Using Online Shopping Portals to Earn Bonus Points or Miles

by Sean Bryant on November 15, 2013

With the holiday season around the corner, I figured I would share one of my favorite ways to earn bonus points.  Many airlines, hotel chains and banks offer Shopping Portals that allow consumers to earn valuable bonus points for making regular purchases.  Below I will explain the process of earning bonus points through these shopping portals.

Step #1 – Determine which shopping portal offers the most bonus points

Visit to determine which portal offers the most points.  You simply type in the retailer you’re looking to purchase from and this website will list which portals offer bonus points.


Step #2 – Login to shopping portal you want to use

Alaska Airlines
American Airlines
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Delta Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines
Hilton HHonors
Marriott Rewards
Southwest Airlines
US Airways
United Airlines

Step #3 – Find the retailer or merchandise you wish to purchase

All of the shopping portals offer a search bar for your products or you can search by retailer.  Once you determine what retailer or product you want, click on Shop.

Step #4 – Making the purchase

It’s very important that once you are transformed to the retailers website, that you DO NOT CLOSE THE PORTAL WINDOW.  Leave the window open, as this is how you earn the bonus points.  From here, simply purchase your item much like you normally would.  When the transaction is complete, you can close out of your browser and within a few weeks (depending upon terms and conditions) the bonus points will appear in your loyalty account.

Do I need a co-branded credit card to be eligible for bonus points?

No!  You can use whatever credit card you wish!  You earn bonus points by initiating the transaction through the shopping portal.  Occasionally I will earn points by using gift cards (your miles may vary).

Keep your eyes open for bonus offers

American Airlines recently offered 36x points for purchases made through  This is an absurd bonus and certain people really capitalized.  American Airlines also recently offered 12x points with Bloomingdales.  During this bonus promotion I was able to use my Chase Freedom credit card to earn an additional 5x points due to the Freedom 4th quarter bonus on department stores.

My favorite shopping portal bonuses

I really like using the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal.  I find that their bonuses are comparable with many other shopping portals.  I value Ultimate Rewards points a bit higher than other mileage currencies due to their amazing transfer partners (United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, etc).

With that said, I use 1-800-Pet-Meds almost monthly to order food for my dog!  It’s shipped right to my door and the bonus points are usually 6x.  I also like using Home Depot through the portals.  I can usually get 3x or more and I’m allowed to pick up items at the store.  My favorite bonus option is booking flights using Travelocity through the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall.  Travelocity offers 2x points, which combines with the 2x points on travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  In the end I earn 4x points for booking flights AND air miles on top of that!

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Final thought

If you do a lot of online shopping, use a shopping portal to earn bonus points.  Determine what items you can purchase online to earn bonus points.  Use the portals for wedding or baby gifts!

Kyle Dover owns and operates  He is a CPA by day and a travel blogger by night.  Kyle began travelling at a young age allowing him to accrue a nice stockpile of air miles.  While attending the University of Florida, Kyle traveled for work earning many more air miles.  In his free time, Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, snow skiing, swimming, hiking and photography.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • Done by Forty

    Huh, I’ve never tried this sort of thing. Do you feel the juice is worth the squeeze?

    • I am a huge fan of using shopping portals to get extra miles. If I am going to be making the purchase anyways why not get rewarded just that much more.

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