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The Wonders of Shopping Portals

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Shopping portals are shopping websites connected with some airline or hotel loyalty programs, as well as through the banks, Chase, Capital One, and Barclay.

Here’s the best part. You can use these shopping portals to earn miles and points with hundreds of the same merchants where you probably already shop!

Any member of the loyalty program can use these shopping portals regardless of their credit score, which makes shopping portals an especially smart choice for people who want to earn miles and points but have a harder time getting approved for travel rewards credit cards.

It gets even better! If you have a miles and points earning credit card, the miles and points are in addition to what you would earn from using your card.

American Express Gold credit card
Shopping with your travel rewards credit card is best. But if you don’t have one yet, you can use your debit card or even gift cards to make purchases through a shopping portal to earn miles and points.

Example: Let’s say you have a credit card like the Chase Freedom Flex, which gives you 5x the points on rotating bonus categories. During a department store bonus period, you’d earn 5x the points from your Freedom Flex card PLUS the miles or points earned from shopping at a department store like Macy’s or Nordstrom through the portal!

Are you ready to get started?

Here are links to the travel and bank brands that offer shopping portals.

American Airlines      Choice Privileges      Chase Ultimate Rewards JetBlue

Delta   Amtrak     Southwest     Marriott Rewards Rakuten

 United Airlines     Capital One Shopping     Barclay RewardsBoost

In order to shop in the Chase, Capital One, or Barclay shopping portals, you’ll need a credit card with that bank. 

Rakuten is typically a cashback shopping portal. However, they’ve partnered with American Express. So if you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, you can change the settings on your Rakuten account to earn points with Amex instead of cashback.

The airline and hotel shopping portals are for all members of their loyalty program. You can sign up for free to become a member of any/all of these loyalty programs. Use your member number to sign up or sign in and shop. It’s not necessary to have a co-branded hotel card or airline credit card.

Once you sign in, type in the name of the merchant you would like to shop with or browse the hundreds of merchants in the various shopping categories.  

Here is an example on the United MileagePlus Shopping Portal.

I searched for Addidas. You can see the return rate for Addidas is 3 miles per $1.

You simply click the “Shop this offer” to confirm and the portal redirects you to that merchant’s website.

If there are available coupon codes, they will usually be displayed on the screen before you are redirected to the merchant’s website. 

External coupon codes typically cancel out any miles and points earned through the portal and should be avoided.

Shop and checkout like you normally would.  Miles and points earned from the portal will appear on your loyalty or credit card account statement in a few weeks.

ProTip: United even has an app called MileagePlus X. You can use this app to stack more earnings or to earn for in-store shopping.

Want to be an even savvier portal shopper? Keep reading!

I use Cashback Monitor to compare earn rates between different shopping portals. The earn rates are usually up-to-date and it saves time because I don’t have to go to each portal individually.

Simply type the name of the merchant you’d like to shop with into the search field.

Since I am a frequent shopper for personal and household supplies, I searched for Walgreens. These were the results I saw on my screen.

From here, you can decide to go with the portal giving you the highest earn rate. Here in this example, JetBlue will give you 3 miles per $1 spent at Walgreens. If you earn American Express points with Rakuten, you could also earn 3x the Membership Rewards points.

Or, depending on your travel goal(s), it might make more sense to choose a shopping portal that gets you closer to reaching your goal(s).

If you’re saving up miles to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, then the Southwest Portal will be where you want to shop. If you’re planning to book a stay at a Wyndham or Choice Hotels property, then using either of these portals will help you earn points for your upcoming stay.

What doesn’t make sense is to choose a shopping portal for a loyalty program you don’t use just because it has the highest earn rate. For example, I don’t earn or use Amtrak points, so I wouldn’t use this shopping portal.

Using shopping portals can help you get the most out of your money by giving you a return in miles and points.

This can go a long way in earning award travel that’ll help you reach your travel goals.

Would you like to earn even more miles and points for dining out? Be sure to learn about Dining Programs, too.

What questions do you have about earning miles and points with shopping portals?

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The Wonders of Shopping Portals
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4 thoughts on “The Wonders of Shopping Portals”

  1. When I learned this tip from Jackie – as an addicted online shopper – it was a no brainer and then when the miles kept coming in – I wondered why haven’t I done this sooner! Can’t wait to use the miles on an upcoming trip this summer!

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      That’s fantastic Leigh! I’m so glad to hear you are earning miles for all your shopping. Enjoy your travels!

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