TPG Readers Reveal Their Favorite Shopping Portals
With Mother's Day and Father's Day on the horizon, we've got shopping on the brain. And thanks to online shopping portals — from Chase, American Express, Ebates and airlines like American and United, among others — the gift of giving gets even sweeter when you end up earning points and miles as a result of your generosity.
With this in mind, we recently asked our TPG Lounge members to share their favorite shopping portals, the ones that they feel have the best offerings when it comes to scoring bonus points. Here's a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).
It's All About Airline Shopping Portals
If you're going to be shopping online anyway, you might as well make it worth your while and go through an airline's shopping portal rather than buying directly through the vendor's website. That way, you could earn, say, 30 miles per dollar spent at florists.com or 10 miles per dollar at Sephora via AAdvantage eShopping, instead of scoring just a few points for the purchase.
"AAdvantage eShopping has always been good to me — I've got more than 12,000 miles in 2019 already. Before I buy anything, I go to the portal, see what’s available and compare bonuses. For example, when ordering flowers for my wife, I discovered that florists.com had a 30-mile-per-dollar rate. I had never used them before but tried them out and earned 2,000 miles. I needed a new battery for my truck so found that Advance Auto gave you six miles per dollar (I normally go to AutoZone) and it was eligible for orders online and pick-ups in the store. 900 miles there and I had the battery installed the same day. There’s an option to view all the stores in a category and to sort by earn rate, which really helps maximize returns." — Kyle P.
"[The] American Airlines portal just had Marriott at six miles per dollar. I killed it with AAdvantage miles just by booking a lot of expensive Marriott stays." — Mike M.
"I've had good luck with the American Airlines portal lately. 10 points per dollar on Sephora and five points per dollar on Columbia. I also selected my regular stores so I get an alert from them when the earning rate goes up." — Patricia G.
"United MileagePlus shopping and stacking with MPX." — Timothy B.
"I’d vote Southwest out of the four main domestic [airlines]. Easiest points to use and compared to Delta, there are more points per dollar on competitive brands." — Zac C.
"MyPoints + Expedia + CSR + airline combo." — Tom R. W.
"I used the Alaska Airlines shopping portal with American Express offers." — Jason H.
"The British Airways portal often seems to have the highest earning rate among the airlines. I usually use the Delta portal anyway though, as that's where I have my main cache of airline miles." — Ross B.
"The Chase portal regularly has good redemptions. The American Airlines portal is always strong. Delta's is usually pretty weak but when it has extra miles specials, it can have a strong return as well." — Shea D.
"I compare when I am shopping online and would prefer to use Alaska Airlines, but almost always, the Chase portal is higher." — Christine P.S.
The Ebates and American Express MR Deal
Ebates and American Express recently teamed up to allow new users — that seems to be the only catch, that it's for new users only and they need to sign up through this link — to earn Membership Rewards points back instead of cash, a major perk for several readers.
"I'm a huge fan of Chase's [Ultimate Rewards Travel] portal, but I'm now trying out the Ebates and American Express deal. I just combined it with the Saks Fifth Avenue credit!" — Randall C.W.
"Their multipliers are often high, but earning MR points instead of a percentage of cashback is game-changing. I used it on Saturday for a $55 purchase and the 2,050 points (10 x 55 + 1,500 sign-up bonus) posted to my Ebates account today, though it says it will be May 15 before they post to my Amex account. I'll be using Ebates a lot more going forward." — Ross B.
"Chase has consistently been high in all my recent CashbackMonitor.com searches, but doesn't do promotions or email me daily bonus stores like airline portals. With the new Ebates and Amex deal, I may be switching to that as my new go-to!" — K.R.
More Tips to Keep in Mind
Some of our TPG Lounge members wrote in with special tips and tricks they employ when it comes to making the most of shopping portals. For even more advice, check out this page on our site with a list of all the big ones we'd recommend using.
"It varies, depending on several factors, not the least of which is your personal goal for today. Check CashbackMonitor.com each and every time." — Chris H.
"Another thing is you can track your favorite sites by hitting the heart button [within AAdvantage eShopping]. It'll email you when the earning rate goes up." — Jackie H.
"I have the button extension installed on my Chrome browser and it alerts me when a site I’m on has bonus miles. It even shows up in Google searches, too." — Kyle P.
"I added the Chrome extension for AAdvantage Shopping and this made a huge difference for me, as in the past I would forget to go through the AAdvantage portal. This way, any time I visit a site that is offering miles, my purchases are automatically tracked." — Lourdes O.L.
"I always check CashbackMonitor.com. Sometimes the info can be a bit out-of-date so it's still a good idea to double-check it, but that site is a great resource." — Ross B.