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Earn Nearly 14K Bonus Miles While Shopping for Your Family Online

Oct. 29, 2018
5 min read
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If you are a big online shopper, there is an amazing opportunity to earn up to a whopping 13,500 bonus miles for your family's everyday purchases. Right now there are four different loyalty programs that are offering an increased bonus by using their online shopping portals: Alaska Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, Southwest Rapid Rewards and United MileagePlus.

Shopping portal bonuses are, by far, my favorite ways to earn points and miles in everyday life. You can turn your family's online purchases at places like Gap, Pottery Barn, J. Crew, Sephora, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy and beyond into miles in your frequent flyer accounts. These new bonuses are for online purchases made between now and November 18, 2018, and you can only earn one bonus per portal per account.

Note that not only are there new site-wide bonuses running until Nov. 18, but we also see increased payouts of 10x - 15x miles per dollar at various retailers available today.

Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping

With the Alaska Mileage Plan shopping site, you can earn up to 1,500 bonus miles. The more you spend, the more miles you'll earn. Note that these are cumulative totals, so eligible online purchases of $200 and $100 would work together to trigger the mid-tier bonus.

  • Tier 1: Spend $150, earn 300 bonus miles (worth $5.40*)
  • Tier 2: Spend $300, earn 750 bonus miles (worth $13.50*)
  • Tier 3: Spend $500, earn 1,500 bonus miles (worth $27*)

*The valuations noted throughout this article are based on TPG's current calculations.

Since earning Alaska Airline miles is a bit more difficult than some airline miles due to the lack of transfer partners, being able to earn them via an online shopping portal is worth considering.

American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping

With the American Airlines AAdvantage shopping site, you can earn up to 4,000 bonus miles. Like the Alaska Airlines deal, you'll earn more miles when you spend more money.

  • Tier 1: Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles (worth $7*)
  • Tier 2: Spend $600, earn 2,000 bonus miles (worth $28*)
  • Tier 3: Spend $1,200, earn 4,000 bonus miles (worth $56*)

Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping site, you can earn up to 3,000 bonus points.

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  • Tier 1: Spend $150, earn 500 bonus points (worth $7.50*)
  • Tier 2: Spend $500, earn 1,000 bonus points (worth $15*)
  • Tier 3: Spend $1,000, earn 3,000 bonus points (worth $45*)

Keep in mind that the bonus points earned from this promotion will not count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. In general though, the regular points earned from shopping through the Southwest Rapid Rewards portal are a great way to put yourself one step closer to earning the valuable pass.

United MileagePlus Shopping

With the United MileagePlus shopping site, you can earn up to 5,000 bonus points. Again, you will earn more bonus points with greater cumulative spending totals.

  • Tier 1: Spend $150, earn 500 bonus miles (worth $7*)
  • Tier 2: Spend $750, earn 2,500 bonus miles (worth $35*)
  • Tier 3: Spend $1,500, earn 5,000 bonus miles (worth $70*)

Ramp The Earnings Higher

These bonuses are awarded in addition the regular number of miles per dollar spent at the various retailers, which can vary from 1 mile to 10 miles per dollar (or more). You will also still earn miles or points on the credit card you use to make the purchase. For example, you can make use of the Chase Freedom 2018 4th quarter 5x shopping bonus categories that includes department stores, wholesale clubs and purchases made via Chase Pay (up to the $1,500 quarterly max). The Chase Freedom is no longer open to new applicants)

For easy math, let's say you have a $150 online Macy's purchase to make in the coming weeks. If a shopping portal is awarding 10 miles per dollar at Macy's (as both United and American are today), you pay with a registered Chase Freedom to earn 5x points on that card at a department store this quarter and then trigger a 500-mile bonus as mentioned above, you could earn 1,500 airline miles, 500 bonus airline miles and 750 points on your Chase Freedom. That is a total of 2,750 miles and points from just one $150 purchase.

Bottom Line

Using a loyalty program's online shopping portal is one of the easiest ways to increase your airline mileage balances without having to even leave your house. Just make sure to visit your desired shopping portal and log in prior to linking to your preferred online store to make a purchase. Using a shopping portal is also an easy way to keep your miles from expiring.

You can theoretically earn the max bonus in each program for a total of 13,500 bonus miles, although spending $4,200 over the next two to three weeks is probably unrealistic for most households (unless Santa is getting a massive jump-start in preparing for the holidays).

I wouldn't be surprised to see many merchants ramping up toward Black Friday sales in the very near future. That means there's a good chance you'll be able to combine these promotions with a decent sale.

Featured image by Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash