Earn bonuses with American, Alaska, Southwest and United for shopping online into August
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has put a damper on everyday life as we know it. However, with travelers stuck at home, many have increased their online shopping, and this presents opportunities to take home some extra rewards on your purchases. Four major U.S. airlines are running bonus offers through their respective online shopping portals. With many still wary of visiting brick-and-mortar stores across the country — and some states pulling back on their reopening plans — now may be a great time to buy online.
Even better? These bonuses are a nice jump over the ones we’ve seen in recent months, so if you’re looking to make some online purchases in the next few weeks, you might as well take home some extra rewards. Let’s take a look at these offers.
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Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping
The first offer comes from Alaska Airlines and it’s a tiered promotion, with different bonuses based on how much you spend through the Mileage Plan shopping portal. Here are the three levels:
- Spend $150, earn 300 bonus miles
- Spend $300, earn 750 bonus miles
- Spend $500, earn 1,500 bonus miles
In each case, the bonus would be in addition to the miles you’d normally earn on the purchase, so this offers a nice little boost to the rewards you’d earn. If you hit the highest tier, the 1,500 bonus miles are worth $27 based on TPG’s most recent valuations. So if you spend $500 exactly, that’s an additional 5.4% return on your purchase.
Note that this is based on cumulative purchases through all participating merchants during the promotional period, so you can split this up across multiple transactions. In addition, unlike past offers, it’s automatically available to all members — no registration is required. The promotion runs from July 20 through Aug. 9 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Bear in mind that you can only earn one of these tier bonuses.
Remember that the usual exclusions apply. Qualifying purchases do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases. In addition, certain products are not eligible, so be sure to read the terms and conditions of the individual merchant to make sure your purchase will qualify.
You can view the full terms of the promotion at the bottom of this page.
American AAdvantage eShopping
The American AAdvantage eShopping portal has launched a similarly-tiered bonus, though with higher mileage rewards for spending the same (cumulative) amounts as Alaska:
- Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles
- Spend $300, earn 1,000 bonus miles
- Spend $500, earn 2,000 bonus miles
Note that the timing for these bonuses is a bit longer, as you’ll have until Aug. 17 to spend your way to the above thresholds.
If you hit $500 exactly, the 2,000 bonus miles you’d take home would be worth $28 based on TPG’s most recent valuations, an additional return of 5.6%.
Remember that you can only earn one of these bonuses based on your total spending through the end of the promotion, but they are in addition to any miles you’d ordinarily earn on the purchase. And unfortunately, you can only earn one bonus — so don’t expect to spend $800 and earn both the 1,500- and 2,000-mile tiers.
Complete details on this promotion are available at this link.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping
Southwest’s online shopping portal is currently offering a similar promotion, though the tiers differ slightly and you have an additional week to hit the spending threshold. Here are the details:
- Spend $125, earn 250 bonus points
- Spend $300, earn 900 bonus points
- Spend $550, earn 2,000 bonus points
Again, these are in addition to the Rapid Rewards points you’d earn with the merchant, and you’ll only earn one bonus amount based on the total you spend across all merchants through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 16.
TPG pegs Southwest points at 1.5 cents apiece, so if you hit $550 exactly, you’ll take home an extra $30 worth of points (an additional return of 5.45%).
You can read full details on the promotion at this page.
United MileagePlus Shopping
The final offer comes from United MileagePlus Shopping and it is structured similarly with just a few variations. Here are the details:
- Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles
- Spend $350, earn 1,500 bonus miles
- Spend $600, earn 2,500 bonus miles
Like Southwest’s promotion, this one runs through Aug. 16 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time and, again, it’s based on cumulative purchases made through the platform by that time. Like the other promotions, you can only earn one of the bonuses — so spending $950 won’t net you 4,000 bonus miles.
You’ll also face the same restrictions noted above. Your qualifying spending excludes shipping, taxes and any other fees associated with your purchase(s), and some items or categories aren’t eligible. As always, carefully review the terms for each individual merchant so you don’t miss out on the bonus miles.
For full details on this offer, visit this page.
How to maximize these offers
These new bonuses may not be lucrative enough to warrant new (unplanned) spending, but since many readers are likely shopping online right now due to social-distancing tactics, you might as well enjoy the bonus miles on purchases you were already planning to make — or you may want to grab something new if you can stack another discount or bonus from a program like Amex Offers.
For example, I currently have an Amex Offer for Wine Access, giving me $50 off by spending $250 or more — and I can use this offer up to three, separate times. In addition, the United shopping portal is offering 2 MileagePlus miles per dollar spent. If I make three purchases of exactly $250 with Wine Access, I’d take home the following:
- 1,200 Membership Rewards points (the base earning rate on the purchases minus the three, $50 credits, since I have the offer on my Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express), worth $24
- $50 off each of the three purchases
- 1,500 United miles (2 miles per dollar spent x $750), worth $19.50
- 2,500 United miles (from the above promotion), worth $32.50
- Terms apply
In other words, my total purchase of $750 would result in $226 worth of rewards and discounts, dropping my out-of-pocket costs down to $524. This represents an effective discount of ~30.13%.
If, on the other hand, you’re solely interested in earning American miles on these purchases, be sure to check the SimplyMiles platform for any applicable bonus offers. Since these are linked to your AAdvantage credit card, you should be able to stack them with this new promotion as well.
Note that by going through these portals, you’re also potentially giving up rewards through other portals — like Rakuten or Chase. Be sure to use an online tool like Cashback Monitor to compare earning rates and select the best option.
Use the right credit card
It’s critical to swipe the right credit card when making online purchases, so pay close attention to any bonus categories that might apply to the merchant at which you’re shopping. If there’s no additional bonus or discount potential, you’ll want to make sure you use a credit card that has high earning rates on non-bonus spending. Great options include cards like the following:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express
The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Read our guide to the best credit cards for everyday spending to see which cards will maximize your returns for online purchases.
Featured photo by filadendron/Getty Images.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page with all currently available airline shopping portal promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.