Using Shopping Portals to Earn Points

One of the most simple ways you can earn points is through using shopping portals from point programs to make your online purchases.  I was glad to see Keri wrote about ways to get points even when booking directly through the hotel, and specifically about the program TopCashBack.

I brought up shopping portals in my interview with Million Mile Secrets:

Always remember that you do not have to participate in ALL the tricks and tips people talk about to get involved with travel and points.  It can be overwhelming sometimes and even small changes in behavior can make a huge difference for you… the little things you can do with shopping portal ,…–just adding an extra step that gets (you) miles in addition to the points (your) card picks up for (you).

If you don’t want to churn credit cards, that’s fine!  If you don’t even want to try a new credit card, this will still work.   This is one little extra step you can add to all your online purchases that will help you rack up miles!

But how do you know where the best deals are for the website you are shopping on?  What if you don’t even care what website you are purchasing from?

That’s where EVReward comes into play.  You can either type in your website directly or browse through the site.

Let’s first say I would like to buy a new laptop from Best Buy.  I’ve already priced it out and know which one I want.

I go to EVReward and type out Best Buy onto that first screen.

a screenshot of a coupon

Then EVReward gives me options:

a screenshot of a loyalty program

(If you click on the picture, it will give you real time results, which may be different from the picture above.)

If you have absolutely no cash back or loyalty credit cards at all, it looks like the BigCrumbs cash back program is the best for you to use.  I like how EVRewards highlights them and separates out by program.  The program Keri talked about, TopCashBack, is new and unfortunately, isn’t on this website (yet, I hope).

For all of the rebate programs and the Frequent Flier programs, you only need to log-in through their portals to access the store and no matter which credit card you use, you will receive the bonus points.  The same is true for Ultimate Rewards points, oddly.  These are tied to the Chase Freedom, Ink, and Sapphire cards, and you can receive points after logging in even if you use a different credit card.

Last I tested (which was a while ago), Discover needed to be purchased with a Discover Card.  I don’t use Citi or Mastercard enough to say for them.

So how do you find these shopping portals?

It’s usually in the Earn Miles section and sounds like a mall of some sort.  Here’s for the US Airways portal:

a screenshot of a travel website

Discover has a big “ShopDiscover” button at the top of the screen.  But if you have any trouble finding your airlines “shopping mall”, feel free to comment and we’ll try to help you out.


Now let’s say I want to buy something, but I don’t care where I get it from.  If it is something general, I can get browse on the site.  So let’s say I want to buy Keri flowers.  (Keri’s ears perk up)  I click on the browse tab and take a look.

a screenshot of a video game

In the upper left hand corner, there’s a flower and gifts option, so I click on this.  My results?

a screenshot of a website

a screenshot of a website

Look at that–Teleflora is 20% cash back.  I click through and see ShopDiscover is the 20%.  Score. I have a Discover Card.  I complete the purchasing process and get 20% CashBack on my purchase :D.  I’m also collecting Ultimate Rewards points, so I see Ultimate Reward points are also 10 per dollar.  I could also have gotten 10 Priority Club / Holiday Inn points per dollar too.  The extra bonus, of course, is Keri gets flowers from this.

This method also works if you know what product specifically you want, but don’t know what website to buy it on.  It just takes an extra step of comparison shopping.  So let’s say I want to buy an Swingline.  I can do two things.

I can browse and see what office product sites pay the most in general.  Then choose the top three or four sites and see which one also has the best price on the Swingline Stapler.

But if you are trying to rack up certain points and would value, let’s say, 3 extra US Airways points over 5 Priority Club points, you can search the Points Program’s “Shopping Mall” for specific products.

My search on USAirways’s Dividend Miles Storefront gives me not only the cheapest price, but which item would be the most “points profitable”.

a screenshot of a computer

Looks like I will get my stapler from Office Max!



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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