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Shopping Portals and Dining Programs are fantastic and simple ways to earn miles and points for award travel.
While credit cards are a quick and lucrative way to boost your airline and hotel loyalty accounts, shopping portals and dining programs are part of any travel hacking long term strategy.
Use your travel rewards credit cards and your travel hacking mantra, spend smarter, not more, and you’ll be on your way to steadily growing your miles and points balances.
The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking: Shopping Portals and Dining Programs
Many airlines and hotels have a dining program as part of their loyalty rewards program. Taking advantage of them is a no-brainer.
Dining programs are free to join using your airline or hotel loyalty member number. Sometimes, you can even earn bonus miles or points just for signing up!
Once your registration is complete and whenever you eat at a participating restaurant, simply pay with the card you included in your dining program membership and you’ll earn miles or points!
Pro Tip: Use a credit card with a dining bonus category, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, to earn even more points!
Dining programs are truly a set it and forget it way to earn points and miles.
To learn more about how to leverage Dining Rewards, enroll in my FREE course, Travel Hacking Basics.
We’ll talk about how dining programs fit into an overall earning strategy and how to maximize them effectively, as well as other important points and miles basics like the credit cards to look at first and video tutorials showing how to search and redeem for award flights.
Just like dining programs, shopping portals can also be part of an airline or hotel’s loyalty program. Bank travel reward programs, like Chase’s Ultimate Rewards, even have shopping portals.
Essentially, each shopping portal has earn rates per dollar spent at hundreds of stores you likely already shop. You simply find the store you need in the shopping portal. Click on it to be redirected to that store’s website and shop as you normally would.
You’ll earn the miles and points based on the earn rate displayed in the shopping portal.
I’m a big fan of online shopping because it’s quick and convenient. When I began travel hacking years ago, shopping portals were a complete wonder.
I just couldn’t believe how I could earn so many miles and points by just logging into a shopping portal and selecting the store where I was already planning to shop!
I even order household goods like paper towels and shampoo by clicking on Walmart or Rite Aid from within a portal and earn at least double the miles and points I would’ve had I just gone to the store or headed directly to the store’s website.
You can learn how to use shopping portals effectively, too!
In my FREE course, Travel Hacking Basics, we talk about strategies for maximizing your points and miles earning with the dollars you were planning to spend regardless.
Quite frankly, shopping portals can be a game-changer and earn huge windfalls of points and miles for your everyday spending when used correctly.
Anyone can shop through these shopping portals but many don’t because they don’t know about them, nevermind how to use them to their advantage.
It’s not about saving for travel with the small amount of money (maybe) leftover after paying your bills at the end of the month. It’s about making your money work harder for you by getting a return on every dollar possible.
I’ve earned a couple of hundred miles for ordering household goods. I’ve also earned 30k+ points for single purchases by leveraging strategies and being opportunistic.
Enroll now for FREE in Travel Hacking Basics to learn more.
Example Earnings from Dining Programs & Shopping Portals
So, you might be wondering how much you can really earn by using dining rewards and shopping portals. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Dining Rewards programs earn 3x-5x miles per dollar spent depending on how many times you’ve eaten out. A $100 dinner even at the lower-earning tier of 3x miles per dollar earns 300 miles.
Now pay for that dinner with a travel rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve which earns 3x the points per dollar and you’ve “double-dipped,” earning points and miles from 2 sources for the same purchase for a total of 600 points and miles.
Or, how about shopping for a new pair of sneakers through a shopping portal? Let’s imagine Macy’s is offering 5x the miles or points in the shopping portal. The sneakers cost $100. In a blink, 500 miles or points are earned.
Now, let’s say you time this purchase during a quarter when the Chase Freedom is offering 5x the Ultimate Rewards points for department store purchases. By paying with this card and going through a shopping portal, you’ve earned 1000 points and miles for sneakers you were planning to buy no matter what.
Learn more about using these strategies in Travel Hacking Basics!
Do you earn miles and points with dining programs and shopping portals?
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