Guide to the AAdvantage online shopping portal
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Online shopping portals are one of the easiest ways to boost your points balances. These programs offer online shoppers bonus points for various airline and hotel programs, just by shopping through the portals. For such an effortless way to earn points, it would be a mistake not to utilize them.
Today we’re going to talk about how to use the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal. If you play your cards right, this could be a lucrative tactic that could lead to an award flight sooner than you may have thought. Domestic award bookings start as low as 5,000 AAdvantage miles, but sometimes you can score an even better deal through an AA Web Special. For instance, I snagged a one-way flight from New York (JFK) to Sydney (SYD) for just 5,000 AAdvantage miles — talk about a deal.
Fundamentals of online shopping portals
Online shopping portals allow you to earn bonus points and miles at hundreds of online retailers just by doing business with them through the portal. This already sweet deal gets even more generous when you use a rewards credit card that lets you earn additional points for your spending.
You can earn anywhere from a few extra points on smaller purchases such as ordering photos through Walgreens to reaping big rewards when you make significant purchases like buying a new MacBook through the portal — the points add up either way.
A practical time to use the portal is when ordering everyday necessities, like contacts. You might not think about earning additional points through purchases like these, but if you were to order through 1-800-CONTACTS, you could earn 5 miles per dollar spent by starting your shopping through the American Airlines AAdvantage portal. Not only is it convenient, but it adds up and could ultimately lead you to your next vacation just by ordering something you need online and through the portal.
To put it into perspective, say you’re spending $500 per year on contacts. Here’s what you could be earning:
- $500 x 2 miles per dollar on everyday spending with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card = 1,000 Capital One miles
- $500 x 5 miles per dollar on 1-800-CONTACTS through the AAdvantage shopping portal = 2,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles
Now you’ve effortlessly racked up 3,500 bonus miles just by saving yourself time and preordering your contacts.
How to get started with the AAdvantage Shopping Portal
Sign-up for AAdvantage eShoopping
You will need to sign-up for AAdvantage eShopping whether or not you already have an AAdvantage frequent flyer account. Here you will link your AAdvantage frequent flyer number and add some personal information.
After you’ve signed up, you can browse the thousands of offers available. If you find one you’re interested in, you can click “shop now” and it will automatically take you to the online store. However, if you exit out from the site after clicking through, then you will have to repeat this step in order to reactivate the offer.
Download the AAdvantage button
One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t miss out on any bonus points, is to install the AAdvantage button a.k.a., a Google Chrome browse extension. By having this, you will be alerted with a pop-up anytime you are shopping on a site that’s eligible for bonus points.
Activate the rewards
You will get a message like this if your portal has been activated. If it has not, you’ll see a button that says “Activate Now.”
Tips and reminders
This is a relatively straightforward process, but it’s also easy to miss a few steps the first couple of times using it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If using the plug-in, you must “activate” the points when alerted by the pop-up. Otherwise, you will miss out on the points completely, which would be a real shame because you were so close.
- If using the shopping portal site, you must click through the link on the site and then make a purchase from the page that pops up. Don’t navigate away and come back later as the bonus will no longer be activated.
- You must make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser for the retailer’s site. This is what allows the portal to “track” your purchases and award bonuses accordingly.
- Only use promotions or promo codes found on the portal; if you use others, the purchase may become ineligible for bonus points/miles.
- Consider using a shopping portal aggregators like CashBack Monitor. The site allows you to pull up a specific retailer and see the earning rate you’d get across all applicable shopping portals. This includes all of the above types of portals, allowing you to quickly compare earning rates and determine which one offers the best return for the individual merchant at which you are shopping.
Best American Airlines credit cards
If you’re loyal to American and looking to earn status faster, you may want to consider one of the airline co-branded credit cards. Here are some of our top picks.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for occasional American flyers
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Best for small-business owners
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard: Best for easy-to-earn welcome bonus
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: Best for Admirals Club access
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for travel insurance
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for frequent travelers
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for lounge access
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: Best for avoiding annual fees
The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
To learn more about which card is right for you, check out “Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers.”
Featured photo by filadendron/Getty Images.
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