Earn bonuses with American, Alaska, Southwest and United for shopping online through mid-February
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, many of you may be thinking about presents for your loved ones. And with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, chances are you’ll be looking to make most of your gift purchases online rather than at a brick-and-mortar store.
Fortunately, this presents the opportunity to take home some extra rewards on your purchases, and four U.S. airlines are currently offering bonus offers through their respective online shopping portals.
These bonuses aren’t the best we’ve ever seen, but every little bit can help as you look ahead to travel in 2021 and beyond. If you’re planning 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
Alaska’s offer is very straight-forward, and while it’s not overwhelmingly lucrative, it’s nevertheless easy to hit. You’ll earn 500 bonus miles when you spend $150 or more through the portal through Feb. 17, 2021.
If you spend exactly $150, the 500 bonus miles would be worth an additional $9 in rewards based on TPG’s most recent valuations — an added return of 6%. And remember that these are in addition to any miles you earn directly with the merchant. You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday Feb. 17 to complete qualifying purchases.
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.
The full details are available at this link.
AMerican AAdvantage eShopping
American’s promotion is nearly identical to Alaska’s: You’ll earn 500 bonus AA miles when you spend $150 through the carrier’s AAdvantage eShopping portal. However, you have a couple extra days to reach this number, as it runs through Friday Feb. 19.
By hitting $150 exactly, the bonus miles you’d take home are worth $7 based on TPG’s valuations, so you’d be taking home an extra 4.67% return (in addition to the earnings with the merchant and the points or miles you’d earn on the card you swipe). Again, you have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Feb. 19 to reach these thresholds.
The same restrictions noted above apply, so be sure to review the terms of the individual merchant to make sure you understand exactly how you’ll be earning miles.
You can view the full terms at the bottom of this page.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping
Unlike the previous two, Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards online shopping portal is currently offering a tiered promotion based on the total spending you complete through the portal — though you have the shortest timeline for doing so, as eligible purchases must be made by Saturday Feb. 14. Here are the specific spending levels:
- Spend $100, earn 500 bonus points
- Spend $300, earn 1,000 bonus points
Like the others, these bonuses are in addition to the Rapid Rewards points you’d earn with the merchant, but bear in mind that you’ll only earn one bonus amount based on the total you spend across all merchants through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Feb. 14.
TPG pegs Southwest points at 1.5 cents apiece, so if you hit $300 exactly, you’ll take home an extra $15 worth of points (an additional return of 5%).
Interestingly enough, the return on your spending is actually the highest at the lower tier of the promotion, as spending exactly $100 will earn you $7.50 worth of extra points (a 7.5% return).
The same exclusions apply here, so again, do your research to make sure you don’t miss out on any bonus miles.
You can read full details on the promotion at this page.
United MileagePlus Shopping
The final offer is available through United MileagePlus Shopping, and it mainly mirrors the promotions from Alaska and American. When you spend $150 or more through Friday Feb. 19, you’ll take home 500 bonus miles.
Like American’s offer, this one runs through Feb. 19 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, and it’s based on cumulative purchases made through the platform.
If you hit the $150 mark exactly, the bonus miles you’d take home are worth $6.5 based on TPG’s most recent valuations — equivalent to a additional 4.33% return. Remember too that these bonuses are in addition to the miles you’d earn with the specific merchant.
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 are very solid, and with many readers shopping online right now as the coronavirus pandemic continues, this represents a great option to earn bonus points or 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 The Container Store on my Platinum Card® from American Express — part of the slew of new discounts that launched in early January. If I spend $150 or more on eligible purchases, I’d get $50 back, and I can use this up to two times. In addition, all four of the airline shopping portals are offering an additional 1 mile (or point) per dollar spent at The Container Store. (Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.)
Let’s say I was in the market for some new travel gear — much of which is currently on sale. I could go through the Alaska shopping portal and grab a new, 25-inch Samsonite suitcase ($95.99); two sets of city-themed packing cubes ($17.99 each); and a small, cross-body bag ($20.99). The subtotal of these items comes to $152.96 — which would qualify it for the above promotions plus the Amex Offer.
With a total purchase price of $163.67 (shipping is free, but taxes may vary, depending on your home address), I’d take home the following:
- 164 Membership Rewards points (the base earning rate on the Amex Platinum), worth $3.28
- $50 off with the Amex Platinum offer
- 164 Alaska miles (1 mile per dollar spent x $163.67), worth $2.95
- 500 Alaska miles (from the above promotion), worth $9
- Terms apply
In other words, my total purchase of $163.67 would result in $65.23 worth of rewards and discounts, dropping my out-of-pocket costs down to $98.44. This represents an effective discount of nearly 40%.
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 these new promotions 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
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: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.