back is still king for a lot of shoppers. Here are some of my favorite cash back portals with browser extensions:

  • Rakuten — formerly Ebates — (Chrome extension,Firefox add-on): Rakuten quickly became my favorite cash back portal in February 2019 when new members could start earning Membership Rewards points instead of just cash back. Starting late October 2019, all members can now opt into earning points instead of cash. Plus, Rakuten consistently runs some of the best promotions.
  • TopCashback (Chrome extension, Firefox add-on) has an extensive list of over 4,000 partner stores where you can earn cash back and now has a brand new browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
  • Mr. Rebates (Chrome extension, Firefox add-on): The website looks like it hails from the early 2000s, but it typically offers solid everyday cash back earnings. And despite its older look, it has extensions to help remind you when you can be earning cash back on a website.
  • Ibotta (Chrome extension): Ibotta provides cash back when you shop at more than 1500 stores through its app. Ibotta also has an app that allows you to shop in-store. The minimum amount to redeem rewards is $20.
  • Honey (Chrome extension):  This is a popular cash back portal that is also is part of the PayPal network. When it’s time for you to check out, Honey will automatically search for coupons and apply them.
  • Amazon Assistant for Chrome (Chrome extension): This will send you notifications for the deal of the day and new deals on Amazon, plus compare prices as you shop online. It will also show you the best price available on Amazon and recommend similar products that are posted.

Other cash back portals include:

Aggregators

Aggregators are a great place to look if you just want the best return, regardless of whether its cash back, airline miles or credit card portal points.

Cash-back Monitor: This is my go-to for figuring out which airline, bank or cash-back portal is paying out the highest rate when I’m ready to buy something online. While it doesn’t have an extension, Cash-back Monitor has a handy JavaScript link that Chrome, Firefox, and Safari users can bookmark to manually check the payout rates for a particular website.

Cash-back Watch: While I haven’t used this service myself, Cash-back Watch also has a Chrome extension available.

Bottom Line

Shopping portals are an easy way to save money. Using portals with browser extensions is great if you want to take the hassle out of searching for rewards of frequently forget to search for them.

Related reading: Use online shopping portals to maximize your online shopping 

Additional reporting by Jordyn Fields

Featured image by filadendron via Getty Images

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