You might think that the only way to earn bonus travel rewards points is by paying for plane tickets or hotel stays with a travel credit card. While this is definitely the most consistent way to earn miles on every purchase, another trick of the trade is to maximize online shopping portals. Many of the same stores you already shop at might already offer these bonus opportunities.
What are Online Shopping Portals?
Despite sounding like something from one of The Matrixmovies, online shopping portals are very simple. Instead of going directly to your favorite online store (i.e. www.restaurant.com), you first visit the loyalty program website of your favorite airline, hotel, or credit card. They might offer bonus points for the same online store when you click on their link. Everything costs the same and you earn bonus points for the extra clickthrough.
Here’s a quick example. You’re a United MileagePlus member and want to buy a gift certificate from Restaurant.com. The United MileagePlus shopping portal just so happens to pay 6 miles per dollar spent at Restaurant.com. If you spend $10, you get 60 miles by initiating the shopping session through United.
And, if you shop with the United TravelBank Card you also earn the standard 1.5% cash back on the purchase amount too. If you avoided the shopping portal, you would have only earned the credit card rewards and nothing else.
It’s easy to maximize an online shopping portal as most portals partner with over 800 of the largest retailers. Most portals let you earn between 1 to 25 bonus miles per $1 spent, depending on the store. It might sound crazy, but some portals will award you 25,000 bonus miles for applying for a mortgage through the portal as one example.
To entice you even more, these same shopping portals will periodically run bonus offers for your favorite stores. The offer might be 500 bonus points for spending $50 in the month of October or simply doubling the reward rate for a limited time. Either way, there are always ways to earn more points if you can wait for a special offer.
Are you excited about earning more miles without spending any more than you already do? Great! Let’s see how you can immediately start maximizing online shopping portals to earn award trips sooner.
American Airlines Online Shopping Portal
AAdvantage eShopping Mall lets you connect to over 950 online retailers. To get started, all you need is an AAdvantage membership number. You can also stack points if you have an American Airlines credit card.
Miles from each purchase will generally be credited to your account within 30 days. Bonus offer miles will take up to eight weeks to be deposited.
British Airways Avios Shopping Portal
The British Airways Avios eStore lets you earn up to 20 Avios per $1 from over 400 online stores. They even offer an in-person shopping opportunity as well by linking your credit card to your eStore account. All bonus Avios will be credited to your account within 40 days of the purchase date.
In addition to shopping through the British Airways portal, you can also maximize your Avios balance with the British Airways Visa that will let you earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios that can be redeemed for flights on British Airways, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines to name a few of the award flight possibilities.
Delta Airlines Skymiles Shopping
Delta’s SkyMiles Shopping portal connects you with hundreds of stores to earn up to 20 SkyMiles per $1 spent. You can even earn SkyMiles by purchasing gift cards.
After a qualifying purchase has been made, Delta will notify you within five business days of how many SkyMiles you earned. In some instances, it can take up to 45 days for the miles to be deposited into your SkyMiles account.
Remember that you can earn bonus SkyMiles with the no-fee Amex Delta Blue or one of the other Delta credit cards.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Online Shopping
Rapid Rewards Shopping can potentially be one of the most valuable airline shopping portals as all miles earned count toward the 110,000 point requirement to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
You can earn up to 20 miles per dollar spent. Bonus points will be posted to your account within six to eight weeks.
The Southwest Airlines credit cards are also unique because you can also earn two bonus points per $1 with the hotel and rental car travel partners. You will only earn one Southwest point per mile on your credit card statement by using the Southwest shopping portal.
Southwest also makes it easy because they have a cash back browser extension you can use to notify you of potential earning opportunities without having to visit the Rapid Rewards portal first.
United Airlines MileagePlus Shopping
MileagePlus Shopping is your gateway for extra United miles. You can earn up to 20 miles per $1 at over 850 stores. Most miles will post within five days and bonus offer miles can take up to 45 days.
Shopping with the United MileagePlus Explorer will give you an additional one mile per dollar. The recently launched United TravelBank Card earns 1.5% cash back on every retail purchase and those cash rewards can be redeemed for travel credits on United.com.
Hilton HHonors Shop to Earn Portal
Hilton Shop-to-Earn is one of the few hotel shopping portals with dozens of retail partners. Most purchases will credit points within the first week, but some offers can take up to 90 days to be deposited.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall
A few credit cards also have their own shopping portals. One of the largest portals is the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall that lets you earn additional Ultimate Rewards points on online purchases from over 254 online stores. You can expect to earn five points per dollar at most stores and up to 20 points per $1.
To shop at the Ultimate Rewards Mall, you need a travel rewards card like the Sapphire Preferred or the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve. Either one will let you redeem your points for award travel directly through Chase or they can be transferred to one of the airline or hotel Ultimate Rewards travel partners on a 1:1 basis.
If you like flexibility, this can be an excellent option as you can transfer your miles to another program instantly.
Start Earning Bonus Points Now
All of these shopping portals are free to use. You can begin earning bonus points on every purchase immediately. You will be wishing you knew about these online portals sooner as shopping online just got a whole lot more rewarding.