Whenever I buy something online, I first check shopping portals to see if I can earn miles for my purchase. The earning possibilities aren’t limited to online purchases shipped to your home. I have earned miles by ordering online for in-store pickup which has the added benefit of walking to the service desk, picking up and walking out. So, there’s no searching for the right item or adding impulse items to my cart.
Most major airlines and hotel chains have shopping portals – my favorites are:
Earning Miles Through Shopping Portals
Not all shopping portals have the same stores or mile value per store, so before you purchase, especially for a larger value item, do some digging to find the best mile value. Before you make a purchase, make sure that you do a little research on shopping sites outside of the shopping portal to make sure that you’re getting the best price instead of paying more to get miles for the purchase. If you’re looking for a particular item, not necessarily a store, you can enter the product that you’re searching for in the search tool. The shopping portal will pull up all stores that offer that item along with the earn rate and prices.
In order to earn miles for your purchase you must click on the link through the shopping portal. After you click on the site through the shopping portal, you’ll get a redirect message which will show that you will be earning miles for the purchase.
As an added benefit, there are frequently bonus offers for shopping portals. If you opt in to receive email communication, you’ll be in the know when these special offers are released. By shopping through the portals during one of these offers, you’ll get a bonus amount of miles if you spend a certain amount of money. Last Valentine’s Day I got a 2,000 American Airlines mile bonus for spending over $300 on the AA shopping portal. Since I had to purchase a large order for work, this was an easy spend for me. The only downside is that bonuses typically take 10-12 weeks to post to your account after the promotion ends.
Where Are My Shopping Portal Miles?
My biggest gripe with shopping portals is sometimes the miles don’t post. In order to make sure that I receive all the miles I am owed, I keep a google doc with the date, transition amount (before tax) and the number of miles I am due for this purchase. If the miles haven’t posted to my account after 8-12 weeks, I follow up with customer service via email and they can verify my purchase and credit my account. A few times I even got lucky and had the miles post on their own after I got the miles manually posted by customer service!